What ever became of fiquench?

I was looking at jiinc24’s collection website and I came across a “ halon “ marked horn/strobe. And instead of fike. The data plate read “ fiquench “ . I’m wondering what happened to them

Picture of horn/strobes data plate:

I’m not 100% sure but I believe “Fiquench” was simply a brand name of the Fike Corporation at one time, most likely for their fire suppression-related products (if this is the case I have no idea why they supposedly stopped using it though).

Yeah your probably right. Fike use to manufacture metal products

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Fiquench was Fike’s halon product line. Since the passing of the Montreal Protocol in 1989, the industry started moving away from Halon 1301 and the Fiquench line was no longer viable. They probably retired the name so as to not connect their new products to their old halon line.

Fike continues to this day, but their primary suppression lines are their IG-series inert gas systems, their legacy hydrofluorocarbon and fluorinated ketone clean agents (i.e. FM-200 and Novec 1230 respectively), and various water based products like water mist.


Ah yes, that makes perfect sense, thank you Robert (not sure how you found that out but thanks).

So yeah, Fiquench may be gone due to industry changes (even though I see no reason why they couldn’t have continued to use it as nothing about it implies “halon” aside from the products that used to bear it), but Fike lives on, as does their supposed European brand name “Rafiki”.

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I mean, the Montreal Protocol is what pushed the industry away from halon. It’s educated conjecture that that’s why the Fiquench name was retired.

I’m just surprised that even FM-200 and Novec are out the door these days. Seems like your only gaseous suppression options these days are inert gas or CO2. Otherwise, you’re down to water mist, hybrid nitrogen-water, or aerosol. Or just go back to sprinklers. Seems to work for aircraft hangars now.

Well yeah on that first part, but who nowdays would likely know that the Fiquench name was associated with halon products? (heck I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t buy Fiquench-branded products just because the name was once associated with halon systems)

Really? Could have sworn that 3M’s Novec 1230 was the only one really left since DuPont’s FM-200 is an HFC which I’m pretty sure are being restricted (if not banned completely). Heck to me Novec 1230 seems perfect for virtually any suppression application given all its upsides & nearly zero downsides.

Ostensibly, and I speak from experience, product name recognition. When people say “I need more Vic couplings!” they mean they need Victaulic grooved pipe couplings. The name “Vic” became short for “Victaulic”, which is the most well-known manufacturer of sprinkler pipe couplings, valves, and fittings.

Similar thing with other products. The Gaylord Quencher is the name of a particular line of kitchen suppression systems by a company called Gaylord. The Quencher is a wet-chemical system that uses special glass bulb sprinklers that correspond to each type of commercial kitchen appliance (griddle, fry station, etc) rather than fusible links and nozzles like most commercial kitchen systems today. It’s a strange way of doing it, and no one does it that way anymore. So, the name “Gaylord” became a generic way to refer to that particular system, even at the expense of other products Gaylord produces. Gaylord is still around today, and they still make kitchen suppression systems, but I hardly see them anymore - all I tend to see is Ansul. So, the name “Gaylord” alone got associated with “Gaylord Quencher”.

Across a company, sometimes product line names have the same effect. Manufacture halon products exclusively under the name Fiquench long enough, and people come to associate the word “Fiquench” with halon. So, now using that word to market anything else, has become a liability because now people are gonna say “Fiquench? I don’t want halon in my building!” So, that’s why I can imagine why Fike retired the Fiquench name. Better to just come up with a new product line name that people will associate with your newer stuff. No sense getting too attached to a name.

As for Novec, the problem is twofold - PFOS and effect. They just recently discovered that Novec, the non-HFC clean agent, contains levels of PFOS/PFOA, which is a forever chemical that the industry is heavily moving away from, since it’s been known to kill fish, cause cancers, stuff like that. Just how much is in Novec I have no idea, but they’ve said that even in the parts per trillion it’s still dangerous stuff. In addition, because Novec works by cooling the fire (it’s been called ‘waterless water’ for this reason) rather than interrupting the chemical chain, it doesn’t work quite like FM-200. Boss Man has seen it been tried on a hangar for example, as an alternative to AFFF foam, and when the gas is vented he’s seen the fire start right back up again. That, and it doesn’t work quite so well in datacenters as they say it does. Overall, it’s just not super stellar.

