In Business or Commercial buildings various types of fire protection systems are recommended for installation as per national building codes & relevant standards. In order to ensure safety of life and the property various system like fire alarm system to sprinkler systems are provisioned inside the building premises. Clean agent gas based fire extinguishing or suppression system is recommended especially in areas which are critical and water discharge may damage the equipment or things present in the protected space. If you don’t have clean agent gas fire extinguishing system in place, read on to learn more about what it is and determine if you need one.
What is a Clean Agent Gas based Fire Extinguishing (CAFÉ) System?
A clean agent gas based fire extinguishing (CAFE) system is a setup which consists of inert gas cylinder, directional/selector valve, inert gas discharge nozzle, damper, automatic fire detection, actuation & alarm system, inert gas is used to extinguish the fire instead of water being discharged in to the protected space. This type of system is often used in buildings where water from a sprinkler system would damage items within the room. A clean agent gas fire extinguishing system uses a chemical gaseous substance to put the fire out rather than water. Typically the agent gases used are Inert Gases (like: IG-100, IG-541 etc.), Halocarbons, Halon, CO2 of which inert gases have no adverse effect on the environment in comparison to other clean agent gases.
How Does the System Works?
The actuation of clean agent gas based fire extinguishing system is possible through either automatic activation of solenoid valves in case of fire detected in the protected space or manual release stations. Opening of solenoid valve upon receipt of signal from control panel either by automatic detection or manual activation allows discharge of agent gas stored in the cylinder through the discharge nozzles in the protected space/room. As fire can occur and continues to burn only if there is presence of heat, oxygen, and a fuel source are present, discharge of clean agent gas eliminates either the heat or the oxygen elements to extinguish the fire.
Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing System Advantages:
There are a few advantages to using a clean agent fire suppression system including:
- Clean agents are non-toxic and non-corrosive which means safe for use in environment where people are present.
- As the CAFE system does not discharge water or chemical powder to extinguish fire thus clean agent gases can safely be discharged in areas with sensitive equipment like servers, electronics and high-value assets.
- No clean-up and no-damages leads to no downtime in the business operations
- Activation of system happens in matter of seconds, which allows extinguishment of fire effectively with least damage from fire which is usually limited to a small area.
- Clean agent gas used in the CAFE systems are environmentally friendly.
Therefore, you can use this system as an alternative to the regular fire suppression system and receive more benefits as you would with a water-based fire protection system.
Application Areas of CAFE System?
Many businesses can use a traditional water based fire protection system. However, there are certain businesses and buildings where a clean agent gas fire extinguishing system is better suited. Buildings that should have this type of fire protection system in place, rather than a water sprinkler system, are those where the items within the space need protection from damage caused by water and chemical powder. Some businesses or buildings where a clean agent fire extinguishing system may be the best bet includes the following:
- Data Centre
- Computer Server Rooms
- UPS Rooms
- Telecommunication Centres
- Labs and medical facilities
If you have a business or building such as these, you may need a clean agent fire extinguishing system in place to protect the items within your space.