Determining Which Type of Fire Protection System to Use
One of the most common types of fire protection systems for office buildings are fire sprinkler systems. While fire sprinkler systems are more than capable of suppressing a fire, the water from the sprinkler system can damage sensitive environments like server rooms, telecommunication sites, data centers, control rooms, museums, power plants, and more. For these environments, businesses turn to fire suppression systems that disperse an inert gas or combination of gasses to suppress the fire without causing damage to electronics or permanently losing data.
For buildings that have little or no occupancy, carbon dioxide systems are often used as the key suppressant. However, carbon dioxide (CO2) fire suppression systems create an inherent health risk for people in the area. That is why you won’t normally find CO2 fire suppression systems installed in normally occupied buildings and enclosures. Instead, you’ll find clean agent fire suppression systems installed to protect sensitive environments. Clean agent fire suppression systems pose a much lower health risk to people when compared to CO2 which can be deadly.
What Are the Most Common Clean Agent Fire Suppression System
When choosing a clean agent fire suppression system, there are three common types:
- FM-200 Clean Agent Fire Suppression System
3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid Clean Agent Fire Suppression System
- INERGEN Clean Agent Fire Suppression System
The FM-200 Fire Suppression System uses FM-200 fire suppression which is comprised of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Unlike CFCs, HCFCs, and Halons; HFCs like FM-200 have zero ozone depletion (ODP) which means they won’t hurt the environment or people. FM-200 is stored as a liquid and vaporizes upon discharge. While FM-200 does displace the oxygen around a fire, it’s primary extinguishing capabilities is through heat absorption.
The INERGEN Fire Suppression System uses inert gases to reduce the oxygen level around a fire and suppress it. The inert gases in INERGEN include nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide. The INGERGEN concentration is safe for people; and once discharged, returns to the atmosphere in its natural state. Just like FM-200, it also won’t deplete the ozone or hurt the environment.
The Novec 1230 Fluid Fire Suppression System uses Novec 1230 fluid which is a liquid that was created by 3M. The liquid is vaporized as it is discharged just like FM-200. Unlike FM-200 which suppresses fires through cooling, Novec 1230 fluid suppresses fires by displacing the oxygen around the fire. Due to Novec 1230 fluid being stored as a liquid rather than a gas, the system requires a smaller footprint than gas systems like INERGEN or CO2.
What Are the Best Clean Agent Fire Suppression Systems?
There are many different factors that go into choosing the “best” clean agent fire suppression system for your exact needs. While all three are more than capable of suppressing a fire, they each have their own unique advantages and needs. While one system may cost less than another, it may require more upgrades to the environment that is being protected. Some systems require smaller footprints while others can be stored farther from the environment being protected. In the end, every situation and every environment is different. A clean agent fire suppression expert from a professional fire protection company should be able to assess your needs, walk you through the different options, and help you choose the “best” system for your needs.
Contact Koorsen for Your Clean Agent Fire Suppression System
Whether you have a small server room full of valuable data or a large room of priceless antiquities in a museum, a Koorsen Fire Suppression expert can help you protect your property and assets from the dangers of fire. To learn more about fire suppression systems, including clean agent and CO2, contact Koorsen Fire & Security today. Since 1946, businesses of all sizes have trusted Koorsen Fire & Security to protect their property and life.