Halon disposal

Graphic-BCF extinguisher

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.

How do I get rid of Halon?

The National Halon Bank operates a freecall service to advise you on disposal of halon. Call 1800 658 084 to arrange for the disposal of any unwanted halon product.

Halon may also be disposed of at most metropolitan 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.

If you believe you or your company meets the criteria for an exemption from disposal fees and charges, please complete a halon disposal form.

Why should I get rid of my Halon fire extinguisher?

It has been illegal to own or use halon based fire protection systems in Australia since 1995. It has also been illegal for fire protection technicians to service halon systems since that date.

Graphic-BCF extinguisher

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 only rarely and based on the need to preserve human life where no alternatives are available.

International disposal

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 here on Halon recycling, reclaiming and other services offered by the National Halon Bank.