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Does My Building Need a Fire Suppression System?

Posted on: June 24, 2018

When it comes to protecting your property from fire, it’s essential to have the proper extinguishing equipment at the ready. Fire sprinklers are the go-to option for ordinary office buildings, retail stores, and similar commercial properties, but this may not be the best choice for all applications.

After all, sensitive electronic equipment, priceless archives, and delicate paper documents could be damaged just as badly by water as it is by fire and smoke. Plus, spraying water on some types of fires is highly ineffective and only encourages them to spread.

Fortunately, there’s another option for safeguarding your assets known as automatic fire suppression. This uses wet chemicals, dry chemicals, gases, liquids, or foam to suppress fires while minimizing property damage, clean-up, and downtime for your business.

Industries that Benefit from Fire Suppression Systems

In short, if you own a business with delicate assets and electronics, or if water isn’t a suitable extinguishing agent for the types of fires that could ignite in your building, you need a fire suppression system. Here are some specific industries that benefit from this type of fire protection:

Restaurants

Grease fires splatter and spread if you attempt to douse them with water. That’s why the food service industry requires kitchen fire suppression systems. When discharged, the wet chemical extinguishing agent cools the metal cooking surfaces and combines with the hot grease and oil to form soap, a process called saponification. The residue left behind is easy to clean up, so you can resume business as usual in no time.

Commercial Vehicles

Oversized vehicles used for industrial and commercial purposes have a high risk of fire, which puts the operator in grave danger. Commercial vehicle fire suppression combats fires caused by the engine, battery, transmission, brakes, hoses, and other sources. Dry chemical and wet chemical agents are appropriate for battling commercial vehicle fires.

Industrial

Steel mills, chemical plants, printing presses, and other industrial buildings are at risk of chemical leaks, spills, and fume build-up. These hazards require industrial fire suppression to keep your building, assets, and workers safe in an emergency.

Spray Paint & Body Shops

In an environment constantly exposed to dangerous chemicals and fumes, auto body paint shop fire suppression is essential to promote safety in your business. Industrial-strength dry chemical agents are suitable for this application.

Hazardous Material Storage

If a fire breaks out in a room filled with flammable liquids, combustible gases, or other dangerous materials, water would only spread the flames. Dry chemicals are used for hazardous material storage fire suppression to help keep potential blazes from growing out of control.

Server Rooms & Data/IT Centers

Water and electricity don’t mix, making it essential to equip your server room or data center with an extinguishing method other than fire sprinklers. Halon was once the go-to option for non-water fire suppression, but this agent has since been phased out due to its ozone-depleting properties. By installing the right fire suppression system, you minimize the cleanup required and protect your delicate equipment in the process. Clean agents are recommended for this application.

Micro Environments

Perhaps most of your building has ordinary fire hazards, but a specific enclosure poses a greater fire threat. In this case, plan to install micro-environment fire suppression systems within individual machines, vehicles, rooms, or storage compartments as needed. Self-activating equipment ensures complete fire suppression within seconds.

Types of Fire Suppression Systems

If you determine that your building needs a fire suppression system, the next step is to decide which extinguishing agent is most suitable for your needs. State Systems, Inc. is licensed to design, install, and service the following types of fire suppression systems:

  • Wet chemical: The compounds found in wet chemical fire suppression systems—including potassium acetate and sometimes potassium citrate or potassium bicarbonate—are ideal for extinguishing grease fires.
  • Dry chemical: Non-occupied industrial areas with flammable liquids or hazardous materials can be protected by dry chemicals, which include sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, or monoammonium phosphate. These are non-conductive, making them appropriate for areas with live electrical equipment.
  • Clean agent: FM-200, 3M Novec 1230, non-toxic Inergen, carbon dioxide and Argonite, and Halon-replacing FE-13 are considered clean agents used for fire suppression purposes. These are appropriate for safeguarding critical assets that could be damaged by water or other types of fire suppression systems.

Schedule Fire Suppression Installation in Your Mid-South Building

Whether you own a restaurant, run a server room, or manage a hazardous materials storage area, turn to State Systems for all your fire protection needs. We provide a wide range of fire suppression systems from some of today’s top brands, including Kidde, Ansul, Guardian, FireTrace, Range Guard, and Pyro-Chem.

For more information about our fire protection services, or to request an installation estimate, please contact State Systems online or call us at 866-308-5701 today.

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