Fire breakout in a workplace or building can cause potential damage to both equipment and life. For the safety of every working environment, it’s important to take necessary preventive steps to avoid such accidents.
Traditional water systems don’t help much when it comes to dealing with workplace fire in an effective manner. If you have a restaurant business, for example, you can’t depend on water to protect your cooking equipment and employees from fire. What you really need is an advanced, quick-response fire protection system, so that fire can be extinguished before it causes damage.
Fire in a restaurant or other working environment can be rapidly contained using a fire suppression system. A reputable fire and security company can design and install a fire suppression system to suit the specific needs of your workplace. Apart from having fire extinguishers at your disposal, this is a crucial step that you should take to enhance the safety of your equipment and employees. You just need to be fully aware of how a fire suppression system functions.
What is a Fire Suppression System?
A fire suppression system is an expertly designed set of components that together work to contain fire in an expeditious manner. This responsive protection system is typically used in any workplace or environment which has expensive equipment and appliances and where safety for workers is required.
A fire suppression system consists of multiple components which can detect, sound alarm and extinguish a fire. Some systems are fully automatic while others may need manual support. Before you get a fire suppression system installed in your place or building, you should make sure it is of top quality. If you are running a business in the United States, the system you use will need to follow the standards for quality, as stated by the National Fire Protection Association.
Every workplace or working environment is different. That’s why there are different methods that are used to suppress fire in workplaces where potential damage can be caused due to a fire accident. Some workplaces have costly equipment and valuable assets that must be protected in the event of a fire. There are other environments which make it difficult for employees or workers to move out when a fire breaks out. Likewise, the source of fire varies from one workplace to another, posing a various level of dangers. Engineers design a range of fire suppression systems to contain fire, as per the specific needs of a workplace. There are specialized systems to deal with a source of fire that is hard to reach. The source of fire can either be dry or wet, and there are various suitable agents to douse fire in each case.
The main goal of each fire suppression system is to quickly detect and extinguish fire before it spreads further while ensuring there’s least damage to property, employees and customers in the workplace.
Key Components of a Fire Suppression System
A fire suppression system has a number of electrical and mechanical components, each of which performs a specific function.
These components include:
Being the main component in the system, the control panel is where detection zones, alarm control, and gas release switch located. A fire suppression control panel has 2-4 detection zones, to which are connected a number of detectors located throughout a workplace. It has both manual and automatic switch controls that can be used as per requirement. Depending on the type of suppression system you use, the structure of the control panel may slightly vary.
Early smoke detection is key to successfully suppressing fire in a working environment. Modern fire suppression systems are laced with an advanced smoke detection technology, which is both accurate and rapid. This allows the system to identify the occurrence of fire while it is still in the development stage while saving a place from too much damage.
A fire suppression system features an alarm technology which is used to warn employees and workers in a fire emergency. There are both bells and electronic sounders, used in two stages. As soon as smoke is detected, the system raises the first alarm, which signals danger and is meant for evacuation of workers. If the fire suppression system receives a signal from other detectors too, it raises the second alarm (the electronic sounders). After the second stage alarm is sounded, the system starts to discharge the agent to contain fire.
Cylinder and Gas:
There are different types of fire suppression agents for application in various working environments. These agents can be in liquid or gaseous form and are stored in cylinders as part of the system.
Each component of a fire suppression system is intelligently designed to deal with a variety of fire emergencies. The system can be installed in all types of environments, from a simple storage unit to a large data center. Regardless of what type of agent is used by the suppression system, the purpose is to rapidly detect and contain fire and minimize damage to the workplace and equipment.
Types of Fire Suppression Agents
Fire in a workplace can be doused through various mediums, each of which has highly powerful fire fighting capabilities. Depending on the used mediums, fire suppression systems fall into the following categories.
Also known as clean agent, this fire suppression system uses inert gases and chemical agents to extinguish fire. An inert gas is known for its minimum reactivity with other substances. Examples include helium, argon, neon etc. Use of these gases quickly brings down the level of oxygen to eliminate the possibility of combustion. Since these gases are safe for humans, people can easily evacuate a place even after the fire suppression system has started emission.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a powerful fire suppressant. The gas expands fast and has no smell. When the agent is applied, the oxygen level in a room or area comes down to a very low level, making combustion impossible to occur. The cleanup time for this agent after release is also negligible.
