i8 work across the complete spectrum of construction and infrastructure sectors.
Active fire protection systems
Active fire protection systems are generally defined as water sprinkler or spray systems. These systems are widely used for the protection of resources and property
The role of the fire protection system may be to extinguish, control, or provide fire exposure protection to prevent domino effects.
Other more specialised systems using inert gases are used for flooding enclosed spaces.
Mechanical sprinkler systems are usually specified within larger commercial buildings. Sprinkler systems are ordinarily designed to help to prevent a fire from spreading out of control by suppressing it until the emergency services can reach the scene.
A network of pipes with sprinkler heads at regular intervals is installed in all areas requiring protection. Water is supplied from tanks and pumps, or from the town’s main.
The sprinkler heads are designed and manufactured to operate when the predetermined trigger temperature is reached and will then release water on to a fire. The thermal element in the head will often operate with only the heat from the hot gases caused by a fire.
The only sprinkler heads that will operate are those in the immediate vicinity of the fire. All others will remain closed.
This is to ensure that water is only applied to areas where there is a fire, reducing the amount of water needed and the amount of damaged caused.
The sprinkler heads are installed, generally at ceiling height, so that if one or more sprinkler heads is activated, the flow of water is sufficient to effectively control the fire. Calculations are carried out to ensure there is capacity to control a fire including the size and construction of the protected space or its use.
These systems utilise smoke or heat detection linked to alarm devices to form a life-safety system. They are designed to detect a fire, signal the fire control panel and notify the occupants to take action. They can also alert the authorities to an incident.
Water mist systems
A water mist system is similar to a sprinkler system except that it utilises fine water sprays (‘water mist’). The smaller water droplets create a fine mist to cool the flame and released gases as well as displacing oxygen. The smaller droplets themselves assist in reducing the temperature in area.
Water mist systems use in fire suppression depends on a number of factors, including droplet size and distribution and on the desired performance and protection requirements.
ASD (Aspirating Smoke Detection) systems
ASD alarm sensitivities can be designed to adjust to various levels, allowing use in areas requiring much more sensitivity than traditional detection methods, as well as those where sensitivity is normal.
This form of detection is ideal for non-volatile conditions as well as in computer system cabinets to provide alerts as to whether computer cabling or certain computer components are getting past critical temperature points.
Gaseous suppression systems
Gaseous fire suppression systems are often referred to as ‘clean agent fire suppression’, a system utilising inert gases to extinguish a fire.
These systems are made up of the inert gas, inert gas storage containers, valves, fire detection system, piping, and agent dispersion nozzles.
These systems work on the principal of applying the inert gas in to an enclosed space to achieve a concentration (volume percent of the agent in air) of the inert gas to extinguish the fire. These systems are automatic, utilising detection systems to trigger the release of the inert gas.
Conventional fire alarm systems
Fire alarm systems normally consist of a number of linked components including the fire alarm control panel, which is the centre of the system. The fire alarm control panel monitors detection devices and then activates notification devices when a fire is detected. These panels range in scale from a single zone to multiple zones, and even multiple buildings. Detection devices detect a fire and signal the fire alarm control panel. These can be triggered both manually (call points), as well as automatically in a response to heat, smoke or flame. When a signal is received from a detection device, the control panel will go into an alarm state.
Once a signal from a detection device has been received and the panel goes into an alarm state, the panel signals output devices that in turn, warn building occupants that there is an emergency situation. These are either audible or visual signalling devices, but the system may well also include output devices which shut down plant and BMS systems (such as HVAC systems) to prevent the spread of smoke; activate automatic suppression systems including pre-action sprinkler systems and more.