Commercial establishments rely on various types of fire suppression equipment to keep the building, personnel, customers, and overall business safe from deadly and dangerous flames.
People often ask why it’s called fire suppression as opposed to fire extinguishing. After all, don’t fire suppression systems operate much like a fire extinguisher?
The fact is, fire suppression equipment is used to not only extinguish flames, but they are also designed to prevent the spread of fire throughout the building.
Fire suppression systems use a combination of dry chemicals and wet agents to fight fires where they start. The idea is to stop the fire from damaging the business or harming anyone nearby.
Most people know about sprinkler systems, but this is only one specific type of fire suppression system. There are others, and each one is designed for a particular application.
When deciding on fire suppression equipment for your establishment, you will want to choose one that is designed for your environment. Restaurants may have different suppression needs than a data center, for example.
The systems available are categorized by the following suppression agents.
Chemical Clean Agents
These fire suppression systems are fast-acting and clean, which means they don’t leave residue behind once deployed. Commercial establishments that use clean agents tend to be ones with irreplaceable assets, such as servers and computers, artwork and archives, and electronics manufacturers.
These systems use nitrogen, CO2, and argon, or a combination of two or more chemicals. When the agent is deployed, oxygen levels in the room are reduced to the point where combustion cannot be sustained. Many business owners prefer inert gas systems, as the gaseous agents are safe for people and the environment.
When CO2 fire suppression systems are deployed, the entire surface area where the fire exists gets covered in a heavy blanket of gas. Much like inert gas systems, the C02 agent decreases the amounts of oxygen, putting out the fire quickly before it can spread.
Water Mist Systems
While sprinkler systems spray water through nozzles set into the ceiling, these fire suppression systems deploy a fine mist. The mist reduces water usage by 50 to 90 percent, resulting in little to no collateral damage.
If you own a restaurant or have a commercial kitchen like a food truck, you will be happy to know that there are several types of fire suppression systems you can choose from.
Here are a few honorable mentions that will help you prevent a fire from damaging your business or harming your staff or customers.
Kidde Fire Suppression System
Kidde fire suppression systems have been in use since 1917. When you choose a Kidde system, you can have it installed over your cooking appliances or you can buy portable fire extinguishers, or you could choose both for extra protection.
The system can be used to protect char-broilers, commercial fryers, ranges, and other common kitchen appliances. You most often see Kidde fire suppression used in commercial kitchens of casual and family dining restaurants, diners, fast food chains, hotels, and many others.
Armed with both a Kidde alarm control panel and a clean agent system that won’t leave a mess behind, you can keep your kitchen protected at all times.
Range Guard Fire Suppression
Range Guard is a type of fire suppression made by Badger. The system offers 24/7 detection of smoke and heat. When deployed, the wet chemical agent instantly suppresses the fire and prevents it from re-flashing. The system was the first UL-listed wet chemical system and has been in use by commercial establishments around the world for four decades.
A Range Guard system can keep you fire code compliant and help you drastically minimize the risk of fire. The system uses specialized nozzles that have swivel adaptors for superior coverage. The system constantly monitors the area and is designed to activate instantly when flames are detected.
The system automatically turns off gas and appliances when a fire is detected, further protecting your interests. The best part about this type of fire suppression is that the wet chemical agent converts the burning fat and grease to soap, making cleanup a breeze.
Range Guards can be customizable for nearly any application and would be an excellent addition to your commercial kitchen environment.
Learn more about: Post-Fire Smoke Purge Systems: What They Are and Why Your Business Needs One
Since 1968, Buckeye has been making fire suppression equipment for a wide range of industries. The company offers handheld fire extinguishers, a variety of extinguishing agents, and pre-engineered fire suppression systems.
Buckeye offers the Kitchen Mister fire suppression system, gas detection systems, and specialized kitchen portable fire extinguishers.
The products are independently tested, so you can trust that they will work when required, and the company manufactures every component right here in the U.S.A. The company blends its own dry chemical agents and assembles all parts in-house.
The Kitchen Mister uses state of the art misting technology, which not only puts out fire quickly, but also saves your establishment on water costs. The system is considered to be the most effective fixed kitchen fire suppression system ever developed. When you accompany the system with gas detection and portable fire extinguishers, you have the perfect recipe for keeping your commercial kitchen safe from the risk of fire.
Ansul is a popular fire suppression brand. Based in Marinette, Wisconsin, Ansul makes fire extinguishers, pre-engineered restaurant fire suppression equipment, and many others. The systems use dry chemical, foam, and gaseous extinguishing agents, depending on your needs.
Ansul has two new systems that should cause excitement for commercial kitchen establishment owners everywhere. The systems are called the Ansul Piranha and the Ansul R-102 Liquid Agent System.
