An effective fire protection infrastructure is necessary for all commercial and private buildings. A fire suppression system is among the most crucial elements of your fire protection configuration and helps identify and extinguish potential fire threats.
There are different fire suppression systems primarily because of the range of substances used to extinguish fires. Read on to learn more about the range of applications within a fire suppression system, how it works, and the types of configurations available.
How Does a Fire Suppression System Function?
The essence of all fire suppression systems is to detect fires as early as possible using built-in components and features. The system can identify potential fire threats through the building's presence of flames and smoke. After detection, it will initiate an alarm that enforces action towards putting out the fire before it spreads.
Fire suppression systems are active fire protection strategies that trigger a system in response to the presence of fire. Some of these systems also have other components and features that effectively extinguish the flames and smoke. Let’s take a look at the key components of these systems.
What Are the Key Components of an Active Fire Suppression System?
- Alarm initiating devices like heat or smoke detectors identify fire symptoms and activate the system.
- Fire notification devices like horns or bells alert the housed individuals of potential fire danger.
- Automatic fire suppression devices extinguish the fire using chemicals or water. Some examples include fire sprinklers, condensed aerosols, and gaseous fire suppressors.
- Fire extinguishers can help the suppression system put out the fire. These handheld devices also help with solving minor emergency fire situations and should be easily accessible.
- Control panel allows system management by turning the system off and on.
- Backup power supply ensures the suppression system remains operational even after power failure.
5 Common Types of Fire Suppression Systems
Here are the five common types of fire suppression systems and why you should have them installed immediately.
Gas suppression systems create the ideal fire protection infrastructure for rooms with a lot of electrical equipment since they don’t use water. These systems store fire-suppressing liquids pressurized with nitrogen to extinguish office fires.
Immediately after fire detection, it suppresses flames by quickly releasing FM200, a chemical agent found in the liquid. The liquid-condensed gaseous agent is stored in compact cylinders, making the entire setup easy to transport and store.
- It saves space since it's stored as a liquid
- It's safe for humans because there's no oxygen reduction on discharge
- The cylinder is in the same room, which makes the installation easy
Wet Chemical Foam Systems
The ideal fire suppression system for kitchens is the wet chemical foam system. The system emits a water-based chemical foam agent in a localized region to prevent fire from spreading. Specialists recommend placing them under your cooker's canopy. Activation is through a manual switch or a heat link.
- No electrical work required
- Easy to install and use
- No property damage
Water Mist Systems
If you have a spacer that can’t be exposed to water, you should highly consider water mist suppression systems. The system extinguishes fire by releasing smaller droplets than conventional sprinkler systems release. The layer of steam created then starves the fire from oxygen and significantly reduces the temperature of the affected rooms.
Water mist systems also create a more sustainable fire suppression system since they use less water than traditional prospects. They make the ideal replacement for sprinklers in massive data rooms or areas with local applications.
- Water is cheap and readily available, making it more cost-effective to cover large rooms
- There’s no flooding risk since it uses less water
- There’s no pump power or large water storage requirements
Foam Deluge Systems
When configuring your fire suppression system, flammable liquids are always a concern. Foam deluge systems help control the spread of these elements and limit their contribution to spreading the fire. You'll likely find these fire suppression systems in refineries, industrial warehouses, or aircraft hangers.
Flammable liquids can rapidly accelerate fire spread and cause more damage if not careful. Foam deluge systems have the perfect design to release suppressive materials and control the burning of flammable liquids using a mixture of foam and water.
The foam consistency creates a thick blanket that starves the fire of oxygen and manages the release of flammable gases. Unlike other fire suppression systems, foam deluge systems deal with structural fires even when combustible gases are present.
- It can cover large areas
- It guarantees protection to locations dealing with flammable elements
- It’s ideal for external areas
Pneumatic Heat Detection Tube
Another not-so-popular fire suppression system is the pneumatic heat detection tube. It features a design similar to fire extinguishers and is among the most compact and mobile systems.
The pneumatic heat detection tube features a pipe and a valve. The system requires installing the pipe at the potential fire source and emitting a suppressive agent via the valve onto the flames once the temperatures reach a specific level.
Unlike other systems, pneumatic tubes deal with fire in their early stages. The system is ideal for small rooms like cabinets, cupboards, or boats.
- It only uses a small amount of agent to tackle a fire
- It has low installation and maintenance costs since there are no electrical parts or pipe work involved
- It’s mobile
- You can install the system in small intricate areas, including machinery
What Are The Benefits of Installing Fire Suppression Systems?
Reduced Risk of Death
Installing a fire suppression system significantly reduces your structure's risk of death. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there’s a 60% decrease in the risk of fire deaths in facilities with functioning fire sprinklers. The risk of death would decrease if you integrated your fire suppression system with the traditional methods like smoke alarms to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Reduce Risk of Property Damage
Fire is destructive and can cause a lot of damage to your property if it’s not controlled on time. The traditional extinguishing procedure also inflicts property damage. You may observe extensive damage to the visual appearance and property structure when the fire brigade sprays water to extinguish the fire.
Fire suppression systems use more gentle approaches to extinguish the fire. Common elements used to put out fire include using a mixture of foam and water or sprinkling water.
The maintenance required for fire suppression systems is very little. Since fires don’t often occur, you may hardly ever have to use the system. Most installers need an annual maintenance check to confirm the system is in optimal condition.
Property Value Increase
The property will increase its value after installing an effective fire suppression system. Potential buyers are attracted more to properties with protective systems since it means more security and reassurance.
In order to keep your commercial building safe, you should install fire safety systems. With these systems, you can keep your employees, clients, consumers, and inventory safe from fire damage. Using the information shared here, you can better understand fire suppression systems and identify the ideal configuration for your property. Call our team at Sirina Fire Protection Corp today for guidance and to schedule an installation for your commercial property.