Fire Suppression Systems, Types & How It Works

What Is A Fire Suppression System

Fire suppression system is a system used to extinguish fire or prevent the spread of fire in a building; this system can be either a dry or wet system. The fire suppression system can be manually activated or automatic. Automatic fire suppression systems react to a rapid rise in heat, or fire situation, without any human intervention. These systems contain the same general components:

Component Of A Fire Suppression System

  • Detection element, such as pneumatic tubing or a smoke detector
  • Suppression agent cylinder
  • Pressure switch (optional)
  • Manual release (optional)

Categories Of Fire Suppression Systems

  • Manually activated system, and
  • Automatic activated system

Types Of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems

There are two common types of automatic fire suppression systems

  • Passive, non-electrical systems and
  • Active, electrical systems.

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Types Of Fire Suppression System

  • Fire sprinkler systems (wet, dry, pre-action and deluge): A fire sprinkler system is an active fire protection method, consisting of a water supply system, providing adequate pressure and flowrate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers are connected. Fire sprinkler systems are actually heat activated, one sprinkler head at a time, and most fires usually require only one or two sprinklers to be extinguished.
  • Gaseous agents: These agents are designed to interfere with the chemical combustion process of fire. The advantage with working on a molecular level is faster fire suppression, often within seconds, instead of minutes. Gaseous fire systems are designed with the intent of fire extinguishment as opposed to fire control normally provided by a traditional fire sprinkler system.
  • Wet and dry chemical agents: Dry Chemical Fire Suppression Systems consist of dry chemical compounds that suppress fire effectively. The Dry Chemical Fire Suppression Systems provide excellent fire coverage. The Dry Chemical agents come in ABC or BC. While, Wet Chemical Systems use wet agents to suppress commercial cooking fires. This method of fire protection helps prevent major fire damage from happening in your commercial cooking area. The wet chemical fire suppression systems effectively work because the liquid spray hits a burning surface and quickly reacts with fats and oils to produce foam that cools the surface to prevent the re-igniting of a fire.
  • Water: Water based suppression systems utilize the inexpensive and readily available medium of water to discharge onto flames through a normally fixed piping system. There are 4 main types of Water based Protection Systems. The hazard / risk to be protected will determine the most suitable type of system you need.
  • Fully Automatic Vehicle Fire Suppression Systems: This type of suppression system does not require manual activation, and it is installed in a vehicle.
  • Manual Vehicle Fire Suppression Systems: Requires manual activation for it to work and also installed in a vehicle.
  • External water spray system: An External Water Spray System (EWSS) is a domestic external fire sprinkler system designed to protect homes from bushfires and wildfires.

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How Fire Suppression Systems Works

The way this system work is not unconnected to the agent it utilizes. For example, lets see how the waterless system work.

Waterless fire suppression systems work by releasing a gas or mixture of gasses into the air, generally with the aim of reducing the amount of oxygen in the air that feeds the flames. The clean agent, such as CO2, is often stored a distance away from the area it will be protecting. A network of pipes connected to nozzles are spaced by professionals throughout each potential fire location.

Note: The process of release of the different agents are almost the same, but the agent released work differently to extinguish fire.

Difference Between Fire Sprinkler and Fire Suppression Systems

The main differences between a fire sprinkler and fire suppression systems are how they extinguish fires and when each system would be ideal to use. Fire sprinklers use water to extinguish and control fires, while fire suppression systems can use a number of different agents.

Do I Need A Fire Suppression System?

If you are asking the above question, the answer is yes if you want to protect your property from fire.

Fire is no respecter of building. A lot of fire incidents are reported yearly resulting to loss of lives and property worth Millions of dollars, don’t be a victim, be prepared for it before it comes.

As far as there is tendency of having a naked flame in your building, as far as you operate electrical equipment, as far as there is natural air in your building, there is tendency of fire breakout; so get prepared.

If you have not yet installed a fire suppression system in your home or business premises, contact the professionals. There will assess your structure  determine the type that will work best for you.

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