NFPA offers free training to address new refrigerants

The NFPA seeks to educate firefighters about the potential hazards associated with a new class of sustainable refrigerants

By FireRescue1 Staff

QUINCY, Mass. — The NFPA and its research affiliate, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, have released free online and instructor-led training to educate firefighters about the flammability and toxicity risks of new refrigerants.

A new class of low global warming potential (GWP) are being ushered in this year through an international accord, creating a need for firefighters to prepare and adapt to potential new hazards, according to an NFPA news release.

“The presence of flammable refrigerants at a response call in the future is highly likely, and as such, warrants the need for responders in departments of every type, size and setting to learn all that they can about these systems and proper response strategies,” said NFPA Emergency Response and Responder Safety Division Director Ed Conlin.

Both online and instructor-led training courses will be available free of charge, with modules that aim to help firefighters understand why the new refrigerants were developed, where flammable refrigerants may be found, the main hazards associated with the new refrigerants, and how to adapt response tactics to prepare for emergencies involving these refrigerants.

According to the NFPA, possible hazards associated with low GWP refrigerants include flammability, toxicity risks, asphyxiation risks, the potential for jet stream fires, transportation complications and other issues.

The course emphasizes strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), PPE and SCBA protocols, and decontamination practices when dealing with flammable refrigerants. Firefighters who complete the training will receive a certificate of completion.

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