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How Does Automatic Fire Suppression for Warehouses Work?

How Does Automatic Fire Suppression for Warehouses Work?

Posted 7/7/2022

Alt Title: Everything You Need to Know About Fire Suppression for Warehouses

If you own and operate a warehouse, you know how valuable one is. If a fire were to break out, you could end up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of materials, if not millions of dollars, and your workers could be injured or killed in the process.

It's true that warehouse fires aren't especially common, but if you adopt the mentality that the rareness of the incident makes it a non-threat, you're essentially gambling. Even if you follow best practices for fire safety in your warehouse, there's still a chance that a fire could begin raging at any time.

As an added measure of security, it's advisable to install an automatic fire suppression system for your warehouse. But how exactly do automatic fire suppression systems work and how can you use one effectively for your warehouse?

How Automatic Fire Suppression Works

Automatic fire suppression is the term for any system designed to fight back against a fire without human intervention. Unlike a common fire extinguisher, which requires a human being to grab it and begin operating it, these systems kick into action without the need for any manual effort.

There are many different types of fire suppression systems worth considering, but all of them have three components:

·       Detection. First, automatic fire suppression systems have some form of detection. The suppression system must identify a fire in this location before it begins working; this is to make sure your warehouse inventory doesn't get soaked in water or covered in dry chemicals unnecessarily. Most automatic fire suppression systems rely on the detection of heat, smoke, or other strong indicators of fire. It's also worth noting that some automatic fire suppression systems also have a manual option available; one of your warehouse workers may be able to pull a lever to introduce fire suppression elements, even if the automatic detection methods fail.

·       Actuation. Next, your fire suppression system will have some form of actuation. Once a fire is detected, there needs to be an automatic trigger that springs the suppression system into action. For example, the automatic suppression system may be built on tubing, which ruptures when reaching a specific temperature. Once that temperature is reached, the tube bursts, triggering a set of mechanical reactions that ultimately begin delivery.

·       Delivery. At this point, the fire suppression system is responsible for deploying some substance to actively suppress the fire. There are many types of virus suppression system available for many different types of fires. Some of these suppression systems rely on conventional sprinklers and water, drenching the fire, but if you don't want your warehouse inventory to get soaked, you might choose a suppression system using a dry chemical instead.

Ultimately, automatic fire suppression for warehouses is designed to be as safe and as seamless as possible, giving you a mechanism that can stop a fire from spreading and minimize damage without needing anyone to control it in the moment.

Choosing and Installing a Fire Suppression System

The most difficult part of the process is choosing which type of automatic fire suppression system to choose for your warehouse. Ideally, you'll choose one that is perfectly suited to the types of fire you might encounter in this environment. There are many different potential chemical agents to choose from, all of them with strengths and weaknesses, as well as environments to which they are not well suited. It's a good idea to talk to a fire suppression expert about your workplace environment, the type of inventory you're working with, and other unique conditions you may face.

Installation is likely easier than you think. These days, warehouse owners have access to totally independent, standalone fire suppression systems, which can be installed independently of any existing plumbing. In other words, you won't have to totally reconstruct your building just to have an automatic fire suppression system installed.

The Value of Automatic Fire Suppression for Your Warehouse

If you have a warehouse, you should be strongly considering installing an automatic fire suppression system. These are just some of the benefits you'll see when installing:

·       Regulatory compliance. Depending on where your business operates, you may be legally required to have an automatic fire suppression system in place. Be sure to review the local fire codes and talk to a lawyer for more specifics here. If you live in certain areas, or if your business operates in certain ways, fire suppression is non-negotiable.

·       Prevention of damage. One of the most obvious benefits of a fire suppression system is prevention of damage to your goods. Whether your warehouse is modest or enormous, it's home to some of your most important inventory, and it's probably loaded with valuable materials at all times. At higher levels of operation, you could easily have millions of dollars of inventory stored at any given time; without some way to control a fire outbreak immediately and sufficiently, you could end up losing all those materials. Fire suppression systems aren't perfect, and they may not eliminate all possibility of damage, but they should greatly reduce the damage you see from such an incident.

·       Prevention of harm. It's not just about your inventory or the warehouse itself. Fires tend to be more common when a building is occupied, due to the fire risks that human beings introduce to their environments. If your warehouse is fully occupied when a fire breaks out, someone could get hurt or killed. Installing a fire suppression system isn't a guarantee that no one will be hurt in a fire, but it can significantly prevent the possibility of harm.

·       Reduction of total costs. Automatic fire suppression systems aren't always cheap, but they're almost always cheaper than the alternative. Deploying an automatic suppression agent in the face of a fire will reduce the damage you see, the harm done to your employees, and the lawsuits you might face after a fire; overall, you'll reduce the costs you pay after a fire significantly.

·       Peace of mind. Some people want to install a fire suppression system just to have greater peace of mind.

Are you interested in an automatic fire suppression system for your business? Do you need more information on how these fire suppression systems work or how they can be installed? Contact Cease Fire for more information today!