Gas extinguishing systems are typically used in critical area of a business’ operation such as, computer/server rooms, telecoms rooms, electrical switchgear rooms, and other high risk areas where water damage must be avoided. Other areas protected are archive stores, laboratories, gas turbines, oil installations, power generation to name but a few. It is also used where extinguishment of fires in shaded or enclosed areas such as inside control cabinets is required. Like all the other systems available, VIVA Fire Protection Ltd design these systems on a project by project basis, complying with all BE/EN standards and the legislative requirements.
There are various gases that can be used and the selection will depend on the specific application. The gas is stored in self-contained bottles and when the system is activated total flooding of the room with gas occurs to either reduce the oxygen levels to below the percentage needed for combustion, or creates a chemical reaction to break the “fire triangle” (heat, fuel and oxygen).
Gas extinguishing systems would normally be initiated by an electrical fire system. These are commonly heat or smoke detection systems to initiate early detect and rapid release of the gas agents to extinguish the fire.
The various gases used are all environmentally safe but all have advantages and disadvantages. The selection of the gas agent used will be dependent on the application, the level of risk and life safety factors for personnel who may be operating in the area being protected.
When selecting a gas extinguishing system other physical factors need to be considered. The rooms “integrity” needs to be established to ensure that the gas is retained in the area, at the appropriate level for the required time. Other gas systems require room pressure relief to accommodate initial discharge pressure. Venting or extraction may be needed to remove products of combustion after discharge.