Gas suppression systemsGas suppression systems are ideal for extinguishing fires in an enclosed area where there are highly important (either intellectually, commercially or operationally important), or valuable items which would be ruined if they were to be soaked in water or covered in a physical extinguishant such as foam (some examples are: data centres, archive storage, server rooms, clean rooms, engine rooms, etc.).

Systems available

There are many brand name and substance specific gas suppression systems on the market today, but primarily these can be broken down into two main categories.

1. Inert fire suppression systems

2. Chemical fire suppression systems

Both types work in similar, but subtly different ways

Inert fire suppression systems

Inert gas suppression systems work by injecting an inert gas into a room or enclosed area from a series of local storage cylinders.

The inert gas reduces the available oxygen to below 15% – at which point, most combustible materials will no longer burn (In Class A, B and C fires) and hence the fire is extinguished.

Many of the most popular inert gases available on the market today will not leave any residue to be cleaned up if ever the system is discharged; and are also safe to use in normally occupied areas (i.e. where people are working – but please confirm the details of the area to be covered and its likely use / occupation to our team at the design stage to make sure that the correct type of gas is used).

Chemical fire suppression systems

Chemical gas suppression systems work in the same way (by injecting the chemically based gas into a room or enclosed area from a series of local storage cylinders), but the way the gas works is different in that it reduces the temperature of the flames to a point where the flames cannot survive, and the fire is extinguished. This is achieved by molecules of the gas absorbing the heat of the flames.

The most popular chemical based suppression gases (FM200 (HFC277ea) and NOVEC 1230) available on the market today will not leave any residue to be cleaned up if ever the system is discharged; and are also safe to use in normally occupied areas at prescribed design concentrations (i.e. where people are working – but please confirm the details of the area to be covered and its likely use / occupation to our team at the design stage to make sure that the correct type of gas is used).

Where are they used?

Server RoomGas suppression systems are primarily used in areas where the cost of the installation, service and maintenance of the system is less than the cost of replacing the items which are being protected or the importance of their operation / availability is ‘mission critical’ to an organisation.

Our fire safety specialists are always happy to discuss your requirements at the design stage and can then recommend the most appropriate system for you and your budget.

If you would like to find out more about gas suppression systems, please contact our team on 01902 658822.