What is involved in a fire suppression system installation?

  • October 15, 2021

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported more than 100,000 structure fires across America in 2020, causing millions of dollars of damage. 

Many of those structure fires were businesses. While it’s impossible to remove all fire risks, there are ways to make your business safe. A fire suppression system, for example, can provide reliable protection for your business assets. 

As a business owner, you’re great at what you do — but we’re going to go out on a limb and guess that you’re not a fire safety expert. So, you’re probably thinking, sign me up for a fire suppression system installation, but what is that anyway? How do I install a fire suppression system? Most importantly, how can I find a fire suppression system installation near me? 

Look no further! We answer all these questions and more below. 

What is a fire suppression system?

A fire suppression system is a group of units designed to extinguish a fire. Sounds just like a sprinkler system, right? Well, a fire suppression system is more intricate than that. This system is different from a standard fire alarm or a sprinkler system. The fire suppression system has built-in elements that detect fire at every stage (just like a sprinkler system) but with two crucial differences: a fire suppression system doesn’t put out the fire with water, and it alerts you and your team to the fire risk.  

How do I choose a fire suppression system? 

Great question, because there are plenty of fire suppression systems on the market. Bear in mind that you’ll need to consider the type of fire suppression system, as well as the fire suppression chemical or agent when you make your choice. A trusted fire installation system professional near you can offer valuable advice, but in the meantime, Fire Magazine has broken down the most common systems below:

  • Carbon dioxide fire suppression system: this popular suppression system pumps carbon dioxide into the affected area to extinguish the fire. This type of system is the most cost- and time-effective option. 
  • Clean agent fire suppression system: this eco-friendly solution uses environmentally friendly chemicals instead of water to eliminate the fire. It’s common in offices or businesses with data centers, computers and other equipment. As a bonus, cleanup is effortless. 
  • Restaurant fire suppression system: grease fires are this system’s specialty. This system uses a fine mist of wet chemicals to stop the fire, making for easier cleanup than suppression systems that use dry chemicals. 
  • Industrial fire suppression systems: the most severe type of system on the list, industrial fire suppression systems use dry chemicals to extinguish fires quickly and easily. This system is most common in industrial plants or places where fire can start with fuel, chemicals and other flammable materials. 

Each system uses a different suppressant, but the most common suppressants include Purple K BC Dry Chemical Powder, ABC Dry Chemical Powder, 3M Novec 1230, Chemours FM-200 and carbon dioxide. A fire suppression system professional near you will be able to advise you on the best system (and the best chemicals) for your needs. 

What does the system installation process look like? 

The fire suppression installation system is complicated. You’ll need to contact a fire suppression installation professional near you to complete the process. The basic process includes: 

  • Equipment layout and inspection: the first thing that your professional will do is review the design of your business and inspect the area to make sure that the system is appropriate. 
  • Cylinder installation: next, the installer will mount the cylinders in a location that is accessible and fill them with a fire suppression agent until pressurized. 
  • Discharge nozzle network placement: nozzles are placed at regular intervals to prioritize fire hazards and ensure uniform coverage. 
  • Detection tubing placement: after placing nozzles, the detection tubing is installed in the hazardous area and connected to the cylinder. The tubing is a heat detector; it triggers the release of the suppression agent. 
  • Additional components: depending on the type of system you have installed, the technician may add additional features, which include but are not limited to pressure switches, time delays, indication modules and others. 

How can I arrange for a reputable fire suppression system installation near me? 

Finding the right fire suppression system installation professional is essential. They should understand your needs and offer the right advice for your home or business. So what should you look for in a fire suppression system professional? 

  • They should explain your options: a good fire safety technician should explain all of your options when it comes to your suppression system. They should detail the types of agents used in their suppression systems and articulate their recommendations. 
  • They should assess your business once they arrive: if your fire safety technician arrives at your business and immediately begins cutting holes in the wall, you’re in trouble. Of course, any good professional will double (and triple-check) their measurements before getting started. 
  • They’re local: a fire suppression system will need maintenance. Choose a local professional to ensure that your system is managed and maintained regularly. 

Curious about installing a fire suppression system in your business? Our team of experts would be delighted to help. Get in touch today

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