Understanding the components that make up a fire protection system in buildings is essential for owners and safety managers to confidently decide which is the best fire suppression system for their needs. Knowing the different components supports an efficient installation, allows company stakeholders to monitor the progress of the project, and offers perspective on the final costs.
When considering a protection system, it’s important to know the two different types of fire suppression systems: direct and indirect.
1. Direct release fire suppression systems get their name from the fire-suppressing agent that discharges through a hole that bursts the detection tube to target the fire at the source. These types of systems are commonly found in server rooms and in other areas where electrical arcs could intensify fires during suppression attempts. Keep in mind, these direct systems may be installed in areas where the entire room or space could be damaged.
2. Indirect release fire suppression systems are slightly different from the direct systems. In this case, a fire-suppressing agent is discharged through overhead sprinklers or dedicated nozzles that can be separate or combined with the fire detection system. So, one component detects the fire, and a separate component suppresses it. If appropriate, these systems may release water, too.
The basic components of a fire protection system include detection methods, alarms and notification devices, control panels, power supplies, the release mechanisms, and the suppressants themselves.
Here’s the rundown:
Don’t forget—in some cases, certain components will be required by industry regulation or insurance providers. These third parties often include Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB), FM Approvals, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and more.
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