This suppression system uses water to douse flames via a general piping system. The method of applying water onto flames can vary depending on the nature of the hazard or risk. There are four types of water-based systems including wet systems, preaction systems, deluge systems, and dry systems. This type of fire suppression is used in areas like turbine underfloors, standard indoor areas, oil heaters, equipment pits, coal conveyors, rolling mills etc.
In this type of fire suppression, a potassium-based aerosol is used to extinguish fire. When applied, the aerosol comes in contact with the free radicals of the flame and contains fire. Using this extinguisher system, a wide range of machines and equipment can be protected from fire.
Each fire suppression system is meant to be used in a specific type of working environment. The selection of the right fire suppression system depends on the nature of the fire hazard, storage capacity for gas cylinders, location of the workplace and budget among others. If you’re not sure which one suits your needs best, you should seek the expert advice of a fire and security company. There are specialized fire protection systems for each of data centers, MRI rooms, inflammable storage, gas stations, museums, restaurants, libraries etc.
Benefits of a Fire Suppression System
Protection of life and property is extremely important. If you’re running a business, you should definitely get a fire suppression system installed in the workplace to enhance the safety and security of assets. If you already have a suppression system but it’s not as effective as desired, you can have it renovated by a reputable fire protection equipment and services company to suit your needs.
Key benefits of a fire suppression system include:
A modern fire suppression system is designed to detect a fire in the early stage of development. This means installing a suppression system in your place or building will instantly enhance safety and keep your people and property well-protected against the occurrence of fire at all times.
Easy to Use:
No matter which type of fire suppression system you install, it is always easy and safe to use. Most systems operate automatically and no human intervention is required. In some cases, however, you may need manual operation, which you can learn within a few minutes.
Tested for High Performance:
Since a fire suppression system is a mission-critical system, it’s designed in an intelligent manner. After it’s been installed, the fire and security company will test it thoroughly and you can be confident that it will deliver the best results in an emergency situation.
Fuel Source Termination:
In a fire emergency, the first thing that needs to be done is cutting the fuel source. Often, it’s the fuel which increases the intensity of fire and helps the fire to spread. A fire suppression system is efficient enough to kill the source of the fuel without manual intervention.
Having a fire suppression system to deal with a fire emergency is essential for safety of assets and success of your business. Get it installed before you land yourself in a fire emergency which leads to significant damage.
Example: A Restaurant Fire Suppression System
A restaurant’s kitchen is a sensitive workplace. It’s where cooking processes go on for hours on end. A wide variety of tasty dishes are prepared in the kitchen and served to customers. If the kitchen is well-maintained, it helps the chefs, assistants and labors to work efficiently and deliver the best service, which further ensures the arrival of a large number of customers to the restaurant.
Since a kitchen remains continuously exposed to heating, it carries a greater risk of fire than most other working environments. That’s why installing a fire suppression system in a restaurant becomes essential.
In the event of a kitchen fire, significant damage can be done to cooking equipment and workers – unless the emergency situation is dealt with in a rapid manner. Thanks to fire suppression systems that you can use to protect your kitchen in a fire emergency. But the big question is this – What type of fire suppression agents should be used in a restaurant? If the source of fire is grease, applying water to the flame will only spread the fire more. Using fire extinguishers can destroy food items in the kitchen. There are specialized fire suppression systems to deal with the unique nature of fire risks in a kitchen. Apart from following some cleaning tips, you should get the right type of fire suppression system installed in your restaurant.
Typically, a restaurant fire suppression system links to both the kitchen hood and the gas line at once. So, as soon as the suppression system is activated, the gas line gets blocked. This helps contain the fire without any delay because the source of fuel is eliminated. The system also comes along with another element to douse fire which is caused from grease. On the other hand, the nozzles fitted in the ventilation system also release a special fire suppression agent (water-based chemical) to extinguish the fire before it gets a chance to intensify.
Finally, the suppression system enables the kitchen hood to quickly get rid of the smoke created by the extinguished fire.
There are multiple companies that produce restaurant fire suppression systems. So, the actual structure and function of one suppression system may slightly vary from another. Every suppression system comes along with a manual which you can go through to learn more about how a particular system functions. The fire and security company you choose to install a fire suppression system can explain everything about a system (and its components) you should know. The installation service provider can also customize a suppression system to suit the specific needs of your kitchen in terms of size and the releasing amount of fire suppressant.