FM-200 is a compound of carbon, fluorine and hydrogen (CF3CHFCF3). It is colorless, odorless and electrically non-conductive.
It suppresses fire by a combination of chemical and physical mechanisms without affecting the available oxygen. This allows personnel to see and breathe, permitting them to leave the fire area safely.
In the very unlikely instance where a discharge occurs in an occupied space, personnel will be able to see and breathe, permitting them to leave the area safely. As such, the system is authorized for use in normally occupied spaces.
FM-200 has acceptable toxicity for use in occupied spaces when agent concentration is in accordance with NFPA 2001, and the applicable rules of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and US Coast Guard.