Facilities such as hospitals and banks can’t take any chances with fire protection – the potential loss of lives and valuable data is simply too great.

That is why Suncorp and Mackay Base Hospital have opted for gaseous fire-suppression systems to safeguard their people, property and critical infrastructure. These solutions involve a gaseous agent that is stored under pressure in a container that then discharges and puts out the fire before it has a chance to cause major damage.

Also known as clean-agent systems, these agents leave no product or residue, making them particularly suited for fire control in crucial and sensitive areas such as computer server rooms, data centres, hospitals, medical centres and financial institutions.

They are fast, effective, safe and eco-friendly – and are especially advantageous compared with water-based fire-suppression options that can cause significant property damage and lead to long downtimes for businesses. This potentially saves considerable time and money in the event of a fire.

Intelligent choices

Gaseous fire suppression systems are activated either manually or automatically via detection when a fire is small or only still smouldering, allowing for a potential blaze to be quickly extinguished, usually within seconds. These systems are also safe for equipment and personnel.

It is this efficacy that also appealed to Rio Tinto and Bunjil Place, a  creativity and entertainment zone in Melbourne. They have used one of the most renowned solutions on the market – the Novec 1230 clean-agent suppression system from Janus Fire Systems – to protect their operations. In Rio Tinto’s case, it needed to protect electronic equipment at an administration centre from any possible fire.

With support from Delta Fire, two dedicated gaseous fire suppression systems were supplied and installed from Janus which combine excellent suppression performance and environmental characteristics. In addition to not representing a health risk to staff, the solution has zero ozone-depletion potential and a large margin of safety for occupied spaces.

At Bunjil Place, a number of systems were supplied to protect the precinct and ensure the smooth and uninterrupted running of the facility. Delta Fire supplied the Novec 1230 solution, which can reliably and quickly respond to fires without threatening delicate electrical equipment.

One of its advantages, too, is that it takes up about a quarter of the space of some other conventional options, which is an important consideration in a hospital environment where space is at a premium.

As was the case with Bunjil Place,  the Novec 1230’s low impact on the environment compared with some other gaseous-suppression systems on the market proved appealing to the facility’s management team. 

Up to the test

While gaseous fire suppression systems are a safe and simple option for many businesses, any associated installation and testing must be carried out by experts.

Regulatory authorities in Australia apply strict rules relating to the use of gaseous agents, systems and hardware, including provisions around importation licences, pressure vessel approvals, system performance, reliability, human safety and environmental impacts.

It is also important to conduct robust Enclosure Integrity Tests to confirm whether an area that is being protected is well sealed and able to maintain a suppression agent for a minimum duration. This is crucial as gaseous extinguishing systems are designed to prevent re-flash of a fire, both to limit possible damage and to allow time for fire services to respond to a threat.

Therefore, it is imperative to engage a fire-suppression specialist with a proven history of delivering the latest solutions in a safe and cost-expensive way. Anything less could prove disastrous for a business and its people.

Delta Fire Australasia specialises in the installation and servicing of gaseous fire suppression solutions to commercial and industrial sites. Visit www.deltafire.com.au for more details.

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