How Do Fire Suppression Systems Work?
There are several types of fire suppression agents used by our systems to quickly put out fires in the affected areas:
- Chemical Clean Agent Suppression: Chemical fire suppression agents use a synthetic cooling agent to quickly reduce and absorb heat and extinguish flames. They are effective at combating all types of fire hazards, but some are toxic in high quantities and can reduce the oxygen level in a room, leading to a potential asphyxiation hazard. For these reasons, the agents we use are 99% biodegradable and are designed to minimise oxygen consumption, and we work with our customers closely to match the best choice of the chemical agent to the usage of the room and its occupancy patterns.
- Gas suppression: Gas suppression systems use an inert pressurised gas to starve a fire of oxygen. These systems are a good choice in sealed, environmentally controlled rooms (e.g. server rooms) where it is inappropriate to use a liquid or chemical suppressant. The gases themselves are generally non-toxic but do deplete oxygen levels. The agents we work with restrict oxygen depletion levels to 12 to 15%, which is enough to quickly suppress the fire.
- Room integrity tests: A room integrity test is required by UK building regulations before you install a gas fire suppression system, at least once per year and whenever changes are made to the protected space. The test uses controlled airflow to measure the leakage rate in the room, ensuring that fire suppression gases are adequately contained. A test must be carried out to ISO-14520 and NFPA-2001 (National Fire Protection Association) standards for each room in which gas fire retardants are used. Please contact us for more information.
- Condensed Aerosol Suppression: Aerosol suppression agents are an environmentally friendly alternative to some chemical and gas agents, used where an effective suppression strategy needs to be balanced with the needs of human health and those of the environment. Aerosol suppressants use a microparticle vapour discharge to break the chemical chain reaction that sustains a fire. Some do this by ‘smothering’ the flames with large inert microparticles, while others actively absorb and reduce heat.