The Piranha actually deploys two extinguishing agents. The first is a wet chemical agent that knocks the flame down instantly. The next agent to be deployed is a cool-down agent that stops the fire from spreading. By utilizing dual agents, businesses that use the system can count on drastically decreased fire risk.
The Piranha system has twice the coverage of conventional single-agent systems and succeeds in cooling down cooking oils fifteen times faster than wet chemical systems alone.
The Ansul R-102 Liquid Agent System uses specialized nozzles that aim at the source of the flames to put them out fast. The liquid agent deploys at that specific spot, minimizing the risk of collateral damage.
Amerex makes fire suppression equipment for a wide variety of applications. When it comes to protecting restaurants, Amerex definitely has you covered. The company offers handheld fire extinguishers and pre-engineered fire suppression equipment.
The Amerex KP restaurant system is designed to protect the exhaust hood, ductwork, and the appliance it is fitted over. The system deploys a wet chemical agent using a fixed nozzle. The system detects fire and deploys automatically, quickly suppressing the fire while simultaneously shutting off gas or electrical power to the appliance. The system puts out fire and cools the fuel while keeping the vapors contained with a smothering foam reaction.
Experts recommend using a combination of the Amerex KP system and the Amerex Model B260 or B262 wet chemical fire extinguisher. Having both components in your commercial kitchen will provide a one-two attack against the threat of business loss due to commercial kitchen fires.
Pyro Chem Fire Suppression
Pyrochem makes SHUROUT Fire suppression systems for restaurants and other commercial establishments. The system uses clean agent fire suppression that are ideal for commercial kitchens, as deploying the agent will not taint the food. The equipment is designed to suppress fires rapidly while minimizing the chances of the flames spreading. The system is eco-friendly and proven to work.
Learn more about: Fire Restoration Services for Restaurants
Factors to Consider When Selecting Fire Suppression Equipment
Now that you know more about the fire suppression systems available, it is time to choose one for your commercial kitchen business. But not so fast. There are a few factors you should consider that will help you select the best one for your needs and budget.
When discussing the cost-effectiveness of a fire suppression system, we’re not just talking about the original installation. You also need to consider how much it costs to refill and recharge the system if it’s ever deployed.
It’s been about thirty years since the production of Halon as a fire suppression agent was ceased due to its ozone-depleting properties. Today, we have much greener solutions, such as ultra-fine water mist system.
Some fire suppression systems are lightweight, and some are downright cumbersome. When it comes to installing one or more types of fire suppression in your commercial establishment, it helps to know where the systems have to be installed and any other requirements that are needed to make sure you have the room and configuration to make installation feasibly possible.
Before choosing a type of fire suppression, it helps to know what to expect once the system deploys. Will there be a huge mess left behind or will the solution turn the oil and grease to soap for easier cleanup? These are important questions that could save you money and headaches later on.
Make sure the system you select is fire code compliant and that the installation is held to the highest standards.
Mistakes Made During Fire Suppression Installation
Before you go on selecting one or more types of fire suppression systems to use in your commercial kitchen business, it helps to be cognizant of the mistakes you could make as the installation proceeds. Here are some blunders to avoid if you hope to save money and time while keeping your business safe from fire.
Not Reading or Saving the User Manuals
Even if you have professionals install your fire suppression equipment, you should save all the manuals. You never know when you may have a question about maintenance or how the system works. Not only can the user manuals be helpful tools for training staff on fire safety and prevention, but they can also help you troubleshoot problems down the line. Sure, you could Google your questions, but it’s better to have a user manual that contains specific information for your particular make and model.
Not Adhering to Fire Codes
Fire safety codes are designed to regulate the design and style of fire suppression equipment. The codes dictate what type of fire suppression system you should have, and what agents are necessary to put out the likeliest types of fires. Local laws and OSHA codes also guide the design and installation of your fire protection equipment. Failing to abide by these codes could have a negative impact on the equipment’s ability to act in the face of fire, and result in fines or citations from the local fire inspector.
Not Testing the Equipment
You should always test your fire suppression equipment after the installation process is complete. After all, the wrong time to find out the system doesn’t work is when fire rears its hot ugly head. A test immediately following installation can determine if the install went smoothly, and whether the system will perform in the event of a fire. By testing your equipment early and often, you can enjoy fire safety and much-needed peace of mind.
Hiring the Wrong Installation Company
Not all fire suppression installation companies offer the same levels of customer service. At Nationwide Fire Protection, we offer all types of fire suppression equipment, and can confidently point you in the direction of the type of system that is perfect for your needs and budget. We offer the highest levels of customer support and are a full-service brand, which means we can install your equipment and repair or maintain it as necessary as well.
If you are unsure of the type of fire suppression system you need and you still have questions, contact us now in Denver, Colorado . We can provide you with a free estimate for the precise type of fire suppression system you need for ultimate fire protection. Call now to learn more.