Fire suppression systems are a key element of fire protection services. Using different kinds of sensors customized to the space they protect, they release extinguishing agents through discharge nozzles to put out fires before they grow out of control. From server rooms to restaurant kitchens, there are types of fire suppression systems for every space that needs protection.
Here’s a general overview of what fire suppression systems are and the different types available. We’ll also look at why offering a larger range of suppression systems benefits both fire protection businesses and their customers.
Fire Suppression Systems: An Essential Part of Fire Protection
There are two major groups of fire protection systems designed to extinguish fires or respond to smoke. The first group are fire sprinkler systems, which use water to extinguish flames. The second group are fire suppression systems, which use a chemical, foam, or a gaseous agent to put out the fire.
Fire suppression systems are designed as an alternative option to protect areas that water could damage. They can also be more effective for extinguishing certain kinds of fires. For example, it is not safe to use water to put out a grease fire. So, restaurant suppression systems typically use wet chemical systems to extinguish kitchen fires without spreading the grease and to quickly cool the cooking area.
All commercial buildings have specific fire protection requirements, which include the need for fire sprinkler or suppression systems that automatically activate when triggered by smoke or fire. It is a building owner or facility manager’s responsibility to ensure these requirements are met. Failing to keep up with fire protection code requirements leaves a building itself and its occupants in danger during an emergency. It also means the owner or manager could be fined or even have his business temporarily shut down, depending on the state of protection in the building. This is why fire protection systems are and will always be essential.
The Different Types of Fire Suppression Systems
There are three types of fire suppression systems that are commonly used across industries. They are named for the extinguishing agents they use. These are wet chemical systems, dry chemical systems, and clean agent systems.
Wet chemical systems are some of the best known of the fire suppression systems, especially to those outside the industry. They are used in commercial kitchens to extinguish flames quickly and safely without dispersing grease. Temperature-sensitive links are installed in the kitchen’s hood. When a fire starts, it melts these links. This triggers nozzles above the kitchen’s cooking equipment to spray wet chemicals directly onto the protected area. This contains the fire immediately and extinguishes the flames.
Dry chemical systems use the same powder found in fire extinguishers to put out flames in areas where there is no water access or where liquid-based fire suppression could be dangerous. They are used to put out fires that start in highly flammable liquids and are also safe to use in areas with live electricity.
Clean agent systems are automatic fire suppression systems that can extinguish flames in sensitive areas. They can put out fire without damaging equipment, making them the perfect fit for data centers. The agent itself disappears quickly without leaving residue, which also makes these systems great candidates for protecting museums.
There are many varieties within each of these general system types. There are also other suppression systems that are less common.
Why Offering Specialty Suppression Systems Benefits Both Your Customers and Your Business
Most fire protection companies offer the above types of fire suppression systems. But, some go beyond the above to offer specialized types of suppression systems within those categories. These include fire suppression systems designed to protect heavy equipment, large marine vessels or yachts, and specific sections of machinery.
The more fire suppression solutions your company can offer, the better protection you can provide your customers. Every extra type of automatic fire suppression system your company can install and maintain widens your potential customer base. It can also position your company as an expert in this area of fire safety. This puts your customers at greater ease when they choose you as their protection provider.
A strong reputation paired with a full range of fire safety services can help your company gain more sales and more recurring revenue. This can help you either continue growing your company or position your business as an attractive acquisition target for buyers and investors.
Thinking About Expanding or Selling Your Fire Protection Business? Make AFS Your First Call!
If you own a fire protection business ready to expand its services, or if you are thinking about selling your business, we at AFS have the experience to help!
Managing owner Rory Russell has over 30 years of experience selling and funding businesses in this industry. He has helped many owners level-up their businesses or transition to the next stage of their lives. Start a conversation with Rory today by calling 800-354-3863. You can also fill out the confidential form on our website here.