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What Are The Main Types Of Fire Suppression Systems?

There are six main varieties of fire suppression systems that are installed based on the nature of the industry.

1. The Wet Fire Sprinkler System

Wet fire sprinkler fire suppression systems are an effective way of preventing and controlling fire hazards and providing safety to residential, commercial, and industrial dwellings. It utilizes a network of pipes that are filled with water and are connected to a reliable water source. These pipes are equipped with special sprinkler heads which are designed to detect a rise in temperature and activate automatically to spray water over the affected area. This helps to reduce the burning of combustible materials and minimize the spread of flames, thereby limiting the damage caused by a fire.

A wet fire sprinkler system is composed of sprinklers linked to a piping system that is connected to a water source. Upon activation, the sprinklers discharge the water, but only from those that have been set off by the heat of the fire.

2. The Dry-Pipe Sprinkler System

This particular type of sprinkler system is a system with pipes that are filled with compressed air or nitrogen instead of water. This type of system is commonly installed in areas that have freezing temperatures, where the piping could be susceptible to freezing. This type of system is activated by a heat-sensitive element that will allow the air or nitrogen to be released, thus allowing the water to flow through the piping and activate the sprinkler heads.

A dry-pipe sprinkler system utilizes automatic sprinklers connected to a pipe network filled with nitrogen or air under pressure. When the pressure is released, only the sprinklers triggered by the fire will disperse water from the piping system.

3. Fire Protection Systems for Special Hazards

In places where regular fire extinguishing systems are inadequate, special mechanisms are set up to detect and put out fires. Special hazards can be found in a variety of places, including but not limited to: areas with expensive or irreplaceable equipment, unique assets (museums, archives, art galleries, records storage), and any place where the value of the function or revenue outstrips the worth of the equipment.

Examples of such locations are data centers, telecommunications, power generation, manufacturing and testing facilities, machinery spaces, and healthcare facilities. These areas pose a difficult challenge when it comes to fire protection. Ordinary fire alarm and sprinkler systems may not be enough, so special hazard fire protection offers alternative solutions.

4. Using Dry Chemicals for Fire Suppression Purposes

A dry chemical fire suppression system is a form of extinguishing fires utilizing a powder-based agent to put out the flames. This method works by interrupting the chemical reaction that fuels the fire, making it impossible for the fire to spread or continue.

A proper detection system can be used with pressured dry chemicals to put out fires before they become visible, thus providing resources with protection from substantial harm.

5. Gas-Powered Fire Extinguishers

Gaseous fire suppression systems can be replaced with gas-powered fire extinguishers. These systems are designed to reduce the risk of fire by quickly and effectively cutting off the oxygen supply to the burning area. They are cost-effective, easy to install and maintain, and provide an effective and reliable method of fire protection.

A non-flammable gas, carbon dioxide, is widely used as a fire-extinguisher in places where there are no people present. CO2 has the capacity to put out fires without leaving any hazardous residue behind.

6. Suppression of Fires with Foam-Based Systems

Evidence has demonstrated that foam fire suppression systems can quickly put out fires that involve flammable liquids.

A foam fire suppression system is an efficient and effective method of extinguishing large-scale fires in a short amount of time. It utilizes both water and a foaming agent, which is made up of air-filled bubbles that are less dense than water and consists of foam concentrate, water, and air. The foam separates the fuel from the oxygen and smothers the surface of the fuel to prevent reignition via flammable vapors.

The foam and water are mixed in the piping system and the mixture is then discharged through a nozzle. This type of system is commonly used in areas that involve flammable or combustible liquids, such as aircraft hangars, warehouses, marine applications, and processing areas. There are three types of foam: low, medium, and high expansion, which vary in terms of expansion rate. Each offers its own level of protection.

The benefits of foam suppression systems include efficiency and minimal environmental impact, and they are typically more cost effective. However, considerations should be made before installing a foam system, such as access to an extensive water supply and the need for additional drainage for cleanup. Fire Systems, Inc. is an experienced fire protection company that specializes in the installation, retrofit, and tenant buildout of various types of fire sprinkler systems. They provide code compliant and reliable systems and guide clients through the design and installation processes to ensure fire sprinkler systems are functioning and up to code.

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