Hannah - For the Library of Congress' main new collections storage
facility at the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper,
Virginia, we are utilizing a layered dual-system fire protection
approach, with an FM200 gas-based system as the initial primary
suppression agent back up by a wet-pipe sprinkler system. We made this
decision in late 2002, and if I recall correctly, FM200 is one brand
name made by Great Lakes Chemical for a generic gas known as HFC 223.
Dupont also manufactures this gas. Inergen is a different system. Our
engineers and fire protection experts on the NAVCC project did extensive
research on the differences between FM200 and Inergen. They selected
FM200 primarily because, at the time, there was general agreement that
Inergen had not yet met several halon replacement criteria and other
safety requrements. In particular, Inergen uses larger tanks stored
under heavier pressure, which causes additional maintenance issues as
well as potential personnel safety issues. I seem to recall that Inergen
had a slower dissapation rate after discharge as well.

Our research revealed that these gas-based systems have become state of
the art for most of the large media storage facilities that have been
built in recent years. Most use FM200, but some Inergen.

Gregory Lukow, Chief
Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division
The Library of Congress
Phone: 202-707-5840
Fax:  202-707-2371
Email:  [log in to unmask]

>>> [log in to unmask] 02/18/04 3:40:32 PM >>>

I seek information about new fire suppression systems installed in
recordings storage areas. Specifically, I am interested in FM-200
Inergen (both are chemical systems developed to replace halon systems
as an
alternative to water sprinklers), though remarks on other systems are
welcome. Anyone care to comment on the decision to install one over
other at your institution?


Hannah Frost
Media Preservation Librarian
Stanford University Libraries