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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What to Know About Fire Suppression Systems

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

When you enter a commercial building, chances are you’ve seen the sprinkler heads for the building’s fire sprinkler system designed to cover an area in water when the sprinklers are activated, but what happens in buildings where water can’t be used? This is where a fire suppression system comes in. These are systems designed to put out fires in places where water wouldn’t work such as data centers with expensive electronics, museums, kitchens, and fuel storage areas. There are a few different kinds of fire suppression systems, all designed to put out the fires in a different way. Continue reading to learn more about the differences and how they work!

Inert Gas – Inert gasses such as nitrogen are very useful fire suppressants. They work by smothering, displacing, or reducing oxygen in order to put out the fire. Usually, water ends up causing more harm than good to the property, such as in server rooms or around any electrical equipment. Inert gasses are ideal for situations where valuable or sensitive equipment needs to be protected.

Clean Agent – Chemical clean agent systems are like inert gas systems in that they also discharge and disperse a gas. They provide extinguishment through heat absorption and leave no residue, which means no additional equipment damage.

CO2 – Carbon Dioxide systems are likely to be the oldest of the “clean agent suppression systems.” These systems function by quickly displacing the oxygen in a room, filling it with CO2 in order to smother the fire. They’re one of the least expensive systems, however, they come with obvious safety concerns due to how they function. These systems are used typically in industrial applications where the safety risks are manageable.

Dry Chemical – Dry chemical systems are essentially the same as the typical fire extinguisher that you would see in a kitchen. These are found in commercial kitchen hood vent systems where the primary fire risks are from grease fires. When activated dry chemicals under pressure are dispersed to cover the fire and smother it. The biggest downside to these systems is that the required cleanup is labor-intensive as it will cover everything in a powdery residue. 

Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in a scenario where any of these systems have to be used, but if you do you can count on our IICRC certified fire restoration pros here at SERVPRO of Norfolk West to get your business back to “Like it never even happened.”

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