Fire is one of the worst hazards businesses face, as it can destroy your property, injure your employees and customers, and cause considerable damage if it burns for long enough and spreads to other areas. To be prepared, you need to learn about the different fire suppression systems available and determine which would best fit your needs.
Fire extinguishers are not the only option for fire suppression systems. Exploring options beyond just fire extinguishers can benefit your business. Therefore, knowing what are the different fire suppression systems and which will work best for you and your business is essential. Here are the most common systems you should know about and how they can help save you from disaster.
What Is A Fire Suppression System?
A fire suppression system, from the name itself, is a system that suppresses and/or extinguishes a fire within a property. The system is typically installed in several areas throughout the building. It gets activated by smoke or heat, which then acts to extinguish the fire. It is an essential investment whether you’re opening your first bakery or have been in the business for decades. The right kind of fire suppression system can keep your building and your employees safe from harm.
How to Choose the Right Fire Suppression System
Choosing the right fire suppression system for your business is vital to keep your employees, property, and livelihood safe. There are several factors to consider when choosing the right system.
- What type of fire is most likely to happen in your workplace?
- Do you have hazardous materials on site?
- How many occupants will be present should a fire occur?
- What type of building construction do you have?
- Where is the best place to locate the nearest fire extinguisher inside your building?
Considering these questions makes it easier to determine what type of fire protection system you need. For example, a suppression system may be necessary if there is an explosion hazard on-site or a high probability that flammable liquids or gases will get ignited.
On the other hand, if your workers are mostly indoors and only small amounts of combustible material are occasionally brought into the work area, then an automatic sprinkler system may be sufficient.
Foam Deluge Systems
The best way to control fire spread in an environment with flammable liquids is by using foam deluge systems. Foam deluge systems allow for quick protection of hazardous material over large areas, effectively mitigating dangerous fires in refineries or industrial warehouses where flammable liquids may exist. Alarms are frequently installed in refineries, aircraft hangars, and industrial warehouses because they can rapidly transform into extremely dangerous environments should a fire incident occur.
Foam deluge systems are best suited for large areas or where water cannot be used, like transformers, oil tanks, and storage silos. When activated, a Deluge system’s sprinkler heads open and release water into the piping. There are three ways to start it: hydraulic release for those with an A-line system, pneumatic or electrical activation, and a manual button that can be operated by a professional.
Water And Water Sprinkler Systems
Most people choose to have the most commonly used fire suppression system installed inside their homes or businesses, which is a system that relies on water. It’s either an automatic sprinkler system that turns on as soon as it senses heat or smoke or a manual sprinkler system that needs to be turned on.
Fire sprinklers are an effective way to control and suppress fires. When activated by heat or smoke (or both), fire sprinklers release water, which is sometimes more potent than other types of agents used in traditional suppression methods like alarms or foam specialisation systems.
There are many advantages of using sprinklers on fire suppression systems, such as they can be less expensive to operate than other types. Additionally, this means your facility will always have access to water for use during an emergency. However, there may be instances where these devices would not work as expected — such as with grease fires.
Water may be an excellent medium for extinguishing fires, but remember, it’s not the right choice in every situation. In some cases, water can cause more damage than other available agents.
Gaseous Clean Agent Systems
These systems use ideal gases when it comes to putting out a fire and are designed to be safe for humans and the environment. Spaces where you have valuable items, like museums and libraries, can benefit from this suppression system. The three common gaseous fire suppression systems are inert gas, clean chemical agents, and carbon dioxide. Each type has unique properties that work better for different types of fires.
Fire suppression systems that use inert gases are the safest and most natural way to extinguish a fire. When a fire starts, it needs oxygen to spread. Inert gases like argon and purified nitrogen can be used as an effective way of choking out the flames by cutting off their access to oxygen in the air. Using inert gas to limit oxygen concentration in a hazardous environment is an effective way to prevent combustion. When released, it quickly distributes throughout the protected space without any Greenhouse effect or ozone layer depletion potential.
Chemical Clean Agent
Chemical clean agent systems work by discharging and dispersing an inert gas. It extinguishes the fire through heat absorption without leaving behind residue or damage to equipment.
In addition, these some systems require no cleanup after use. Some are also environmentally friendly with an extremely low Global Warming Potential (GWP), making them perfect for occupied spaces.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Carbon dioxide is perhaps the most common clean agent used in fire fighting, with the system being used since the early 1900s. A CO2 fire suppression system is a life-saving tool that can eliminate the oxygen in any space, thus suppressing fires. When this device detects smoke or flames, it releases carbon dioxide, which lowers the oxygen level and thus puts out the fire.
Pneumatic Heat Detection Tubes
There are many types of fire suppression systems on the market, but one that provides an easy and cost-effective solution is pneumatic heat detection tubes. These compact devices can be installed where there may not always be access to water or larger equipment like foam trucks. In addition, the pneumatic heat detection tubes are easy to install and are perfect for entry-level use. This small, portable system uses an agent that it squirts onto the flames when it reaches certain temperatures.
Also, these are great tools for tackling fires in their early stages. They can be located anywhere as they don’t need much room, and because of this, these devices will manage to find the smallest flame to prevent it from spreading further inside your house or car. These particular types do not work well in large areas, though, so if you have high ceilings, we suggest using other options.
Every fire protection company is different, so make sure to choose one that has extensive experience. At Hart Engineering Pte Ltd, for nearly 50 years, we have been in the business of fire prevention. Our expert technicians can advise you on how to protect your building from intense fires.
We also provide various fire protection services, including inspection, maintenance, and repair of fire suppression systems, sprinkler systems, alarm and detection systems. Contact us today to learn more about our products or schedule an appointment for service.