Types of fire protection systems for commercial establishments
A fire safety audit is one of the first things any business or building must have in Australia. Fire can occur anywhere, anytime, and it remains one of the most dangerous emergencies any building can face, and proper fire protection systems should be in place to avoid facing such disasters.
There are numerous ways to ensure that commercial property is ready to face fires should these happen unexpectedly. Read more to find out what fire protection systems are and why businesses should use these systems for their properties.
What Are Fire Protection Systems?
Fire protection systems consist of fire equipment and fire safety systems installed in properties to avoid or minimise fire incidents and their effects. The most important thing to know about fire protection systems is that they should be made and prepared prior to any fire incident. That means that the equipment must be ready or installed in advance. The best way to get started is to reach out to a local and established fire auditor who understands the property’s fire protection needs.
What Are The 3 Main Types of Fire Protection Systems?
There are various fire protection systems that businesses can use to safeguard their commercial property from uncontrolled fires. Some of the top fire protection systems to consider include:
1. Fire Sprinkler Systems
This is one of the most common (and effective) fire protection systems. Fire sprinkler systems are used in a wide range of establishments, from factories to office buildings.
This is an active fire protection method that is configured into the pipe network of a property. The sprinkler system will be activated by heat. When the heat rises, the sprinkler’s technology triggers the system, dousing the affected area with water.
Of course, just because a single sprinkler gets activated doesn’t mean that all sprinklers will automatically activate. The heat still needs to reach each sprinkler to trigger the release of water. This is designed to prevent dousing an entire property with water, even if the fire is concentrated in one area in a property.
It should be noted that fire sprinklers should be maintained regularly. This is to ensure that the fire protection system will not encounter any issue should an actual fire happen.
2. Fire Alarms and Fire Detection Systems
Before the actual evacuation from the commercial property, people need to know about the fire incident. Every second counts when responding to fire and enforcing evacuation and that means that an effective fire alarm and detection system must be in place.
The fire alarm system is one of the crucial elements in an effective fire protection system. After detecting the actual fire, the rest of the safety alarms will come into the picture. A fire control panel usually receives input from the environment (smoke, heat or infra-red light), or it can also be triggered manually.
Upon activation, the fire alarm will produce a loud alert to signal fire. From there, the teams in charge of shutting systems that can be triggered by fire and those in charge of evacuation can begin working.
3. Fire Suppression Systems
Fire suppression systems are built to respond to the fire and stop its spread before getting bigger and stronger. This system involves fire detection, gauging the size of the fire, determining the correct response to the size of the fire, and applying agents to stop and extinguish the fire. These systems are usually engineered into a property. They also utilise a combination of chemicals, waters, gases, and foam to suppress the fire in a property.
Usually, fire suppression systems complement fire sprinklers. This is because while fire sprinklers are effective in addressing small fires, the sprinklers will hardly work efficiently. This is where fire suppression systems come into the picture. Fire protection systems make use of several suppression elements that are used in case of fire, such as the following:
- Dry Chemicals
These are often used to safeguard large areas with various obstacles. A dry chemical powder gets released overhead to cover the area affected by the fire.
- Foam Deluge System
There are times when using water or chemicals can be dangerous when responding to fires. Instead of using water or chemicals, foam deluge can help cover the fire.
- Clean Agent Systems
This fire suppression system is used in areas where water damage on equipment can be costly. Since fires feed on oxygen to grow larger, this clean agent reduces the oxygen level in an area to smother the fire. Without oxygen, the fire wouldn’t be able to spread and grow.
- Water Mist Systems
While water sprinkler systems pour droplets of water around an affected area, a water mist system produces fine water droplets instead. These are usually used fires that involve high-voltage transformers. They minimise the damage and make fire suppression more effective in some instances.
When it comes to fire suppression, knowing which agent works better for a specific environment is crucial. It would not be wise to use a water mist system in an area with switchboards and computers, for instance.
Similarly, it wouldn’t be efficient to use Clean Agent systems in an open area where oxygen can easily flow in: The appropriate suppression agent must be placed in its proper environment in order for them to be effective and efficient.
Protect Your Commercial Property with Adair Fire Audits and Certification
If you are looking for a dependable fire auditor in Australia, Adair Fire Audits and Certification is one of the best companies to approach. We know the AS 4655 Fire Safety Audits standards like the back of our hands, and we have helped countless companies in ensuring the safety of their people with our thorough fire safety audit.
Adair Fire Audits
From annual audits to designing fire safety systems for your building, Adair Fire Audits can do it all for you. Learn more about us today or contact our team on (02) 8004 5142 and let’s discuss how we can help you potentially save lives in your business.
Fire Sprinkler System
Fire Alarm System
Fire Extinguisher – Clean Agent and Powder