Fire Protection Research Foundation report: “Flammable refrigerants: Fire Fighter Training Material Development Workshop"
Authors: Sreenivasan Ranganathan, Ph.D. and Victoria Hutchison, Fire Protection Research Foundation
Date of issue: November 2018
Environmental policy is causing a shift from the current refrigerants used in appliances to a new class that pose fire hazard to occupants and emergency responders. This introduce a significant wide-scale fire risk and firefighters will soon be addressing this emerging hazard. With the shift towards more environmentally friendly fluids, preparation is necessary in fire protection for safe usage of flammable refrigerants. As new refrigerants with higher flammability are phased in, there will be new hazards the fire service and emergency responders will need to be aware of to adjust in firefighting tactics. The goal of this workshop is to identify the optimum safety guidance and information to develop materials for training emergency responders and others for the safe use of flammable refrigerants as alternatives for traditional refrigerants. The general concepts of refrigerants and the expected changes in the form of fire risk with the introduction of flammable refrigerants were discussed. In addition, the workshop also included breakout group discussions which addressed: 1) relevant codes and standards; 2) hazard identification; 3) emergency response tactics; 4) post incident considerations; 5) gaps; and (6) outreach needs. These are documented in this workshop proceedings.