What does fire suppression mean? How do fire suppression systems work? Read on to find out more.
Fire outbreaks are usually deadly and destructive especially when adequate fire protection measures aren’t provided.
Now, there are tons of provisions that help contain a fire situation and this article will be discussing such. Fire suppression techniques are available to help bring a fire situation under control.
What Is Fire Suppression?
The key objectives of fire suppression are to provide cooling, prevent further spread, and ultimately extinguish the fire.
This article will be discussing all of these suppression techniques or methods as well as the different systems available for this firefighting action.
So, are you ready to learn, sit back, relax and read on!
Fire Suppression Products, Systems, and Methods
When it comes to fire suppression, there are multiple ways through which solutions are administered.
These include the use of fire suppression products, the utilization of fire suppression systems, as well as the adoption of a preferred or most appropriate method.
Here, the outcome is paramount as the objective is to extinguish the fire before it does much damage. Also, there’s a need to salvage what’s left of the carnage.
With this said, let’s consider each of these solutions as follows;
i. Fire Suppression Products
There’s a huge industry that caters to firefighting.
Here, major players include manufacturers of a variety of fire extinguishing products. These consist of varying brands with major players already controlling a large chunk of the market.
Examples of fire suppression products being produced include fire grooved couplings, fire sprinklers, fire valves & devices, as well as antifreeze.
Others include fire extinguishers, industrial systems, restaurant systems, vehicle systems, residential fire sprinkler systems, and water mist fire protection solutions.
In addition, fire suppression products include gaseous systems & control panels, fire sprinkler system design & software, hazardous spill control, foam, concentrates, hardware, cold storage fire sprinkler systems, and mechanical fittings & supports.
These are only a few of many products being produced by fire suppression product manufacturers. Although these are all geared towards fire suppression, each is designed to achieve a definite purpose.
With this said, let’s take a look at the different fire suppression systems available.
ii. Fire Suppression Systems
These are special fire hazard protection options that help combat fire problems through suppression. They include the use of water mist systems, chemical clean agents, CO2 systems, and inert gases.
As expected, each system serves a purpose in fire suppression. Let’s take a look at each system as follows;
Water Mist Systems
This technology is an improvement to the traditional water sprinkler system.
For this system to function, it’s either plugged into a building’s water supply or in cases where the building is remote, such may be connected to the independent water reservoir or system.
The advantage of water mist systems over water sprinklers is the efficiency in water use. Water use is significantly reduced with efficiency levels ranging from 50% to 90%.
With such efficiency, damage to furniture or other properties is reduced to a bare minimum. As the fire gets suppressed and extinguished, you also get to salvage some property still in good condition.
Chemical Clean Agents
During a fire outbreak, certain fire suppression systems or techniques end up ruining assets.
In other words, such assets or properties may not be damaged by the fire itself, but by the suppression technique used. This is quite common when using water sprinklers.
To find solutions to such problems, a better system known as the chemical clean agent technique was birthed.
Here, properties ranging from electronic gadgets like servers, computers, and other electronics are saved. Also saved from damage are artworks or any other property that could be damaged by water.
Two objectives are achieved through the use of chemical clean agents; fire suppression, and damage prevention to irreplaceable assets.
Another improvement in fire suppression is the development and design of CO2 systems.
Because oxygen is one of the vital requirements for combustion, the CO2 system is designed to form a fire blanket of CO2 gas which prevents oxygen from reaching the fire. This in turn suppresses and quenches the fire eventually.
While this is a great innovation, it’s not ideal for indiscriminate use due to the safety risks of CO2. CO2 systems are only used around areas considered inaccessible to humans.
Generally, the target area is cleared of anyone for purposes of safety.
Ever heard of Inert gases?
In situations where CO2 applications are considered risky due to human presence, inert gases become the perfect substitute. The good thing with these gases is that they’re safe to use around humans.
Like CO2, inert gases starve the fire of oxygen.
It’s a well-known fact that most combustion requires the presence of oxygen. When inert gases are applied, they readily suppress the fire and extinguish it eventually.
So, what are examples of inert gases? Common examples include argon nitrogen and several others. Sometimes, a mixture of these with CO2 is used.
iii. Fire Suppression Methods
Some of the most popular fire suppression methods include cooling, smothering, and starvation.
Some of these methods may include the use of some products and systems mentioned above. For a better understanding of what they’re about, let’s discuss each as follows.
The fire suppressing act of the cooling technique is seen when the source of ignition is eliminated.
Whether it be naked flame or sparks, such cooling ensures that the source is removed to allow for suppression and containment of the fire.
Smothering is a different kind of fire suppression method in the sense that it seeks to cut oxygen supply from the fire. This immediately brings to mind the different examples we’ve discussed above.
Here, the fire may either be covered with some special equipment or certain gases (inert) may be applied.
The starvation method gives you an idea of how the fire is suppressed. Here, the fuel giving rise to the fire is removed or shut off. It doesn’t matter in what form the fuel is.
The most important point is that there’s no longer fuel to combust. This instantly leads to fire suppression and its eventual extinguishment.
Understanding fire suppression is critical to the process of putting out a fire. We’ve seen the different ways through which such fire could be put off.
You only need to apply any that best fits your situation to take control of the fire situation. More important is the need to have firefighters handle your fire problem.