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The 5 Main Types of Fire Suppression

We know from experience that choosing the correct fire suppression system for your organisation can be a bit of a minefield. It is important to understand the different systems and which type of system is required to protect your specific high risk area. This is why we have put together our brief guide, outlining the types of systems available.


Which System is Right for You?

1.Gas System—FM200

Gas systems are stored as a liquid, with nitrogen used to pressurise it. When released the FM200 agent has a chemical reaction with the fire and extinguishes it. This system is best suited to data rooms, switch rooms or communication rooms.


  • Stored as a liquid so takes up less space.
  • Easy to install because the cylinder is usually in the same room.
  • The system is safe for humans on discharge due to there being no reduction in oxygen.

Other Considerations

  • If the system is protecting a large room or being diverted to other areas/rooms it is rarely a cost effective option over other gas systems such as inert gas.

2.Kitchen Fire Suppression—Ansul

Kitchen suppression systems are specifically designed for commercial kitchens. Nozzles are placed under the cooker canopies and will propel a water based agent with a chemical foam type mix over the risk. The trigger to release the agent can include both a manual pull switch and a heat link.


  • Easy to use and cause no damage to your equipment.
  • No electronics/electricals work on most systems.

Other Considerations

  • Installation is often done during in the evening after the kitchen has had the chance to cool down.
  • Cleaning up after discharge can often take longer than a Watermist system.
  • No British Standard to work towards however Kitchen Fire Suppression systems works towards the UL300 standards.

3.Watermist System

Watermist systems are commonly replacing sprinklers in big data rooms and other large areas. The systems can be used on flammable liquids as well as electrical rooms, the mist evaporates and causes a starving of oxygen effect rather than cooling.


  • The agent is quick and easy to replace after a discharge.
  • No mess or flooding, when compared to chemical kitchen fire systems or sprinklers.
  • No large water storage or pump requirements, when compared to sprinklers.

Other Considerations

  • No British Standards apply and there are few manufacturers and distributors.
  • Still not widely recognised as an alternative to sprinklers and gas.

4.Foam Deluge System

Foam Deluge systems are suitable for large applications where you can’t use water or gas. These tend to be external such oil tankers or storage silos. A sprinkler type application disperses a foam concentrate mixed with the water to provide the typical expanding agent, similar to extinguishers.


  • Good for external areas.
  • Covers larger areas.
  • Protects flammable liquids such as airports, aircraft hangers and oil storage.

Other Considerations

  • Need to consider the electrical risks due to the wet agent.
  • The agent is messy after discharge so the clean-up down time should be considered.

5.Pneumatic Heat Detection Tube

Similar to an extinguisher, Pneumatic Heat Detection uses a valve and a length of heat detection tube which acts as the detection and propellant feed for the agent. When the temperature reaches a certain level around the pipe it blows a small pressurised hole in the pipe, which then propels the agent directly onto the risk. This system is ideal for boats, vehicles and electrical switch cabinets.


  • Small amount of agent required as it’s assumed it will attack the fire at the smouldering stage.
  • Low install and maintenance costs.
  • Can install in small intricate areas such as machinery.

Other Considerations

  • Can’t guarantee it will work if it’s used on a large fire
  • No standards to design and install to.
  • Difficult to cover larger areas such as high ceilings.


Don’t leave your properties fire protection to chance, call 0845 402 3045 or email for more information on your fire suppression needs. Alternatively download our free fire suppression buyers guide.

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