Halons are highly ozone destructive.
Yellow fire extinguishers contain halon 1211. They can't be
serviced in New Zealand, so yours might not work in a fire.
You should replace all yellow fire extinguishers and any fixed
systems that use halon 1211
Government subsidies for the collection of halon 1211 are available
for a limited period only.
The government will not make halons illegal.
Halons 1211 and 1301 were once used extensively in fire
protection systems and extinguishers. The use of halon has been
discontinued in most circumstances because they damage the ozone
layer. Although less well known than CFC's, halons are much
The 80 grams of CFC in a domestic refrigerator could destroy up to
3 tonnes of atmospheric ozone.
The 1.4 kilograms of halon 1211 in a yellow hand-hand extinguisher
could destroy about 20 tonnes of atmospheric ozone. That's the
equivalent of 500 dairy tankers full of ozone.
One kilogram of halon 1301 destroys an estimated 50 tonnes of
has not imported halons for general use for some time, but we
still have many tonnes left from older systems. The Ministry
for the Environment has therefore developed as strategy to
minimise the release of the remaining halons into the atmosphere
and to ensure the safe destruction of all halons that have been
decommissioned. The strategy is based on a partnership between
the fire protection industry, through Halon Recycling Ltd, and
the Ministry for the Environment.
Ministry for the Environment has written to all large
organisations likely to hold significant amounts of halons. We
cannot, however, identify organisations that might have small
quantities of halons. We are asking fire protection companies
and regional and local councils to pass information on.
find out what to do with your halons, about alternative fire
protection, please contact your usual fire protection agent.
Halon Recycling Ltd, 0800 HALON HELP (0800 425 664), PO box 302
372, NHPC, Auckland or email
you would like to know more about the broader halon strategy, or
the Ministry for the Environment's ozone layer protection
programme, please contact the Ministry's head office or
Halon 1211 was
once widely used in yellow, hand-held fire extinguishers and in
fixed, unmanned fire protection systems, but it has largely been
superseded for these purposes. We encourage organisations still
using halon 1211 to plan for the decommissioning of any
remaining systems and the destruction of the halons.
should know that:
hand-held fire extinguishers are no longer serviced in New
Zealand, so they cannot be recharged and may not function in a
fire. Yellow extinguishers should be replaced with an
appropriate modern alternative.
halon 1211 is installed in fixed systems, such as in substations
and computer facilities, we are asking owners to consider
replacing their systems by 2003.
1211 should be sent to Australia for environmentally safe
destruction at the DASCEM plant in Melbourne.
Recycling Ltd, a non-profit making company set up the the fire
protection industry, is administering the subsidy.
that cannot met the cost of transport and disposal should ensure
that stocks of halon are securely stored. The Government will
not be regulating to prohibit use of, or holding stocks of,
halons, so no penalties will apply to companies continuing to
store the material.
no circumstances, except when fighting fires, should halon 1211
be released into the atmosphere. Because halon 1211 is so
damaging to the ozone layer, deliberate, unnecessary release is
an offence under the Ozone Layer Protection act 1996.
Halon 1301 is still essential for human safety in small number
sites, mainly confined spaces in aircraft and some ships. Halon
1301 has not been manufactured for use in developed countries
for some time, and existing supplies need to be conserved
carefully for essential purposes. Many of the maritime and
aviation organisations with a continuing need for halon 1301 are
already managing their own supplies. Any other organisations
likely to need it for essential purposes as indicated about
should contact Halon Recycling Ltd for advice.
We advise companies with halon 1301 in computer rooms and
non-essential spaces to plan now for decommissioning g by
Halon 1301 is the most ozone-destructive substance know. Like
halon 1211, it should never be released to the atmosphere,
except when being used to fight fires. Deliberate and
unnecessary release is an offence under the Ozone Layer
Protection Act 1996.