General Questions on SSI

Q – “How can I be sure that SSI will take care of my needs?”

A – SSI has been in business since 1983 and one of the reasons why we have succeeded this long is our commitment to excellence in providing our customers with the right solutions. Our team consists of some of the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals in the fire protection & explosion protection industry. If you are unsure of what you need, we will give you the straight talk on what is the best products and services on the market to protect the lives and assets of your business. We know fire and explosion protection inside out and we are happy to spend whatever time it takes with you to be comfortable with your decision. With more than 40 years’ experience we are here for you today and we will be here for you tomorrow.

Clean Agent Fire Suppression

Halon 1301 Systems

Q – “I have a Halon 1301 system. Do I need to remove it from my facility”?

A – Currently, no laws or regulations exist that require customers to remove existing Halon 1301 systems from operation. However, many companies are voluntarily upgrading to more environmentally-friendly alternative suppression agents, such as HFC-125 / ECARO-25® or HFC-227ea / FM200 or FK-5-1-12 / NOVEC 1230.  For those looking for 100% GREEN fire suppression we offer ProiInert2 with IG-55 and IG-541 Inert Agents. (link to Clean Agent page)

Q – “If my Halon 1301 system discharges, can it be recharged with Halon”?

While Halon 1301 is banned from new manufacture, existing Halon reserves may be used to recharge existing Halon systems that have discharged.  SSI has Halon reserves in our warehouse. Halon is prohibited from use in NEW suppression agent systems, and an alternative agent, such as HFC-125 / ECARO-25 or HFC-227ea / FM200, FK-5-1-12 / NOVEC 1230 or an Inert Agent must be utilized.

Q – “I no longer want Halon in my facility. What can I do with it”?

A – SSI has a program whereas we will remove Halon from your facility and work with our partner companies to ensure that the Halon is disposed of in an approved and environmentally-sound manner.

Q – “Can SSI work with me to replace my Halon with another agent, yet provide minimal disturbance to my facility”?

A – Absolutely. SSI has several options for that we are using for replacing Halon 1301 systems.  For more information on these agents click here. (link to Clean Agent page)

American Innovation & Manufacturing Act (AIM Act)

Q – “I’ve heard the AIM Act is affecting the production and pricing of the Halon replacement agents.  Can I still purchase FM-200, ECARO-25 & Novec 1230?”

A – The AIM Act directs the EPA to address HFCs by phasing down production and facilitate the transition to next generation technologies. Those agents affected by the “phase down” are FM-200 and ECARO-25.  For more information on these agents click here. (link to AIM Act page)

Servicing of Clean Agent Systems

Q – “How often does our system need to be inspected or tested”

A – Clean Agent fire suppression systems fall under NFPA 72 and NFPA 2001.  NFPA 72 requires all detection devices and audibles be tested annually.  NFPA 2001 requires that the agent tanks be inspected semi-annually.

Q – “Does SSI provide these inspections and are they done by trained technicians?”

A – SSI’s Customer Account Representatives provide our customers with Semi-Annual inspection contracts after the final certification test is performed and the system has been certified.  Our technicians are factory trained for all the systems that we install.

Q – “If I have a discharge, can SSI refill my suppression tank”?

A – SSI warehouses thousands of pounds of certified suppression agents in our Lehigh County headquarters, including HFC-125 / ECARO-25, HFC-227ea / FM200, FK-5-1-12 / NOVEC 1230 and Halon 1301 reserves and equivalents. We utilize a dual station arrangement, allowing us to recharge multiple tanks simultaneously. Our recharge agents are purchased directly from US suppliers or manufacturers. We won’t directly “import” cheap agents from foreign territories where critical quality control measures may not be in place, like many large recharging warehouses or agent banking centers.

Our recharging abilities stand unmatched within the industry, and we are respected enough to have many of our local competitors bring their clients tanks to us for recharging. We generally have discharged systems back online within a matter of hours, and even the largest discharges are handled quickly and effectively.

Fire Alarm

Q – “What manufacturer fire alarm systems does SSI provide?”

A – SSI offers fire alarm systems from JCI Autocall and Fike. (link to Fire Alarm page)

Q – “I’ve heard many talking about installing “BDA” systems. What are these and do I need one in our facility”?

A – BDA or Bi-Directional Amplification Systems are now required in most new facilities and some existing buildings depend on the local codes.  These systems enhance the radio signal inside the structure to allow the emergency response personnel to communicate to those outside the facility. (link to BDA page)

Q – I don’t know if our facility requires a BDA system. Is there a test that will inform us if we have an issue or not?

