Phoenix Pacific

A Guide To Fire Suppression Systems

Fire Suppression Systems have been around for over 100 years. They are found in all sorts of applications. Commercial airplanes have them and every restaurant in the country has at leas one. But what are fire suppression systems and is it something that is right for my building? This short guide can answer some of those questions.

What is a Fire Suppression System?

The name is a big indicator in that a Fire Suppression System withholds or subdues a fire without human intervention. Fire sprinklers are considered a fire suppression system. However, the term “Fire Suppression System” is more commonly used to identify systems that use gas, foam, or chemicals to suppress a fire. Within that context, a fire suppression system is a hybrid of a fire sprinkler and a fire alarm system.

How Does It Work?

Fire Suppression systems use detectors to identify potential fires in a similar way a fire alarm system uses those detector devices. Because detectors are electronic devices, they require a control panel. When a detector connected to a fire suppression control panel detects smoke, heat, or CO2, the control panel sends a signal to releasing valves at tanks that sore the fire fighting agent. The valves open and release the gas, foam, or chemical that travels down pipes and is released through nozzles into the protected space. Additionally, the fire suppression system will activate alarms connected to the control panel similarly to how a fire alarm system would alarm. The Fire Suppression Control Panel might even be connected to the building’s fire alarm system and notify that system.

Alternatively, the control panel might be monitored by a central sation which would jump into action if a notification were sent.

What are common applications?

Let’s start with what you are trying to protect. If the damage done by water is equally as bad as a fire, then you should consider installing a fire suppression system. For example, a library with rare books, museums with precious artifacts and art, or Data Server Rooms with high end electronics, are all prime candidates. Buildings and even vehicles that contain hazardous materials or equipment where water will not work to fight a fire also use Fire Suppression systems. Industries like Oil Rigs, Airplane Hangars, Hazard Material Storage, and Industrial Plants are examples. The type and size of a fire suppression system varies as widely as the applications do, so working with a fire protection engineer in design and layout is critical.

If you want help designing your commercial fire protection system, turn to Phoenix Pacific in Kapolei. This company has 45 years of experience, and it works with businesses throughout Hawaii, Guam, CNMI, FSM, and other outlying U.S. territories in the Pacific. Get more information about their services online, or call them to schedule a consultation.