Protecting your business against fire is an essential factor in ensuring your financial safety and the safety of your employees. Fire causes acute damages that can lead to costly repairs and downtime. Protecting your business from fire and ensuring the security of its occupants requires a sound fire protection system. Fire protection systems are regarded as either active or passive. Active fire protection systems include fire detection, fire sprinkler, and fire suppression systems. Passive fire protection systems are systems placed within a building’s structure and require no human interaction for them to function. Working with a fire protection company is crucial and offers various integrated protection systems. According to Totnes Fire Protection & Signs Ltd, fire safety risk assessment is essential and should apply to all businesses. Fire protection systems include fire alarm systems, detection and notification systems, water distribution systems, automatic sprinkler systems, and portable fire extinguishers.
Fire alarm systems
The main reason for a fire alarm system is to provide early notification to building occupants to exit the building and notify the fire services department quickly. A fire alarm system should be well designed, installed, maintained, and operated. The commonly used alarm systems are heat, smoke, flame detectors, gas sensing and other phenomena detectors, and manual fire alarm boxes (pull stations).
Fire suppression agents and systems
These involve two crucial variables; the extinguishing agent and the procedure for applying the agent.
- Water– it is the commonly used fire extinguishing agent. It extinguishes fire by dilution, smothering, and emulsification. When applied to fire, it absorbs a large portion of heat released by the fire. It is advisable to introduce water into the fire area in the spray instead of a stream.
- Carbon dioxide-diluting the atmosphere that supplies oxygen to the fire reduces the heat generated by oxidation, extinguishing the fire.
- Halon– it is a fire extinguishing agent that mainly protects electronic and electrical equipment. It extinguishes fire by entering into and disrupting chemical combustion chain reaction.
- Dry chemical– they extinguish fire extremely fast when introduced directly into the flaming area—their capability results from the combustion-chain-reaction-breaking ability of the dry chemical agent. Dry chemical agents include potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, monoammonium phosphate, and urea-potassium bicarbonate.
Automatic sprinkler fire suppression systems
They mainly extinguish unwanted fires and control the fire’s size before trained fire suppression personnel arrives. They are connected to fire alarm systems and act as the initiating devices by activating the fire alarm system.
Portable fire extinguishers
An individual can easily use them with minimum training and orientation to extinguish a fire without risk. They use fire extinguishing agents such as water, carbon dioxide, dry chemical, halon, dry powder, and aqueous film-forming foam.
Fire prevention and having effective fire safety systems are both essential factors to be considered. Fire prevention requires risk assessment by reviewing and assessing ways through which fire might start and spread. All employees and building occupants should be trained on fire safety by competent personnel, especially from the fire safety department. It is critical to understand the different fire protection systems and equipment and how to operate them.