How do I know I have Halon?
Halon was widely used in fire extinguishers used in cars, boats and domestically. Fire extinguishers containing halon are colour coded yellow. There are two forms of halon commonly used by the public. These are:
- Halon 1211 also known as BCF - usually found in hand held fire extinguishers; and
- Halon 1301 also known as BCM - used mainly in ‘flooding’ systems, for example in computer rooms, machinery rooms etc.
Why should I dispose of halon or my halon fire extinguisher?
It has been illegal to own or use halon based fire protection systems in Australia since 1995, unless for an approved essential use. It has also been illegal for fire protection technicians to service non-essential halon systems since that date.
Like most safety equipment, fire extinguishers need to be serviced. There is therefore a significant risk that the extinguisher will not operate correctly in a time of emergency if it hasn't been serviced since before 1995.
There are a number of alternative products available to replace halon systems. You should seek advice from a fire protection expert. If there are no feasible alternatives you can apply for special approval to maintain the halon system. Essential Use Exemptions are granted rarely and only in situations where no alternatives are available.
How do I dispose of Halon?
The National Halon Bank operates a freecall service to advise you on disposal of halon, as well as other ozone depleting substances (ODS) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGG). Call 1800 658 084 to arrange for the disposal of any unwanted halon or other ODS/SGG product.Halon may also be disposed of at fire stations and by the fire protection company that services your fire systems. The Government provides a free service for the general public and small business to dispose of fire extinguishers.
Halon and other ODS/SGG’s may also be deposited at collection points such as fire stations and by the fire protection company that services your fire systems, who will then arrange for dispatch to the National Halon Bank.
Collection organisations need to complete the halon disposal form when receiving deposited substances.
The Government provides a free service for the general public and small business to dispose of halon products (such as fire extinguishers). Note, this exemption applies only to halon products, not to other ozone depleting substances/synthetic greenhouse gases. The criteria for exemption from disposal fees and charges are stated on the halon disposal form. If you are not exempt, or you are depositing a non-halon ODS or SGG product, you will be charged a fee following collection and processing of your deposit.
The National Halon Bank will facilitate the responsible disposal of Halon and other ozone depleting substances in accordance with standards agreed by the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. More information is available on Halon recycling, reclaiming and other services offered by the National Halon Bank.