Fire extinguishing systems

Fire extinguishing systems are a common expression for systems using different medias to suppress- or extinguish fires in buildings. The medias can be water, foam, gas or chemicals.

Fire extinguishing systems are used to extinguish or suppress fires in all sorts of buildings. Medias to extinguish fires are various, but they all fight one or more of the 3 criteria’s necessary to have 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 - , 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.