Fire Suppression Systems: What You Need To Know

When you think of a fire suppression system, the image of a restaurant kitchen might spring to mind. But the term fire suppression system really refers to any type of system that suppresses fires. This might include water sprinklers or a system that releases wet chemicals to douse a fire.

Who Is Required To Install A Suppression System?

While restaurant and industrial kitchens definitely are required to have and maintain fire suppression systems, many other buildings also need to have suppression systems in place. For instance, most commercial properties in Toronto must have working sprinkler systems in place as well as exit lighting, fire extinguishers and other fire safety devices.

Keep in mind, when we are discussing “commercial” properties, this also includes some types of housing. An apartment complex or dormitory, for instance, while it is used for residential purposes, technically is a commercial property and, as such, it is required to meet stringent fire codes in order to ensure the safety of the residents.

What About Single-Family Homes?

Single-family homes typically are not subject to the same stringent regulations that affect businesses and large residential complexes. However, with two-unit buildings, such as a duplex or a home with a basement apartment or perhaps a single-family home used as a rooming house, it is highly recommended that fire sprinklers are installed.

These days, many homeowners will have a fire suppression system installed in their home. While it isn’t required for a single-family home, these systems are the best way to ensure your family’s safety in case of fire.

Obviously, working smoke and fire alarms are crucial, but if a fire does break out, sprinklers can douse the flames and provide your family with a better chance of escape. Fires and smoke can spread very quickly throughout a home. In fact, it can take just five minutes for a single-family home to be engulfed in flames and filled with smoke. That leaves very little time to escape from the structure, but sprinklers greatly can increase your safety.

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that these systems do more damage than good, but this is simply not the case. For instance, they believe that if a fire breaks out in one room, all of the sprinklers in the entire home will come on. This is not the case. The sprinklers in the room with flames will come on and often that is enough to keep the fire under control and prevent the flames and smoke from spreading.

Trust us when we tell you that the water damage from sprinklers will be far less widespread than the damage from a fire or even the water damage that will occur if the fire department must suppress the fire. Of course, the most important factor is safety, and homes with fire suppression systems are far safer than homes that just have smoke and fire alarms. These alarms are crucial; as are fire extinguishers, but sprinklers truly provide you with a very high level of fire protection.

Types of Fire Suppression Systems

A fire suppression system can release chemicals or water. In industrial and restaurant kitchens, chemicals will be released that can douse grease fires quickly. In kitchens, this is called a fire suppression hood, and you also should have these installed in food trucks, as well. These will need to be inspected and certified by a licensed inspector, such as ourselves. You also need to inspect the system yourself to ensure that it is clean and not caked with grease, which can limit the effectiveness of your system.

Fire sprinklers are an excellent option for many businesses, and there are several different types of sprinkler systems. Businesses such as restaurants or with industrial kitchens will be required to have suppression hoods in the kitchens as well as sprinklers in the kitchen and throughout the building.

What About Electrical Fires?

You probably have heard that trying to douse an electrical fire with water is a terrible idea, and this is true. Water and electricity do not mix; however, this doesn’t mean that fire sprinklers are a bad idea in case of an electrical fire.

When an electrical spark occurs, typically, this causes a breaker or circuit to close and the electricity stops flowing and this eliminates the worry about electricity and water mingling. The spark might cause a fire, but this is a fire sparked by electricity not necessarily an electrical fire. Typically the materials burning are combustible materials such as walls and curtains, etc. Water definitely is an effective way to suppress this type of fire.

Of course, some businesses do contain large amounts of electrical equipment. For these types of businesses, there are fire suppression systems designed specifically to suppress electrical fires. But for a homeowner, or most business owners without a plethora of electrical equipment, a fire sprinkler system will not pose a risk if a fire is sparked by electricity.

How Tesla Can Help

At Tesla Fire Systems, we can help with everything from fire safety installations to fire hood suppression certifications. If you need emergency lighting, exit lighting, sprinklers or the installation of a full fire suppression system, give us a call. We also can provide you with any type of electrical contracting you might need. We offer a lifetime guarantee on all of our work and services, so if you need fire safety support and services throughout the GTA, give us a call at any time.

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