A firefighting system is probably the most important of the building services, as its aim is to protect human life and property, strictly in that order.
It consists of three basic parts:
- A large store of water in tanks, either underground or on top of the building, called fire storage tanks
- A specialized pumping system
- A large network of pipes ending in either hydrants or sprinklers (nearly all buildings require both of these systems)
Types of firefighting systems:
It’s a vertical steel pipe with an outlet, close to which two fire hoses are stored. During a fire, firefighters will go to the outlet, break open the hoses, attach one to the outlet, and manually open it so that water rushes out of the nozzle of the hose.
Fire suppression systems are designed to suppress or extinguish a fire in sensitive environments where water from a fire sprinkler is not a desired extinguishing agent.
There are two types of fire suppression systems.
- Clean agent system (FM-200, injection, Novec …. Etc.): This system is designed to protect valuable assets in your workplace that would be destroyed by conventional sprinkler systems and it is used mostly in server rooms and environments where you have personnel working in the area.
- CO2 suppression system: Carbon Dioxide reduces the oxygen level to a point where combustion cannot occur. Carbon Dioxide systems can protect single or multiple hazards by total flooding, local application or a combination of each method. This system is used in environments where there are few personnel or none at all, including engine rooms, generator rooms, power stations, flammable liquid storage rooms, and around large industrial machines.Fire suppression systems are basically a Gaseous Based System, they can be:
- Portable and wheeled
- Dry powder
- Ceiling mounted
- Fire Sprinkler System
- A sprinkler system: consists of a series of heads that are connected to a system of pipes, which are usually installed on the ceiling, although they can be installed on walls as well.
- Pre Action system: Pre-action fire protection systems are filled with air and require two triggers to activate, so as to prevent accidental or unnecessary sprinklers in case of false alarms. Once activated, these systems allow water to pass through and sprinkle the area where the potential fire hazard was detected. The pre-action system is good for use in places where the sprinklers are only necessary when there is an actual fire so other items in the building do not get water damage from an accidental sprinkling. Such buildings include libraries and data centers. These places contain items of high value like electronics and goods damageable by water such as books.
- Wet-pipe fire sprinklers: Wet pipe systems are the most commonly installed type of fire protection setup, being both cost-effective and low maintenance. These systems are constantly filled with water, allowing for immediate response in case of fire detection.
- Dry-pipe fire sprinklers: Dry pipe systems use pressurized air, which empties out of the pipe before water escapes. These types of fire protection systems are ideal for buildings with low temperatures since there is no risk of the pipes freezing; the downside, however, is that most exhibit a delay of about one minute between detection and water release, which should be taken into account when purchasing such a system.
- Deluge systems: These types of fire sprinkler systems also need a smoke or heat detector like the pre-action system. A deluge system has open nozzles that can be used when a hazard is present. When flammable liquids are spread across a floor, deluge fire sprinklers are good to have. In that case, buildings such as industrial parks and buildings with many tanks have deluge fire sprinkler systems installed.