NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Millennial View of Fire Suppression.

pdf icon Millennial View of Fire Suppression. (102 K)
Gann, R. G.

Halon Options Technical Working Conference. Proceedings. HOTWC 2000. Sponsored by: University of New Mexico, Fire Suppression Systems Assoc., Fire and Safety Group, Great Lakes Chemical Corp., Halon Alternative Research Corp., Hughes Associates, Inc., Kidde Fenwal, Inc., Kidde International, Modular Protection, Inc., Next Generation Fire Suppression Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories, Summit Environmental Corp., Inc. and 3M Specialty Materials. May 2-4, 2000, Albuquerque, NM, xi-xvii pp, 2000.

Available from:

For more information contact: Center for Global Environmental Technologies, New Mexico Engineering Research Institute, University of New Mexico, 901 University Blvd., SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106-4339 USA.
Telephone: 505-272-7250,
Fax: 505-272-7203. WEB:


halon alternatives; fire suppression; fire safety; environmental effects; halons


The ability to control fire is universally and exclusively human. The history of that controlled use is also the history of civilization. Indeed, it has been so important to our development that no branch of the hominid family tree has survived without it. While individuals likely recognized the first principles of fire control, it was the rise of organized societies that led to structured activities and, later, products to mitigate the unwanted outcomes of fires. Now, the application of chemicals, manually and by mechanical devices, to control fires has become a mainstay of modern society. In particular, the development of the use of chemicals has a rich history. The evolution of human culture has led to changing definitions of successful fire control and changing acceptability of the various means for effecting that control. We in the year 2000 are the legatees of millennia of this evolution. The following is a pass through this heritage, indicating the implications for the 21st century and concluding with the author's anticipation of how a 22nd century book on fire suppression might conclude.