Inert Gases

IG01, Inergen, Argonite, Pro-inert, CO2

Stored as a pressurised gas, inert gases are usually a mix of nitrogen, argon and sometimes added Co2.

Advantages

  • Travels long distances because of the high pressure.
  • Easily diverted to separate rooms using diverter valves and pilot cylinders. Large cost saving as you only need enough gas to protect the largest room. If you are considering this make sure you consider a quote for a replacement cylinder bank. You have to be aware of the downtime in replacing the gas cylinders after a discharge which is usually 5 -15 working days at Assured. Also check that it’s acceptable that only one room can be covered at any one time with this type of solution.
  • More cost effective with larger systems.
  • Environmentally friendly. Argon and Nitrogen are a natural gases so it just gets released back into the atmosphere.

Disadvantages

  • Inert gas suppressionLarger pipe sizes required along with more pipe work and associated fabrication.
  • More cylinder space required, although this can be placed a distance away from the risk or even outdoors if protected.
  • Damper relief required, because more gas is going into the room and over pressurisation occurs.
  • Media such as photos and video tape when burning can create an oxidising effect where more oxygen is given off from a fire. This means inert gases which reduce the oxygen volume cannot be used as the original calculation would be incorrect. It is not possible to calculate how much reduction would be required, so in these circumstances synthetic gases should be considered first. However other solutions are possible.

Applications

  • Electrical Data Processing (EDP areas)
  • Switch/Communication Rooms
  • Archives/Stores
  • Cabinet/Enclosure Protection

 

Carbon Dioxide System

Mainly used for local application or cabinet protection where room integrity cannot be guaranteed or is uneconomical. This is a heavier than air gas so ensure if there are any off shoot low level ducts or voids where the gas may leak to, these areas are covered for warning of discharge. It’s not uncommon for these areas to be separate or a distance away from the risk.

CO2 fire suppressionMechanical and electrical heavy duty locks are required to ensure any person going into the risk area has to put the system in manual only mode or isolate the system. This is to avoid discharge whilst a person is in the room or area, which could be fatal.

Ideal for local application as the gas discharge can be over a 3-4 minute period and have additional discharges afterwards. This avoids an initial high pressure and short blast (synthetic gases - 10 seconds, inert gases - 60 seconds to propel the whole amount) which could potentially blow the enclosure apart and enables a longer discharge to avoid issues with gas leaking from holes/gaps in the cabinet.

Advantages

  • Ideal for open areas with no or low room integrity. Heavy gas permeates lots of areas so ideal for printing machines and other machinery.
  • Economical and can be used in large areas.
  • No major effect on pipe work design or size.

Disadvantages

  • Carbon dioxide fire suppressionCan quickly cause asphyxiation.
  • Locking devices may be required on all entry and exit doors to protect staff.
  • Bad press – some systems have caused death so are being replaced by inert gases. Some people are nervous about the health and safety aspects of using this gas, but when designed properly it presents minimal risk.
  • Though CO2 is a non-toxic gas, it does have an occupational exposure limit assigned to it under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).

Applications

  • Machine Spaces
  • Switch Rooms
  • Transportation
  • Cabinets
  • Generators (local application)
  • Fryers and Ovens (local application)

What’s the next step?

Fire Suppression Guide free downloadIf you’re thinking of installing a new fire suppression system, looking to upgrade your existing suppression system or need a maintenance schedule for your system then why not book one of our Fire Suppression Consultants to visit your business and conduct a free site survey?

Or if you’re not ready for a visit just yet why not download our FREE Fire Suppression Buyers’ Guide? This comprehensive guide covers all you need to know about your legal requirements, types of fire suppression systems, what you need to consider, the laws you must comply with when installing a suppression system on your business premises and much more.

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