Research And Insight

Fire extinguishing systems

Fire extinguishing systems are a common expression for systems using different medias to suppress or extinguish fires in buildings. The media can be water, foam, gas or chemicals and extinguish one or more of the three criteria for fire: Oxygen, fuel and heat.

Fire extinguishing systems are:

  • Sprinkler systems: Pipes with sprinklers providing water-droplets with system water flow Q < 10,000 l/min and Water pressure H < 12 bar
  • Water mist systems: Pipes with water mist nozzles providing water-droplets with water flow Q < 200 l/min and water pressure H < 150 bar
  • Hose reel systems:  Handheld hose to put out fire
  • Fire hydrants: Provided in most urban areas with municipal water service to enable firefighters to tap into the water supply to assist in extinguishing a fire
  • Foam systems:  Systems where foam detergents added to water is used to extinguish fire
  • Gas systems:  Systems using inert gasses like Halon, carbon-dioxide etc.
  • Chemicals: Dry systems using sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, ammonium phosphate etc. and wet systems using various proprietary chemical compositions

The building owner will decide the standard to be used in collaboration with his insurance company and local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and the consulting engineer will select the system-type accordingly, depending on building type (production, storage, office- or resident buildings etc.) hazard class, the potential physical damages the extinguishing media may cause.

Fire hose reels are located at strategic places in buildings to provide a reasonably accessible and controlled supply of water for fire extinguishing.

Fire hose reel systems consist of pumps, pipes, water supply and hose reels located strategically in a building, ensuring proper coverage of water to combat a fire.

The system is manually operated and activated by opening a valve enabling the water to flow into the hose that is typically 30 meters away. The system pressure loss will activate the pump ensuring adequate water flow and pressure to provide a water jet of typically a minimum of 10 meter from the nozzle.

Grundfos supplies fire pumps as part of approved fire systems for industrial and commercial fire protection.