4 Examples of Special Hazard Fire Protection Projects

Posted on by Greg Palya

Photo of engineers around a CNC Machine

Though many companies protect their expensive equipment with outdated solutions, there are some that are using the latest developments in special hazard fire protection to protect their investments.

Today we’ll look at four projects completed in the past two years that show the process, explanation and the reasoning behind their fire protection investments.

Let’s jump right in…

1) Server Room

We’ve installed a Novec 1230 System in 2016 to protect the server rooms for the Republican National Convention, as well as the Cleveland Professional Sports Teams.

So if you’re ever attending a game in Cleveland, know that every time you send a text, ABCO is protecting those servers allowing you network access.

To protect the server room, we installed two, large NOVEC 1230 Cylinders that are activated by a sophisticated air-sampling detection system that is detecting a hot aisle/cold aisle HVAC setup.

Other protected assets a NOVEC 1230 system can handle include: server racks, historical archives, vaults and telecommunication hubs.

2) CNC Machine

In 2016, we installed a FM-200 system that protects a CNC machine that produces small screws used in surgeries.

If you’ve ever had a titanium screw inserted your body…it’s nice to know what machine it came from, but it’s also nice to know how that machine always stays running.

CNC machines are a fire hazard due to the oil mist that gets sprayed upon drilling and threading titanium. That oil mist catches fire when a tool malfunctions and gets too hot.

These systems use small bottles (usually 3-12 pounds) and plastic detection tubing that senses the fire and releases the agent through one or two nozzles based on the size of the CNC enclosure.

Note: There are multiple places where a fire can begin, so most FM-200 systems have multiple nozzles throughout the machine that can spray the agent.

3) 3D Printing Machine

In 2017, we design an Argon system that protects the storage of powders for a large, aluminum powder-based 3D printer.

This hazard is unique due to it being a Class1 DIV1, which meant we had to install all explosion-proof devices (flame detectors) and rigid conduit.

Argon was chosen as the suppressant because it would not contaminate their product in the case of a fire. It can also be automatically discharged into the hazard through the piping network unlike a Class-D suppressant.

Argon is currently used to replace Halon 1301 due to Argon being zero GWP (global warming potential), zero ODP (ozone depletion potential) and is stable under intense heat, which is also great for oil and gas turbines.

4) Fabric Coaters

Ever notice the fabric above your head in a car…probably not, unless it’s falling down (frown). C02 systems are currently used in protecting coaters that treat large rolls of fabric used in automobiles.

An interested note about this project is the additional safety measures required by NFPA, including supervised lockout valves, wintergreen scent, time delays, maintenance switches and a pneumatic siren.

This installation was very difficult since the equipment was in the middle of a large warehouse with a tall ceiling, which left us very few options for us to hang our schedule 80 pipes and conduit from.

C02 is very effective, but also quite dangerous. C02 requires a minimum of 34% concentration, so it’s usually used in unoccupied locations.


Hopefully you learned about some current special hazard projects. If you’d like to learn about the entire special hazard fire protection process, including every type of special hazard, the process working with a fire protection company, and 25 questions to consider before starting a project, please download our eBook in the bottom right corner!

Like this article? Share it on your social media pages:

Comments are closed.