A – SSI has the equipment and FCC certified technicians who can perform a test and provide you with information on your facility and areas where the radio signals are not sufficient for communications to reach emergency personnel inside your building. (link to BDA page)

Explosion Protection

Q – “Are dusts at my facility combustible or explosible”?

A – “The owner/operator of a facility with potentially combustible dusts shall be responsible for determining whether the materials are combustible or explosible”, NFPA 652 (2019) 5.1

Reliable explosion protection isn’t possible without first understanding the explosive characteristics of your dust. You can start taking action on this requirement through our Combustible Dust Testing services. (link to Explosion Protection page)

Q – “What solutions are available to properly mitigate an explosion in my production assets”?

A – SSI offers a wide array of Fike passive and active protection components to properly protect the hazard that is identified. 

Q – “What is Active Explosion Protection”?

A – Fike’s active explosion protection systems are designed to detect a combustion reaction in its incipient phase and to stop the development of pressure before unacceptable damage to the installation occurs. Additionally, it will prevent the explosion from spreading to other parts of the installation and signal the occurrence of the explosion event to the process control system to initiate an emergency shutdown. (link to Explosion Detection page)

Q – “What is Passive Explosion Protection”?

A- Explosion vent panels effectively mitigate combustible dust explosion by providing a planned pathway for flame and pressure to escape from the process equipment. Vent ducts can be used to create an additional pathway to a safe location away from the immediate vicinity of the installation. Flameless venting devices will allow pressure to escape while absorbing heat and flames.

Passive explosion isolation valves will prevent the explosion spreading to other parts of the installation. (link to Explosion Venting page)

Q – “How does a Dual- Flap Isolation Valve shine above the competition “?

A – Flexible Installation

Fike DFI avoids the need for any pipeline rework because it can be installed in nearly all geometries and orientations, and is:

  • Engineered to perform in both horizontal and vertical pipes and close to bends
  • Able to be installed closer to a vessel than other flap valves due to its fast-closing, lightweight flaps
  • Compact in its design with a reduced footprint using two smaller flaps instead of one large flap

          Wide Application Range

Suitable for nearly every application, Fike DFI is the ideal standard flap    valve that protects against nearly all industries and applications under real-world conditions:

  • high explosion pressures up to 1.5 barg
  • ST1 dusts (sugar, powdered milk, charcoal, sulfur, zinc, etc.)
  • ST2 dusts (wood, flour, etc.)
  • light metal dusts (aluminum)
  • low MIE (minimum ignition energy) dusts

(link to Explosion Isolation page)


Q – “How Detection and Control Works”?

A – Detection & Control works in several ways:

  • Explosion pressure detectors are mounted on the process vessel to be protected.
  • Explosion flame detectors are installed on connected ductwork.
  • Pressure and/or flame detectors are continuously monitored by the control system, which can be installed locally or in the process control room.
  • When a sudden change of pressure or radiation is detected, the controller will activate the explosion suppression and/or isolation devices.
  • The explosion protection control system will signal the process control system to shut down all process equipment to prevent further hazards and damage

Q – “Why Fike for Detection and Control”?

A – There are many reasons to use Fike equipment:

  • Less than 2 ms electronic delay between presence of explosion

pressure/flame in the process vessel and activation of suppression/isolation devices.

  • Multiple explosion detectors can be installed on larger equipment to minimize reaction times
  • Early detection ensures low Total Suppressed Pressures, closer

installation of isolation devices to the protected volume and a reduced total cost of ownership.

  • Various detector types and mounting styles for explosion detectors eliminate foreseeable disturbances.
  • Advanced detection algorithms and nuisance filters discriminate accurately between process fluctuations and disturbances and explosion pressures
  • Multiple explosion detectors within an AND-function can be installed to eliminate the risk for nuisance activations.
  • Wide variety of detector and mounting styles.
  • Varying System Sizes and Flexible Expansion.
  • System status and event display.

Q – “In the event my Active Explosion Protection System discharges what is required to return the protection system to service”?

A – SSI certified technicians will respond to site to complete a post activation analysis of the protection system components, extract detailed activation data from the controller which was be sent to the manufacturer for a detailed analysis of the pressure event and work to rebuild all components at the facility. Yes, that is correct all device rebuild needs are completed on site which decreases the downtime of that production equipment.