Fires can break out anywhere and at any time. While homeowners and companies take all the precautions to protect their property from fires, there’s still no surety that an unfortunate incident won’t take place. This is why many fire protection installation companies recommend installing a fire suppression system.
What Is a Fire Suppression System?
A fire suppression system is basically an engineered group of units that are developed to automatically extinguish fire by applying a specific substance. This system also alarms all personnel to take immediate action to minimise the damage.
How Does a Fire Suppression System Work?
A fire suppression system has various built-in elements that detect fires at the initial stage through numerous warning signs such as heat and smoke. These elements are connected to a proficient alarm system that not only alerts you in case of a fire breakout but also initiates a process to suppress the fire as soon as it is triggered. Most of the fire suppression systems automatically release an external substance to put out a fire after it is detected, but there are also certain fire suppression systems that release a substance through manual application.
Types of Fire Suppression Systems
It is critical to know about the different types of fire suppression systems in order to choose the right one. Various fire suppression systems serve numerous purposes and are developed to cater to specific threats.
Carbon Dioxide Fire Suppression Systems
One of the most popular types of fire suppression systems is the carbon dioxide system. This highly efficient fire suppression system uses colourless and odourless CO2 gas to extinguish fires. You can expect low expenses and downtime during installation.
Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems
Like the name suggests, a clean agent fire suppression system is extremely eco-friendly. This efficient system uses environmentally friendly chemical reagents, instead of water, to extinguish fires in highly sensitive areas. For instance, they can be used to protect data centres, computers and equipment. Moreover, the cleanup process is extremely easy.
Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems
There are high chances of fires in a restaurant due to all the activity in the kitchen. For this purpose, a restaurant fire suppression system is carefully tailored to extinguish fires that are fuelled by grease. This special fire suppression system makes the use of wet chemicals in a fine mist to instantly seize the fire. Moreover, this system also offers a quicker cleanup process compared to dry chemicals.
Industrial Fire Suppression Systems
Fires can easily break out in industrial plants without any prior warning. Since they are such high-hazard zones, an industrial fire suppression system is used to put out any fires that may be sparked by fuels, chemicals and other dangerous materials. These extremely efficient fire suppression systems use dry chemicals in order to extinguish fires.
Installation of a Fire Suppression System
After you have chosen a fire suppression system that suits your needs and your fire protection design has been created, it’s time to install the system. The installation process is typically conducted by authorised distributors or application engineers. The time required to install a fire suppression system usually depends on the complexity of the equipment being protected, the components being installed and the system itself. For example, an industrial fire suppression system will take longer to install than a normal one.
The installation process of a pneumatic system takes around 4 hours, whereas installing an electrical system requires up to 16 hours. This will again depend on the complexity of the installation. Electrical systems take long to install due to the electrical wiring and routing. On the other hand, a pneumatic fire suppression system doesn’t require any power or battery backup for activation.
Commissioning, Inspection, and Maintenance
The final step after the installation of the fire suppression system is commissioning. This step of the process involves the final inspection, testing of all the components and the activation of the system to its commissioned state. Once the commissioning of the system is over, you need to maintain it religiously and conduct regular inspections to ensure that it is performing optimally.
The key to installing an efficient and effective fire suppression system is to have a fire protection design. You need to start by assessing all your fire hazards, evaluating the type of equipment you require, the area your system will protect and the type of suppression agent you need. Keeping all these factors in mind, a unique fire suppression system will be designed for your needs. If you are not sure about which fire suppression system to opt for, then contact your local fire protection installation company. They can help you figure out which fire suppression system is the best for you and help you with the overall process.
Ken Thomas is the director at Total Fire Solutions, a leading manufacturer of fire suppression systems in the Pacific Rim and one of the top 3 independent distributors for the Asia Pacific region. His vision is to create a 'one stop shop' fire protection company committed to NSW mining and heavy industry. He is passionate, innovative and excited by the latest developments in fire protection technology.