We’re in an age where it seems like just going back to water is the best option for many facilities, even in places like datacenters. If not inert gas, they’ll construct the facility such that they’ll have a backup someplace else, and they factor in “just let the thing burn” as an option. I know a lot of hangars without foam sometimes have that strategy. Computers and planes can be replaced. But sprinklers save lives, and lives can’t be replaced.

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Okay I guess.

Are you kidding me? And I thought that Novec 1230 was the ideal fire suppressant…I at least hope 3M (or someone else) goes back to the drawing board & comes up with a version of Novec 1230 that doesn’t have that crap in it (which funnily enough is how Novec 1230 came to be in the first place: to replace both halon & HFCs which as you know damage the environment). When it comes to the hangar application you mentioned: most of the time it’ll probably be used in more average rooms & buildings, as it’s clearly not suited for aircraft hangars, so what you said is not a problem (or at least it shouldn’t be).

Yeah no: I say that developing a clean agent system that’s truly clean (for both us & the environment) should be something that’s done (though in the meantime I think I’d still go with Novec 1230 as it’s a lot less damaging to the environment & to us than its predecessors).

Why is it so difficult to just simply design a 100% clean (but still effective) fire suppression agent…

Chemical engineering is hard. Nothing is foolproof, but water is cheap and we know it works. I think for gaseous suppression, inert gas seems to be the best option for now since those gases are already in the atmosphere, so you’re not dumping a lot of crap into the air.

Yes, but both of those have serious downsides compared to clean agents (that are actually clean that is, at present there are supposedly none of (or at least that are 100% clean):
Water can damage & destroy electronics & paper documents (something that 3M emphasizes in their videos on Novec 1230)
Inert gas systems can suffocate people who might be in the room
These things right here are why I believe in developing a successor to Novec 1230 that’s just as effective, but without the “forever chemicals” that are in the original.

Well water is not always cheap

By all means, feel free to get the chemical engineering degree and have at it. Some of the best and brightest are trying right now. I’m simply relaying what the prevailing engineering judgement is for the time being.

Inert gas actually doesn’t pose much of a suffocation hazard. At the concentrations it’s designed for, it’ll drop the oxygen level in the room to about 14%. That’s like the top of Mt. Phillips at worst. Not nearly as bad as Mt. Everest, and you do still want to evacuate, but at design concentrations, inergen is pretty breathable. Chances are, by the time the oxygen actually gets that low, you’re already out of the room and have shut the door. At lower oxygen concentrations, you will breathe faster, so that’ll also offset the lower oxygen concentration. Think of it as just air… but with less oxygen. That’s really what most inert gas mixes are. Besides, Novec isn’t exactly a good thing to breathe either.

From what I understand, even if you ignore the PFOS issue, Novec wasn’t really as good as it was cracked up to be, and while it can salvage electronics and documents, it wasn’t as effective at actually putting out the fire as something like halon or FM-200. So you’d need more of it, which compounds your PFOS problem, not to mention the increased amount of tanks and manifold and piping and nozzles…

I alluded to this before, but some places sort of build this philosophy of disposability into their facilities. Acceptable losses. IF a fire were to break out, they’ll use VESDA for early detection, or maybe inert gas for early suppression. If that doesn’t work, they still put in a preaction sprinkler system for property protection. Chances are whatever’s stored on that datacenter is backed up offsite too, so if that datacenter goes down, all that really is lost is the computers, not the data. We’re seeing this now on a project I am working on where we’re both designing an inergen system for a server room, but also providing it with a preaction sprinkler system, because they value the building and the people in it greater than the computers in that room.

Some building owners have said “Screw it, let the damn thing burn.” I can’t say I blame them.

Yeah no: I’d be leading the project for that while leaving the actual chemical engineering up to someone who’s already qualified to do so (though just the same I hope those who are working on a better replacement at present get somewhere before long).

Regardless, I still think it’d be a good idea to design a clean fire suppression agent that, in basic terms, is as healthy as oxygen for people, yet downright deadly for fire (a tall order for sure but I’m sure it could be done).

Really? All of 3M’s videos on it seem to show otherwise (that it’s incredibly effective at extinguishing fires & that it takes up less space than other agents).

