Gas Suppression

Advantages of Automatic Fire Suppression (Inergen/ Novec/ FM200)

The first and most obvious advantage of a fire suppression system is that it stops fires and saves your information. Even if you are unaware that a fire has started in your server room, the system is aware. Without the need of human intervention, it starts working to quickly end the fire, so you don’t lose priceless and irreplaceable data.

Gas systems are especially fast at stopping fires. Inert gas systems take about 1-2 minutes to unleash enough gas to lower the oxygen level. Most of these systems succeed in extinguishing the fire in less than a minute. Even faster, synthetic gas fire suppressions take about 10 seconds to release its gas and cool the fire.

In addition to being fast, there are plenty of options from which you can choose. Whether it’s a mixture of Argon, Nitrogen and CO2 or 100 percent Nitrogen, you’ll find a system that works for your business and with which you feel comfortable. Plus, many of the options are not hazardous to humans or the environment when used in the proper amounts.

The final advantage is that if you choose an inert or synthetic gas option, there is generally no mess to clean up, except for any potential fire damage. They tent to not leave any residue behind or puddles of water or liquid, as with water suppression.

Do You Need Fire Suppression?

Every building can benefit from an automatic fire suppression system because you can’t be everywhere at once. A system ensures you, your workers and visitors are kept safe during a fire. Even if you are unaware of the fire, your automatic system kicks in to stop the threat.

If you have a server room or a data center, your chances of fire in your office increase. Therefore, having a fire suppression system is an absolute must. With so many servers, constantly working, these rooms get hot, and if electrical equipment fails, a fire could easily start. You need a fire suppression system to protect your data and people. In the event of a fire, a fire suppression system automatically turns on to douse the fire without the need for human interaction. These systems stop a fire in its tracks to keep your data safe and secure during a fire.

The goal of the suppression system is to detect the fire when it first starts. Then, using the water or gasses in your suppression system, control the fire. It stops the fire before it spreads to more servers or different areas in your business.

Classes of Fires

  • Class A: Class A fires have ordinary combustibles like wood, trash and paper.
  • Class B: Class B fires burn with flammable liquids or gases like gasoline, paint and propane.
  • Class C: Class C fires are electrical equipment fires, but once the power source has been removed, it turns into another class, based on the substance burning.
  • Class D: Class D fires have combustible metals as their fuel, which includes potassium, sodium and magnesium.
  • Class K: Class K fires are those that burn in cooking oils and greases like animal and vegetable fats.

Type of Gas Suppression

  • Gas Suppression for stopping fires in your server room is an inert gas fire suppression system. The goal of this kind of system is to stop the fire by reducing the oxygen level. Instead of using water, it unleashes inert gasses. This combination of gasses overwhelms the oxygen and reduces it to below 15 percent but above 12 percent. At this low level, there isn’t enough oxygen for the fire to consume, forcing it to burn out. However, keeping it above 12 percent means there is still enough oxygen for people who are inside the room. Common inert gas systems include:
  • Inergen: Inergen is a mixture of 50 percent Argon, 42 percent Nitrogen and 8 percent CO2, and it is appropriate for class A and class B fires, including live electrical equipment risks.
  • Argonite is a combination of 50 percent Argon and 50 percent Nitrogen. It is appropriate for class A and class B fires and live electrical equipment risks.
  • CO2: CO2 is Carbon Dioxide, and it is suitable for class A, B and C fires.