This paper examines the current state of the International agreements on the use of halons and thesubsequent National and industry approaches to the subject. It examines the definition of "Essential Use" and gives particular examples to clarify its interpretation.

Alternative methods of loss control are reviewed. It does not address alternative active firefighting agents but examines the need for protection in particular areas. It addresses reduction of thehazards and consequences so that the need for protection can be minimised.

Practical measures to minimise the installed quantities of halon are described. This covers specifications for new, essential, systems and the short term reduction of inventories in existing systems. The causes of leakage and accidental releases are studied and preventive measures are proposed.

The paper concludes with an overview of the current research into replacement agents and the future outlook.

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