fire suppression systems

Fire suppression systems

Fire suppression systems are used to completely extinguish a fire or to prevent it from spreading across a building. To swiftly extinguish equipment fires before they spread, a suppression system might employ a combination of dry chemicals and/or wet agents.

What are fire suppression systems?

Fire suppression equipment is an active fire protection solution that put out flames without the need for human involvement. Depending on the application, these systems can use different types of extinguishers, each suited to a certain type of business or application. And although these systems activate automatically, human activation is also possible if needed.

Where do you need fire suppression systems?

Automatic fire suppression systems are perfect for locations with high fire risks, such as commercial kitchens and main electrical rooms. An automated system provides you with the assurance that flames on your property will be extinguished quickly and effectively. 

Types of fire suppression systems

There are various types of fire suppression systems and choosing one of another will depend on the type of fire risk that a particular space has. 

FM200 (gas)

FM200 is the commercial name of ‘heptafluoropropane’, an odourless halocarbon. Unlike water and other foam-based fire suppression technologies, FM200 is a very good option for data centres because it doesn’t harm electronic devices and can be used in an enclosed environment. However, if there is a big space or the gas must be diverted to other areas/rooms, FM200 might not be the best option as it does not move well.

FM200 principally extinguishes a fire by absorbing heat by starting a chemical reaction that reduces the temperature and puts out the fire. It is stored as a liquid, so it doesn’t occupy much space. 

This fire suppression system has a rapid onset of action, extinguishing a fire in under 10 seconds, limits the amount of equipment destroyed, is safe to inhale and is environmentally friendly. 

Argonite (gas)

There are alternative gas-based fire suppression systems, such as Argonite, that data centres may utilise to prevent the above concerns in addition to FM200.

Inergen (gas)

Inergen is a gas fire suppression system – a mixture of naturally occurring gases such as nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide with a little quantity of carbon dioxide. Just like Argonite, Inergen is an effective fire suppression system for extinguishing a fire and avoiding re-ignition with minimal risk to humans or damage to equipment.

It is also environmentally friendly and safe to inhale. Inergen is often used in laboratories, server/computer rooms and archives. 

Kitchen fire suppression systems (chemical foam) 

Kitchen fire suppression systems are beneficial in restaurants, student housing, and hostels, as well as other structures with a large number of tiny cooking hobs and equipment.

Although fire extinguishers and fire blankets are important fire-fighting equipment to have on hand, a kitchen hood fire suppression system can be more effective since it functions automatically in case of fire.

Kitchen suppression systems can be concealed under the cooker hood or a nearby cupboard. They are usually an extinguisher that’s intended to put out burning oil or grease with a wet chemical agent (saponification fluid) based on an alkaline solution. This sort of agent is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and easy to clean up, so it doesn’t cause much damage to the parts of the kitchen that haven’t been directly affected by the fire. 

Foam deluge systems

Deluge suppression is great for fire protection in a wide, open area or a tiny enclosure where total flooding is necessary. For example, they are often used in waste and recycling factories, renewable energy plants, chemical and power plants and airport hangars.

Deluge systems are useful as area protection systems that cover vast industrial areas or as equipment protection systems or structural protection systems are meant to safeguard structurally significant places.

A deluge fire suppression system employs an open distribution pipe network, which is generally coupled to a number of valves that allow the necessary suppression chemical to be discharged in specified locations. In the case of a fire, water curtains restrict the passage of smoke or heat, making it easier for employees to carry out successful evacuation procedures.

Deluge suppression systems may be tailored to protect a single piece of equipment or a specific location, giving you total control.

Sprinklers

Fire sprinkler systems may be installed in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, hotels, and even warehouses and various businesses.

Heat causes sprinklers to respond, so when the temperature in a room containing a sprinkler exceeds 60–70 degrees, the fire sprinkler system will spray water around the room, suppressing the fire that produced the temperature rise.

Water mist fire suppression systems

Water mist is starting to replace sprinklers. The mist evaporates and creates starvation of oxygen effect rather than cooling, which may be utilised for flammable liquids and electrical rooms.

It avoids the mess caused by chemical kitchen fire suppression and sprinklers, and unlike the latter, it doesn’t require big pumps and tank reservoirs.

Pneumatic heat detection tube 

Pneumatic heat detection tubes are simple to install and very cost-effective. They are essentially an extinguisher with a valve and a heat-detecting tube.

When a flame or temperature around the pipe reaches a particular level, it blows a small pressurised hole, propelling the agent straight onto the area where the fire is. This makes it very useful for locations with very limited space, including boats, lorries and cars.

Are fire suppression systems enough?

Even if you have a fire suppression system in place, you’ll still need fire alarms, fire doors, and signs, and you’ll still need to provide regular staff fire training to your employees. At 1st Attendance, we provide fire safety training courses for all types of businesses, both on-site and online, including fire warden training, fire marshal training and fire awareness courses.