Last edited 20 Nov 2020

Extinguishment

FireExtMany.jpg Sprinkler 290.jpg

International Fire Safety Standards: Common Principles, Safe Buildings Save Lives, First Edition, published by the International Fire Safety Standards Coalition in 2020 defines extinguishment (or fire control) as: ‘Suppressing of fire and protecting of the surrounding environment.’

The most common extinguishing agents are:

These agents can be applied either by the occupants themselves, through auto-suppression systems, or by the fire and rescue service.

Sprinklers are designed to extinguish small fires or contain growing fires until the fire-and-rescue service arrives. Almost all buildings over 30m high must be fitted with a sprinkler system installed in accordance with the appropriate British Standards.

Sprinkler heads are heat sensitive and normally activate at 68°C. Each sprinkler head acts as its own heat detector and only those in the fire area will be activated. An individual sprinkler head typically covers around 9m2.

In certain buildings, it can be difficult for the fire-and-rescue service to safely reach and work close to fires. Under such circumstances, additional facilities are required to ensure that there is no delay and to provide a secure operating base. This might include:

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