Fire Protection Systems In Buildings
The design, layout and type of fire protection systems in buildings can become very complex as it takes into account the building use, construction, occupancy, size, and perhaps even specific assets.
Typically fire protection systems for buildings are complex and technical, and therefore it’s common for no two buildings to have the exact same design or equipment. There are objectives for each building requiring a unique fire protection systems, design and layout.
For general multipurpose building, there are general fire fighting equipment in buildings that provide sufficient fire protection for its occupancy.
General Fire Fighting Equipment In Buildings
Fire protection systems and equipment will depend on the age, size, use and type of building construction.
A building may contain some or all of the following general fire protection systems or equipment:
- Fire Hose Reels
- Portable Fire Extinguishers
- External Fire Hydrants
- Internal Automatic Water Suppression Sprinkler Systems
Occupants of a building should familiarise themselves with the fire protection systems and equipment available to them.
Fire Hose Reels
Fire hose reels are generally situated in fixed designated positions throughout the building for use by occupants as a first response fire fighting method, where practical to do so for class A fires.
Fire hose reels provide occupants with a reasonably controlled supply of water to respond with.
Being a fixed unit, they’re permanently connected to the mains water supply and consist of a main isolation valve used to charge the hose when needed for use, and to shut off and de-pressurise the hose before being stowed away.
A swivel type control nozzle control nozzle enables the user to control the amount of water flow.
Portable fire extinguishers are also provided as a first response fire fighting method and like fire hose reels, they’re typically used by occupants of the building when fires are small & manageable. It is critical that occupants of the building are familiar with which type of fire extinguisher to use on which type of fire and further beneficial; if they have formal training for their use.
Typically most fires start small and fire extinguishers can work to quickly suppress the fire if the correct type and amount of extinguishing agent is applied whilst the fire is still small and controllable.
The general fire extinguishers types currently available include:
Extinguishing Agent Principle Use
Water wood and paper fires – non electrical
Foam flammable liquid fires – non electrical
Dry Chemical flammable liquids and electrical fires
Carbon Dioxide electrical fires
Wet Chemical fat / cooking oil fires – non electrical
Fire extinguisher locations must be clearly identified with appropriate signage. Extinguishers are colour coded according to the extinguishing agent.
Fire extinguishers are to be logically positioned at exits from the building, so occupants first go to the exit and return to fight the fire, first knowing that a safe exit lies behind them, away from harm.
External Fire Hydrant Systems
Fire Hydrant Systems are installed outside of buildings to assist with the delivery of water to help fire fighters suppress the attack of fire. Essentially a fire hydrant system is a water supply with a sufficient pressure and flow delivered through pipes throughout the external perimeter if a building to strategically located network of valves or outlets for the purpose of connecting to.
The objective of the fire hydrant is to ensure a sufficient amount of water is available for fire fighters to effectively control a fire in the building and assist in protecting building occupants and vital company assets.
Fire hydrants systems sometimes include ancillary parts essential to the effective operation of the hydrant network which include pumps, tanks and booster components.
A Fire Hydrant System needs to be closely interfaced with fire service operational procedures, and hence complex design considerations may be required.
Internal Automatic Water Suppression Sprinkler Systems
Water mist fire suppression systems are designed to supply a fine mist of water in both low and high pressure applications.
Building containing assets of high value such as data centres or museums, heritage buildings generators etc. are well suited for water mist fire suppression systems.
Water mist applications provides are highly efficient means of fire protection with low quantities of water used compared to conventional water protection systems.
The tiny water mist droplets create a large cooling surface effect on the area of the fire, and the mist can penetrate the hot fumes and penetrate into the combustion area.
Lower levels of damage to buildings and vital assets are experienced due to the lower quantity of water used.
More Information on our fire protection systems for buildings
Designs and components required for effective fire protection for buildings can be quite complex. Contact LPG Fire Australia at our head office for more information.