Fire Suppression Systems

Fire suppression allows for human intervention in preventing ignition or re-ignition of fire thereby saving lives and the environment. When most people think of fire suppression systems, they tend to immediately think of active suppression such as sprinklers and extinguishers. While these are important parts of a fire suppression plan, they’re not the only parts. Fire suppression is a science, and there are many components that a skilled suppression system designer will integrate into a solution.

The first components to consider are active components:

– In order for a suppression system to be effective, the first thing it must do is detect a fire – professional suppression will use numerous sensors and alarms to detect heat, smoke, and other signs of fire

– Once the alarm is triggered, relatively low tech devices such as fire hydrants, fire buckets, and fire axes may be made available depending on the nature of the space – in some cases, straight forward fire extinguishers may be able to extinguish a fire before the full suppression system is activated.

– Once a fire is detected, the fire may be combatted with sprinkler systems (wet or dry) or chemical based systems (gaseous systems that displace oxygen, foam systems, or other extinguishing agents)

– Suppression systems can be designed to make fire fighting easier for fire professionals – placement of fire hydrants and plumbing of pipes for fire fighters can help protect a business in case of fire.

Beyond active components, a properly designed system will incorporate passive components – such as firewalls, fire-stops, grease-ducts, and fire-rated materials to help slow the spread of fire, and limit exposure, and protect high risk materials from heat and flame sources. While these components will not necessarily stop a fire, they can help prevent or slow a fire so that professional fire fighters can more easily contain it.

Properly designed fire suppression systems involve quite a bit more than simple sprinklers and fire extinguishers – if you have people or assets to protect, speak to a professional suppression system designer such as Opticom to make sure that your suppression plan is adequate to both protect your assets and comply with regulations.