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Different Types of Fire Suppression Systems


When it comes to choosing a fire suppression system for your business, the options can seem limitless – and with so many options can come a lot of confusion.

Which system works best for your particular environment? Do you have expensive equipment to protect, or flammable materials to consider?

In this blog, we’re breaking down six of the most common types of fire suppression systems and explaining the uses for each one, to help decode some of these common questions.

Clean Agent Suppression Systems

This type of system is ideal for a wide range of situations, especially instances when delicate equipment or precious objects must be protected, such as in a hospital or museum.

These systems use gaseous agents that are electrically nonconductive, and that don’t leave a residue afterward. This is why they are so good in those specific instances – they’ll put out the fire without leaving damage behind.

CO2 Suppression Systems

This suppression system uses either high-pressure or low-pressure CO2 and can protect a large room or a specific piece of equipment in a fire.

CO2 works to stop a fire by removing oxygen from the situation while also cooling the fire. However, for it to work, it must use an amount of CO2 that is fatal to humans – making its suitable applications pretty limited. They can only be used in situations where no people will be present.

Dry Chemical Suppression Systems

These systems are used in situations like gas stations, where a special type of fire suppression response is required.

The way these work is pretty much how it sounds – they use dry chemicals to put out a fire. Typically, there’s a large, pressurized tank on site and in the case of a fire, the valve opens, and the dry chemical powder is released through nozzles to extinguish the fire.

Foam Suppression Systems

Foam suppression systems work by using foam agents to extinguish fires. The way they work is twofold – the foam suppresses and cools the fire itself, and it also separates the fire from the surface that’s fueling it. These foam agents are typically made up of water, foam concentrate and air, and different manufacturers use different formulas for the foam, depending on the usage. Foam is also great for preventing reignition, which can be a concern in certain situations, such as flammable liquid storage areas.

This type of system requires cleaning of the affected area once it’s used, because it will leave residue behind.

Aerosol Suppression Systems

Aerosol systems work by using a combination of microparticles and gas to flood an area in case of a fire. Generally, the particles will cool the flames on contact, therefore suppressing the fire until it is extinguished. There are a variety of different chemicals that can do this, such as potassium nitrate.

These systems are best for protecting relatively small enclosures, and they shouldn’t be used in areas where people are. They’re best for equipment rooms or similar situations where people are not present.

Water Suppression Systems

iStock-538324501-2Typically, a fire suppression system refers to non-water-based systems, but technically, water sprinklers are one of the most common kinds of suppression systems. It’s what most people probably think of when they consider fire suppression systems. The way these systems work is water is distributed via pipes and sprinklers to put out a fire. It’s relatively cheap, and pretty effective – but it will douse the entire area in water and cause damage, which of course isn’t ideal for many scenarios.

Which system do you need?

When it comes to selecting a fire suppression system, we know there can be a lot of questions – and you might even need different types of systems in different parts of your building. With a preferred fire protection company, they are there to help you choose a plan that won’t only be as effective as possible, but will also protect your people and property best, whatever special considerations you may have

Tags: preferred protection, business, industry