Fire suppression systems of any kind are designed to respond immediately to fire hazards. The sooner a fire can be controlled, the greater chance you have of minimizing the amount of damage that occurs to your property or facility until help can arrive. Different industries and applications require different fire suppression solutions, and one such type of fire suppression system is the dry chemical fire suppression system.
What is a Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System
A dry chemical fire suppression system is a type of fire protection system that makes use of a dry chemical powder to extinguish a fire. Most dry chemical fire suppression systems make use of a large tank that is filled with the dry chemical powder, and then pressurized.
When the system is activated, either electrically or manually, the valve on the pressurized tank opens, and the dry powder is released into a piping system and out the nozzles of the fire suppression system. The dry chemical powder works to smother and extinguish the fire as soon as possible.
What Chemicals Does a Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System Use?
There are two main chemicals employed by dry chemical fire suppression systems: sodium bicarbonate and mono-ammonium phosphate. Sodium bicarbonate can handle all Class B fires and some Class C fires, while mono-ammonium phosphate is an all-purpose solution used for fires in Classes A, B, and C.
What Applications Use a Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System?
Dry chemical fire suppression systems are primarily used in large, industrial applications like chemical storage, petrochemical loading and off-loading facilities, auto paint booths, dip tanks, mixing rooms, open-faced booths, and more. They are especially useful in environments where water is inaccessible or where a fire sprinkler system is not preferred. Since they are non-conductive, they can also be utilized to suppress fires on flammable liquid fires that involve live electrical equipment.
Looking at the Pros and Cons
With any fire suppression system, there are pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of a dry chemical fire suppression system, so you can determine whether a dry chemical fire suppression system is right for your application.
Advantages of a Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System
- They are extremely reliable. Dry chemical systems can be trusted to protect your facility, your products, and your people.
- They pump out a lot of agent, knocking down fires quickly and effectively.
- These systems are both accessible and efficient to use because they are rechargeable. You can use a dry chemical fire suppression system over and over, so long as you are sure to recharge the system after it has been activated.
- They are great for areas where a fire sprinkler system is not ideal. Whether you don’t have access to water, or are concerned about the damage a sprinkler system could do to the electronic components in your facility, a dry chemical system is a great option.
- Dry chemical fire suppression systems can be actuated either electrically or mechanically.
- Oftentimes there’s a significant reduction in maintenance costs for these systems over other options
Disadvantages of a Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System
- You must have your system recharged after it is activated in order for the system to work again.
- Because these systems pump out a lot of agent to extinguish the fire, extensive cleanup is required after each use. You’ll need to follow proper dry chemical cleanup procedure to get your facility back in working order.
If your industrial application needs a fire suppression system, it’s clear that the advantages of a dry chemical fire suppression system largely outweigh the disadvantages. Dry chemical fire suppression systems are simple and affordable to install, and they offer some of the best fire protection on the market.
If you’re still not sure whether a dry chemical fire suppression system is right for you or not, the Vanguard team can help. With more than 60 years in fire suppression and protection, we can design and install a solution that fits your facility perfectly. For more information about our versatile fire suppression system options, get in touch.