FM-200 vs. CO2 Fire Protection Systems

FM-200 and CO2 fire suppression systems are both accepted replacements for Halon fire suppression systems. While these systems have similar benefits when it comes to choosing them for fire suppression, they also have some key differences.

What is FM-200?

FM-200 systems use HFC-227ea fire extinguishing agent. These systems are fast acting, cause zero ozone depletion, and are non-electrically conducive. FM-200 is a clean agent fire suppressant and can be used on Class A, B and C fires. It is a colorless, odorless agent that leaves behind no reside and minimizes downtime. This system is safe to use in occupied areas.

Applications where FM-200 systems are found:

  • Data centers
  • Telecommunication facilities
  • Military applications
  • Computer rooms
  • Control rooms
  • Museums
  • Historical archive storage
  • Art galleries
  • Pharmaceutical and medical facilities
  • Record storage facilities

What is CO2 Fire Suppression?

CO2 is a fire suppression system that uses carbon dioxide to reduce oxygen levels in space to a point that combustion can no longer occur. A CO2 fire suppression system is environmentally friendly, fast acting and electrically non-conducive. CO2 systems leave behind no residue, cause no damage to sensitive equipment and require no clean-up. These systems can be used on Class A, B and C fires but are not safe to use in occupied areas.

Applications where CO2 systems are used:

  • Power Plants
  • Metal Production and Processing
  • Printing Facilities
  • Automotive Plants
  • Electronics Operations
  • Electronics/Computer Production
  • Research Facilities
  • Storage Facilities

Factors to Consider When Choosing

  1. Is the Area Occupied?

If your space is occupied most of the time, it may be safer to choose an FM-200 system. CO2 fire suppression is not safe to be used in areas where people are present as exposure to high CO2 concentrations can lead to unconsciousness and death. If the area needing fire protection is not normally occupied then CO2 fire suppression may be a good option.

  1. How Much Space is Available?

The cylinders for a CO2 fire suppression system typically take up more space than FM-200 cylinders. If your area does not have much space available, FM-200 may be a better option.

  1. What is the Cost of Each System?

The price may vary between a CO2 system and an FM-200 system. Reach out to a fire protection contractor to get an idea of which system will be more cost-effective for your application.

Find a Trusted Fire Protection Contractor

If you are trying to decide which fire suppression system is right for your application, find a trusted fire protection contractor. Western States Fire Protection is fire protection provider providing both FM-200 and CO2 fire suppression systems for facilities across the western United States. When you work with us, we can help you determine which system is right for your application. Request a free, no obligation quote today!