Water-Based Vs. Chemical-Based Fire Suppression Systems

If you are considering installing a fire sprinkler system in your business, you may be confused about which type to choose. There are many types of fire sprinkler systems you can purchase, but they fall into two main categories. You could choose a system that puts out fires with water, or you could choose a chemical-based fire sprinkler system. Here are some things you should know about each type before you make your decision.

Water-Based Systems

A water-based fire sprinkler system is the most common type around. Water sprinklers were the original type made for homes and businesses, and they are the most affordable type to choose. With a water-based system, your building will be protected if a fire starts. When the system detects heat or smoke, it will typically trigger the sprinklers to spray out water. The water will then put the fire out.

With water-based systems, there are two main options to choose from. The first is a wet-pipe system. This type has water in the supply pipes of the sprinklers at all times. The benefit of this option is that water will spray out very quickly when a fire starts. The downside to this option is that the water in the pipes can freeze. If the pipes are not insulated and the weather gets really cold, your sprinkler system may not be effective, because water will not be able to spray out if the pipes are frozen.

The other type of water-based system is called a dry-pipe system. This type work in the same way; however, there is no water in the pipes. The water does not enter the pipes until the sensors are triggered by heat or smoke. When this happens, the system will automatically cause the water to turn on and spray out. The downside to this type is that there might be a delay in spraying out the water, because the water will have to work its way through the pipes and into the sprinklers.

Chemical-Based Systems

There are times when companies prefer using chemical-based fire sprinkler systems. As the name suggests, these systems do not spray out water to extinguish fires. Instead, they use chemicals to put out fires. One of the main reasons companies choose chemical-based fire suppression systems is for protection of business equipment.

If your company has a lot of equipment that could be damaged easily from water, it might be better for you to choose a chemical-based system. The chemicals used in these systems may not harm your equipment like water would, and the main chemical used in these systems is called FM200, which is a gas that is highly effective for putting out flames. It does this by absorbing heat from the fire. When the heat is absorbed, the fire will go out.

Chemical fire suppression systems are generally dry systems, meaning there is no water used at all; however, there are also wet chemical fire suppression systems you can purchase. A wet system combines liquid and chemicals, and it is ideal for use in a commercial kitchen setting, because it is one of the most effective ways for putting out grease fires.

When this type of system is triggered, it releases the liquid-chemical mixture, and this creates foam. The foam lands on the fire and instantly puts it out, and it is relatively easy to clean up.

Having a fire sprinkler system in your business might be required by law, but they are good to have even when they are not required. If you would like to learn more about fire sprinkler systems, contact a company that specializes in fire safety products.