There are numerous types of fire suppression systems that serve different needs depending on a given building’s particular assets and occupants it needs to protect in the event of a fire. We’ll cover the basic benefits and unique uses of each type of fire suppression.For more questions on the right fire protection system for your needs, get in touch with the certified pros at Majestic Fire. With over 20 years of experience proudly serving communities in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area, Majestic Fire offers comprehensive fire protection service for most residential and commercial settings.
Chemical Clean Agent Suppression System
This type of fire suppression system is most commonly used in settings with sensitive equipment or machinery where water suppression is not viable. The sensitive assets (e.g. non-fungible documents, hospital equipment, computer servers, etc.) cannot run the risk of being compromised in the event of a fire.
Clean agents such as Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid offer the advantage of quicker fire extinguishment than water suppression that leaves no residue, with the highest safety rating for human occupants among clean agent alternatives.
This fire suppression system uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extinguish and effectively asphyxiate a fire by reducing oxygen levels in the space. However, It is only recommended for isolated settings inaccessible to people due to the potential harm it may cause.
Inert Gas Suppression System:
This fire suppression system operates similarly to a Co2 suppression system where a combination of inert gases (i.e., nitrogen, argon, helium, etc.) are used to asphyxiate a fire by depriving it of oxygen. This is a safer alternative to carbon monoxide that is safe for spaces to use with machinery, equipment, and people. It’s also one of the greener alternatives to fire suppression compared to chemical clean agents.
Water Mist Suppression System:
This is fire suppression system is the most commonly used system for many residential and commercial settings due to its cost-effective and environmentally-friendly qualities. An advancement on the traditional fire sprinkler, a water mist system uses significantly less water, reducing the risk of residual or collateral damage.
However, this alternative isn’t ideal for all settings, particularly ones with sensitive equipment, machinery, or other assets that may be ruined by exposure to water. A water mist suppression system is typically connected to the building’s water supply or in certain remote settings hooked up to a dedicated tank or water reservoir.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right fire suppression for your case. Different types of fire suppression systems are recommended depending on the particular setting and emergency scenarios.
Consult the Fire Protection Experts
Trust the experienced pros at Majestic Fire to help you figure out the right fire suppression system suited to your case. Our certified technicians are equipped to handle residential and commercial spaces of all sizes. Fire suppression along with fire pump inspections, testing, and maintenance is all within our wheelhouse as the premier fire protection experts in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California Area.
Clean Agent Fire Suppression
You’ve likely been inside a building with some type of fire safety system installed. These systems have multiple components, including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems to minimize damage and save lives. Most large commercial and residential properties have some form of fire protection system installed, as these are the most commonly used in today’s construction. However, certain locations require special fire protection equipment to protect specific items and structures.
How Do These Systems Work?
For example, if a room houses large amounts of electronics, the typical fire protection system may prevent fire damage. However, all of the electronics would still be ruined by water. Buildings with large data servers, museums, storage vaults, gas stations, grills, and fryers require specialized systems to contain fires without damaging items or complicating the situation.
Clean agent fire suppression systems are a safe and efficient alternative that provides a way to protect valuables and extinguish fires caused by certain elements. These systems use gases that are safe for humans at lower levels of exposure to extinguish fires. Clean agent systems are specifically made for populated areas that hold delicate items. Additionally, these systems automatically detect fires and begin extinguishing them automatically.
The NFPA 2001 defines clean agents as electrically non-conductive, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguishing agents that leave no traces of residue when they evaporate. These systems extinguish fires in their initial stages to prevent extensive damage.
Types of Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems
All clean agents exist either as gas or liquid. When the system activates, it releases these agents as gas to extinguish a fire. Upon initiation, the clean agent removes one of three elements needed to maintain a fire – heat, oxygen, or the fuel source.
The Novec 1230 and FM-200 are the most cost-effective than other gas-based systems because fewer agents are required to extinguish a fire. This means that smaller storage cylinders are required to house the agents. When comparing the two, the Novec 1230 is only slightly more expensive.
Of the three types of clean agents, inert gas is the most friendly to the environment. There is zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and zero GWP. Novec 1230 is more environmentally friendly because it has a lower GWP of 1, although both of these systems are rated with a zero ODP.
Advantages of Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems
Clean agent systems offer quick-acting remedies when a fire breaks out. These systems initialize and reach appropriate concentration levels in under ten seconds. Additionally, they are designed to actually extinguish fires, while sprinkler systems focus solely on fire containment.
There’s minimal cleanup and hardly any residue after the dispersal of a clean agent fire suppression system. These systems provide chemical and gaseous fire suppression solutions that won’t damage delicate objects because of the chemical makeup of the extinguishing agents.
Clean agents are safe for people, as well. The U.S. EPA approves the materials these systems use for use in occupied spaces. Different options are available to meet specific needs. For example, green systems are ideal for building owners who want to meet eco-friendly standards or take friendlier measures for the environment.
What Buildings Should Install Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems?
These are the best examples of buildings that use clean agent fire suppression systems:
- Areas with flammable liquid storage
- Spaces that house important infrastructure
- Data centers
- Medical facilities
- Call centers
Can you spot what all of these buildings have in common? They all have valuable and delicate items housed within their confines. Your building doesn’t have to have valuables to use a clean agent fire suppression system. You can use these systems to protect buildings from fire no matter what they have stored.
Inspections and Maintenance
Clean agent fire suppression systems must undergo regular inspections and maintenance. This is a critical part of ensuring these systems will, in fact, keep the building safe. The following list outlines the inspection process.
- Check all initiating components to verify time delays for system deployment
- Ensure releasing devices all activate properly
- Verify abort device and manual release function properly
- Check the weights and pressures of agent containers
- Verify the position of discharge components, pipe fittings, and nozzles
- Perform enclosure integrity test
- Check all batteries and signals
- Verify all as-built drawings and flow calculations
The building owner must promote someone as the formal inspector. If the inspector isn’t present during relevant or emergency situations, the building owner must assume this role.
A clean agent fire suppression system is only beneficial if it’s working properly. Ensuring that these systems stay well-maintained and inspected is critical for functionality.
Every Six Months
According to the NFPA 2001, the maintenance schedule for these systems should take place as follows:
Very clean agent cylinder weight
Test all clean agent system control panel equipment. This includes initiating devices and equipment. Room integrity testing should be performed as well.
Every Five Years
Inspect containers, reducing the need to perform a hydrostatic test
Maintenance for a CO2 system should be:
Every Six Months
Verify the CO2 cylinder weight and pressure
Test all components of the CO2 control panel, including initiating devices and equipment as required by the NFPA Chapter 12 standard on CO2 Fire Suppression Systems.
Every Five Years
Conduct a hydrostatic test if cylinders holding the agent have been emptied.
Every 12 Years
Conduct a 12-year hydrostatic test if cylinders have never been emptied, or the system has never discharged.
Get Protected, Stay Protected
Do you own a residential or commercial building with a significant amount of valuable or delicate items? Does a clean agent fire suppression system sound like something that could benefit you based on the items you have housed in your building?
You should seriously consider installing a clean agent fire suppression system if you answer yes. Typical water systems may be efficient at containing fires, they’re not that great at minimizing property damage. When you have valuable items at stake that you’re highly invested in, there’s only one solution for fire suppression.