Fire suppression systems are a vital part of a building’s fire safety infrastructure. The term ‘fire suppression’ is a collective name for a group of units that’s main function is to put out a fire. Fire suppression systems are found in industrial, commercial and residential buildings in order to keep all occupants safe in the event of a fire. What is a fire suppression system, though, and how often should a fire suppression system be inspected? Find out more in this guide from NW Fire Solutions below.

Fire suppression systems explained

A fire suppression system contains a range of components that helps to detect the early presence of a fire within a building. Smoke can be found with the use of smoke detectors, and the suppression system will then initiate an alarm so the fire can be tackled and subdued before it has a chance to spread.

There are two types of fire protection systems: active and passive. A fire suppression system is considered an active fire protection system because the system is designed to trigger in response to the presence of fire or smoke.

Fire suppression systems not only detect the presence of fire and smoke, but actively work to ‘suppress’ the blaze.

Different types of fire suppression system

There are five different types of fire suppression systems, and they are:

  • Gas systems
  • Wet chemical foam systems for kitchens
  • Water mist systems
  • Foam deluge systems
  • Pneumatic heat detection tubes

Gas systems

A gas fire suppression system stores fire-suppressing liquids that are pressurised with nitrogen. These liquids, which contain a chemical agent called FM200, are released to immediately suppress the flames. As these systems don’t use water, they’re beneficial for rooms with large amounts of electrical equipment.

Wet chemical foam systems for kitchens

Wet chemical foam fire suppression systems are designed for tackling fires in kitchens. They work by quickly emitting a water-based chemical foam directly into a small area. They’re usually located under canopies of cookers and are activated by a manual switch or a heat link, which is a link attached to a wire that breaks when exposed to heat.

Water mist systems

Water mist systems are a viable fire suppression solution for spaces that can’t be exposed to large amounts of water. They produce droplets that are smaller than conventional sprinkler systems and create a layer of steam that starves the fire of oxygen, quickly reducing the temperature of the area.

Foam deluge systems

Foam deluge systems are the most effective means of controlling fires in areas that contain flammable liquids. If a fire catches in environments that contain such substances, controlling the spread is extremely difficult as they can accelerate quickly. For this reason, foam deluge systems are commonly installed in refineries, aircraft hangers, and industrial warehouses.

Pneumatic heat detection tubes

Pneumatic heat detection tubes are designed in a similar fashion to fire extinguishers. They’re considered to be the most compact and mobile of fire suppression systems and have two primary components: a valve and a pipe.

The pipe is installed around the potential source of fire and, when it reaches a certain temperature, it emits a suppressive agency onto the flames via the valve. This type of fire suppression system tackles a fire in its beginning stages and is located in small areas. They’re ideal for tackling blazes in cupboards, vehicles and on boats.

However, this means that they’re unsuitable for suppressing large fires.

How often should fire suppression systems be inspected?

To ensure that your fire suppression system is in full working order and can respond effectively in the event of a fire, regularly maintenance and inspection is required. A fire suppression system requires regular servicing, but the regularity of it depends on the system and the environment it’s working in.

The standard time between each service for a fire suppression system is 12 months, but for enhanced safety, it can be done a lot more frequently.

Fire safety in flats with NW Fire Solutions

At NW Fire Solutions, we’re experts in fire safety and can provide a wealth of services to you. If you’re an employer then you’ll need to ensure that your staff are aware of the risks around them. We can provide professional-level fire safety training that doesn’t impact on your business.

We can also help to implement a fire strategy within your business so everyone knows their role and the evacuation points should a fire occur.

We are also adept at providing further services, such as fire risk assessments, fire door surveys, property inspections, compartmentation surveys, and more.

If you’d like to learn more about the services we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0151 665 0124, or email us at