Advantages of Fire Protection Systems
by: Alex Pericleous
Sometimes a simple fire extinguisher is not enough. Fires can come in many different forms and can require a number of different techniques to minimise damage or prevent injury. Fire extinguishers are a very important part of every fire safety procedure. But there is more to fire protection than you may realise, and there are advantages of fire protection systems.
Fire protection systems come in various forms and are designed to deal with fire emergencies in different ways. There are distinct advantages of fire protection systems that everyone should learn:
- Fire extinguishers – used to immediately attack a fire that is localised to a specific area. There are different types of fire extinguishers that are made to attack certain types of fires. For example there are extinguishers for grease or cooking fires, and different extinguishers used for rubbish fires.
- Fire blankets – the fire blanket is helpful when a small fire has occurred and needs to be smothered quickly. Because fire relies heavily on oxygen in the air a blanket can be extremely effective. However if the blanket is not used correctly or it is used on a large fire there could be further damage or injuries, so training is necessary to make sure fire blankets are used correctly.
- Sprinkler systems – the use of water is very common to extinguish a fire. Water can cool the fire, depriving it of heat in order to grow. Water can also smother the fire, reducing its ability to consume oxygen. When a large fire has occurred a sprinkler system can quickly extinguish the fire and minimise damage or injuries. While a sprinkler system can be messy after it is used many people would prefer using some mops and towels to clean up instead of dealing with smoke or fire damage.
- Halon or gas systems – these systems are extremely sophisticated and are often used in large computer data centers to extinguish electrical fires without damaging the computer equipment. However these systems are dangerous themselves because the chemicals will quickly remove any oxygen from the air. If humans or animals breathe the chemicals or are in a room where the chemicals are used the results can be deadly. Extreme caution should always be used with these very elaborate systems.
Carefully examine the advantages of fire protection systems for your particular business. In many cases you should start with a fire risk assessment to determine what types of fires are most likely to occur in your particular location. From there you can have a trained professional make recommendations on the types of fire protection that is best for your facilities. Once you have determined which fire protection systems to use you can then install and train personnel on the proper use of the fire protection devices and develop a routine inspection process. The advantages of fire protection are worth the investment for your location and for its occupants.