What are fire suppression systems and how do they function? This article will tell you everything you need to know about different types of fire suppression systems and how they operate. In the end, you will be better informed about them.
Fire suppression systems are sets of engineered components that are specially designed to put out any accidental fires that may occur. Fire suppression systems are usually found in workplaces, but they may also be used in other places, such as transport vehicles.
A fire suppression system will always have at least one component that extinguishes a fire by applying an external substance. Many fire suppression systems also include components that detect fires as well as signaling mechanisms that alert workers to the problem and prompt them to take further action to suppress the fire. Usually, when a fire is detected, suppression will occur, but there are some fire suppression systems that must be activated manually.
The National Fire Protection Association governs the quality standards for fire suppression systems in the U.S. The methods of fire suppression required as well as the dangers of fire will vary widely depending on the conditions at the workplace. If there are explosion hazards, for instance, or limited evacuation options, as may be found on an oil rig, for instance, the fire suppression system will require a more extensive range of components. Because of the huge variety of types of fires and required responses that may occur, OSHA and other safety organizations operating at the international level have a variety of standards for fire suppression that vary depending on the conditions of the workplace and what hazards are found there.
Sprinkler systems and other water-based fire suppression systems are very popular since water is readily available and poses a low risk to human health. However, for fires with a liquid source, wet agents may be ineffective and run the risk of spreading the fire. In cases like these, a dry agent is preferable and is often used.
In some situations, the source of the fire is difficult to reach or extinguish. This may occur in an electrical system among other places. For these cases, sometimes a total flooding system is used, saturating an entire room with suppressant. If the proper safety procedures are not followed, total flooding systems are dangerous and can cause grave harm to humans. If one is trapped in a gas-based total flooding system, asphyxiation or pressure related trauma can occur.
Weber Fire and Safety can service your fire extinguishers and will also install or inspect your fire suppression systems. If flammable or combustible liquids are used in your manufacturing process, areas using them will require FM 200, carbon dioxide, dry chemical, or wet chemical fire suppression systems. These systems use gases or chemical agents which are specifically designed to asphyxiate a fire wherever it starts. In places where sprinklers would damage the area’s contents, specific, non-water based fire suppression systems are used. You will now have insight into the common types of fire suppression systems and their applications.