Last edited 09 Aug 2021

Fire suppression


This fire suppression system was installed in the cafeteria of the Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte, Florida.


[edit] Introduction

Buildings need to be designed to offer an acceptable level of fire safety and minimise the risks from heat and smoke. One fire safety objective is to protect the occupants and others who may become involved, such as the fire and rescue service. Also crucial are protecting contents and ensuring that as much as possible of a building can continue to function after a fire - and that it can be repaired. The risk to adjoining properties also needs to be considered, as well as possible environmental pollution.

[edit] Different aspects of fire safety

There are several terms used to describe different fire safety measures. While there may be some overlap, they are primarily categorised as prevention, protection and suppression.

[edit] Prevention

Fire prevention is defined as proactive measures that are designed to minimise hazards. Part 3 of Schedule 1 of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 specifies some of the principles of prevention, including:

[edit] Protection

Fire protection reduces damage and helps to safely evacuate a building. This means identifying risks and designing safeguards that help prevent and control the effects of fire.

The Building Regulations Part B: Fire Safety, addresses precautionary protection measures necessary to provide safety from fires for building occupants, persons in the vicinity of buildings, and firefighters. Requirements cover; means of escape, fire detection and warning systems, the fire resistance of structural elements, fire separation, protection, compartmentation and isolation to prevent fire spread, control of flammable materials, and access and facilities for firefighting.

[edit] Suppression

Finally, fire suppression systems are those measures that are used to contain and extinguish fires. These systems are primarily designed to control flames and prevent their ability to spread.

[edit] Fire suppression systems

Fire suppression is an active containment measure that operates - either manually or automatically - only when fire is present.

There are many different types of fire suppression systems, including fixed components (such as sprinklers) or portable equipment (such as extinguishers):

The suitability of different fire suppression systems tends to depend on the type of fire exposure or risk that is to be expected within a structure. For instance, certain fire extinguishers may be designed to protect against specific hazards or materials. These extinguishers are colour coded to indicate what type of fire they should be used to extinguish.

See Extinguishment.

[edit] Fire suppression operations

Fire suppression operations are classified as either offensive or defensive:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

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