A range of fire-suppression measures are available to businesses

High-hazard fire environments such as commercial kitchens, mines and petrochemical sites present a constant threat to property and people. So no stone should be left unturned as businesses seek to nullify such risks. A range of fire-protection systems and services for effective fire suppression exist in the market, but it is crucial to choose an operator with proven industry expertise who can maximise safety and minimise downtime if accidents occur. There is no substitute for experience in a field where business and environmental considerations, high fuel loads and the potential loss of life are a constant.

Such threats are best overcome through attention to the design, installation and commissioning of proven effective fire-suppression products and systems.

1. Design

Devising an appropriate effective fire-suppression solution requires considerable planning before any installations can take place.

Industry professionals can survey a site and tailor a system to meet the specific requirements of different locations and operations. This consultation phase should focus on two key elements: first, meeting the particular needs of a client through genuine consultation and communication (don’t engage a supplier who presents a take-it-or-leave-it offering); and, second, giving due consideration to all the relevant building codes and regulations (don’t align with suppliers who want to cut corners).

Fire-engineering principles have become an increasingly important component of commercial and industrial buildings, so a sound technical understanding of any risks and solutions is critical for any project. Specialists can help evaluate which systems will be most suitable to address particular fire risks on a site, ranging from firefighting monitors, gaseous suppression systems, industrial systems and foam concentrates to name a few.

For example, a commercial kitchen requires a pre-engineered system that automatically detects and suppresses a fire before it has time to take hold using an advanced suppression agent. Getting the designs and plans right from the start goes a long way to ensuring a cost-effective fire-suppression system that protects a business well into the future.

 2.Install

Following the design phase, an efficient installation process is essential to ensure minimal disruption to a commercial operation. Unnecessary downtime is a budget killer, whether it is a commercial kitchen, a resources sector operation or any other business, so engaging experienced fire-protections teams during the installation phase is a must.

Restaurant fires, for example, typically start in the kitchen, where highly-flammable cooking oil or grease build-up in hoods, ducts and the fan of the exhaust system are typically the first items ignited. It is an environment in which a fire can swiftly engulf a building, so poor installation of suppression systems will almost certainly have dire consequences.

For such environments, it is important to use market-leading, pre-engineered systems that meet the highest international standards and codes and which have been installed successfully in commercial kitchens across the world.

Other effective fire suppression systems that provide effective forms of fire control in contained areas are foam systems (which are suitable for a wide variety of fire risks, including hydrocarbon-based liquids, wildfires, aviation and marine fires) and gaseous suppression (used to protect vital assets including server rooms, control rooms, switch rooms etc).  Proper effective fire suppression installation can save a business – and lives.

3.Commission

The commissioning and ongoing testing of effective fire-suppression systems after installation is a legal requirement designed to verify and improve safety outcomes and ensure that all components of any new system are working properly.

For instance, international standards highly recommend that foam stocks are tested regularly so they work properly in an emergency. A variety of testing and foam-suppression maintenance services are available, ranging from individual system component testing and scaled application testing to system functionality and pre-commission tests. All of these services should be carried out in accordance with the applicable and relevant Standards.

Again, it is advisable to engage a supplier with a proven track record. When lives and businesses are at stake, quality is of the essence. 

Delta Fire Australasia specialises in the design, installation and servicing of fire-suppression systems that safeguard many of the country’s major businesses. 

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