using security systems to monitor loved ones

Types Of Fire Suppression Systems

Understanding the different types of fire suppression systems is essential in planning the safety layout of your building. Depending on the type of building you have, you may need a certain type of fire suppression system. This article will review the basic types of fire suppression systems, and their benefits and drawbacks.

Wet Fire Suppression System

Wet suppression systems are built with pipes, a pump, a reservoir/tank, and sprinkler heads in their most basic forms. The tank holds the water that will flow through the pipes when the sprinkler heads are activated. The pump serves to ensure that water stays pressurized in the pipes as it flows through them to the sprinkler heads. No one wants water just dripping out of the sprinkler heads, you want it spraying with some force to help extinguish the fire.

Sprinkler heads are a system all of their own. They come in several different shapes and sizes which will create different spray patterns depending on the area they are placed in. When the heat in the room, presumably due to a fire, reaches a certain temperature, a fusible link within the sprinkler head melts and allows the water to come rushing out, helping to extinguish the fire.

The benefit of wet systems is that there is no wait time. There is water stored in the pipes, ready to burst out the moment that the heat reaches a certain level in the room.

The downside to this is that they are relatively easy to set off, given the right circumstances. False alarms are fairly common, and that is quite the mess to clean up for a false alarm.

Dry Fire Suppression System

Dry systems are very similar in construction to the wet systems. The only difference is that between the tank and the pipes, there is a valve. This valve stops the water from entering the pipes due to a pressure differential between the air in the pipes and the water in the tank. When the sprinkler head goes off, air will rush out of the pipes. This changes the pressure differential, and opens the valve allowing the water to enter the pipes, and exit the sprinkler head.

The benefit of dry systems is that they can be placed in areas where pipe freezing might be a problem, such as attics. Pipe freezing and bursting isn't a problem if you have no water in them to begin with.

The downside to dry systems though is that it takes longer for water to come out of the sprinkler head. All the air left in the pipe has to clear enough so that water can replace it, which can take several seconds. Several seconds feels like a long time when you have a fire on your hands.

There you have it, a quick overview of the two main types of fire suppression systems, and their benefits and drawbacks. Consider the type of building you have, as well as any other mitigating factors, and ensure that your building is safe.