Yeah no (again): if measures can be taken to protect a facility & its occupants from fire, I say always do so (& for that matter do so with the method that’s the least destructive to the environment, the building occupants, & the building itself, which at present seems to be Novec 1230 (unless you’re aware of another clean agent like it that I don’t know about).

The ability to lead a project depends heavily on your own knowledge and skill in the discipline. Our engineering project managers are engineers themselves. They can delegate or coordinate, but ultimately they too know what it is they are talking about.

Congratulations you have just described inert gas. Again, at design concentrations for most inert gas systems, it lowers the oxygen concentration to what it would be at a very high altitude, which is still breathable. By the time it actually gets down to that concentration, you are already out of the room and have closed the door. Fire can’t subsist without at least 16% oxygen. Humans can breathe oxygen less than 16%, albeit not terribly comfortably and not forever, but it is absolutely possible.

Yes, a marketing team would want to make videos that show their product in a positive light, so of course 3M is going to tell you that Novec is the best thing since sliced bread. But in practice, it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. I’m working on a project that we were originally going to design with Novec but now are using inert gas. It only added a couple of extra tanks, which aren’t super huge to begin with, so the impact isn’t that great.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, and you can’t always afford every single bell, whistle, gadget, or McGuffin that is theoretically possible. Sometimes the best course of action is to cut your losses, do what the pocketbook allows you to do, and move on. Things can be replaced, people cannot.

I bring up the hangar example again because it’s a pretty good case study, because AFFF foam faces the same problems a lot of clean agent systems have - PFOS. AFFF systems are fantastic at putting out fuel spill fires. But, as research has shown, they have a pretty high rate of unwanted/accidental discharges, on top of their environmental and health effects. There are foam products that are fluorine-free, of course, but those systems aren’t much cheaper than legacy AFFF systems, and if you’re storing unfueled, defueled, or even partially fueled aircraft that you aren’t servicing, but just storing, how big is your risk for a fuel spill fire?

Think about cars in a parking garage. They have tons of fuel all in one place. You’d think foam would be a no-brainer for a place like that. But you almost never see foam in parking garages, just sprinklers. Why? Well, what’s the risk of a sudden gasoline fire in a garage? What would even start such a fire? What are the chances of that? Low. How low? Low enough to say “Just sprinkler it, it’s fine”. So if we don’t put foam in parking garages, why should we do the same to hangars that just store aircraft?

Theoretically, can you put fluorine-free high-expansion foams in every single little pudknocker hangar across the country, even ones that store one little Cessna? Sure. But why would you incur all that cost for something relatively low-risk?


I suppose that there’s never a type of gaseous fire suppression system that’s really safe to be used in personnel-occupied area. Even if the extinguishing agent itself is safe to inhale, lots of CO and other possibly toxic by-products will be produced while the agent is smothering out burning combustibles, doing harm to human body.

I suppose inert gas systems like Inergen are both effective & safe, but still: given you never know what will happen in a fire (including if all occupants will heed the alarm & leave the room), I still say that designing a clean agent that’s safe to breathe in any concentration is a good idea.

Well I think I’ll just go with what 3M shows &/or says anyway regardless, as it seems pretty good to me.

One kind of system that I nearly forgot about is Fireaway Inc.'s “Stat-X”: I’m not sure what kind of “solid compound” (as they put it) they use, but according to a promotional video they’re actually more convenient than a standard suppression system as they use individual “generators” as they’re called, which can simply be replaced after discharge (“no pressure cylinders or piping is required” as the video says). Granted according to that promotional video all occupants must have left the room by the time the system discharges, but otherwise it seems like a pretty good suppression method to me.

I’d really love to see someone invent one: this is the 21st century, we should be able to create a 100% clean & safe fire suppression agent now.

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Rafiki? Are you talking about that monkey from the lion king movie? :laughing:

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No: from what I gather “Rafiki” is a brand name that Fike either used to use or still uses in Europe (or maybe they were a separate company that Fike acquired at some point, I’m not sure), but on occasion I do think of the character as well.

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Is this an aerosol fire suppression system? Seems like that the generators work like fireworks, using some sort of violent exothermic reaction to shoot out chemicals that’d smother flames.