A strong knowledge of strategies to prevent or limit fires on industrial and commercial sites is essential for engineers and designers as they seek to minimise risks for their clients. Here are some key factors to understand about fire suppression trends.
1. Environmentally friendly foam suppressants
Stopping an out-of-control fire is one thing – doing it in a way that minimises fallout for the environment is another. The latest foam suppression concentrates can protect business assets from fire risk without contaminating the surrounding land, air and waterways. A range of synthetic and biodegradable protein firefighting foams are suitable for a variety of scenarios, including wildfires, aviation, petrochemical and marine events.
Proportioning systems such as water-driven foam dosing of fires is renowned as a way to extinguish fires faster while reducing a blaze’s environmental impact. Such techniques are cost-effective and provide peace of mind for environmentally aware site managers.
2. Fire safety arsenal for wind turbines
With renewable energy sources now in vogue, applications such as wind turbines are increasingly being used. They need reliable fire protection measures as the risk of burning debris falling to the ground and setting alight the surrounding countryside can be catastrophic.
The solution is specialised tube-based systems. One of the most effective and environmentally friendly solutions is Firetrace’s linear pneumatic system which provides both fire detection and suppression in a single, self-contained package. It uses a fire-protection fluid that, when discharged, turns into a colourless and odourless gas that disperses naturally, leaving no residue that could damage sensitive electrical equipment.
3. Pre-engineered systems for commercial kitchens
Some fires in commercial kitchens are inevitable, but with the right advice and equipment from an experienced fire-prevention expert the aim is to quickly detect and suppress kitchen fires before they take hold. Pre-engineered systems such as Ansul R-102 – the world’s most popular kitchen fire-protection solution – use advanced suppression agents that have three vital characteristics: fast flame knock-down; vapour securement; and the ability to cool hot surfaces and cooking oils.
The system can be triggered manually or automatically, and affected areas simply have to be flushed out with water or steam after a fire – meaning that the kitchen can be back up and running very quickly. It meets all the relevant Australian and international standards and can be retrofitted to existing kitchens.
4. Spray systems for the mining industry
Fires in heavy mobile equipment on mining, forestry and other industrial sites can lead to costly machinery damage and operational delays. However, specially developed vehicle fire-protection systems such as the acclaimed Amerex DCP/ICE vehicle suppression system can limit the fallout. It features linear or spot detection devices which are located in at-risk areas of the vehicle.
Heat causes a control module to alert vehicle operators and activates dry chemical extinguishing agents and/or foam spray systems to put out the fire. It is important to seek the assistance of a reputable fire-prevention expert who can assist clients with the commissioning and installation process.
5. Advanced fire monitors
Prevention is always the best cure, so choosing and using the right fire monitor can make all of the difference when it comes to warding off fire disasters. There are essentially two types of monitors – fixed and mobile. The choice can have serious implications for users, but it is not always a straightforward decision. Fixed monitors are attached permanently to pipework and are positioned to attack a fire at a specific risk point.
They typically target flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel, methanol etc. on sites including petrochemical refineries, LNG facilities, tank farms, fuel distribution depots and loading jetties. A major benefit of a fixed monitor is that it can be activated and used to fight a particular fire faster than a mobile unit, which has to be transported. However, mobile monitors are versatile and can be trailer mounted or positioned by hand for fast deployment in a range of scenarios. As with any fire risk, it is important to discuss the best option with highly qualified professionals with extensive technical expertise who can assess your business requirements and fire suppression needs and know all the latest fire suppression trends.
Delta Fire is a commercial fire safety expert that specialises in the design and installation of all the fire-suppression systems and products mentioned in this article as well as experts in all fire suppression trends .