Fire extinguishers that put out the fire using a gaseous extinguishing agent are called a gas extinguishing system. These agents annihilate fire with the help of either oxygen displacement or physical effects such as heat extraction or isolation of fuel. A gas extinguishing system in contrast to a wet sprinkler system is designed to extinguish and not only suppress the fire. It is used when water, foam, or powder extinguishing systems are not effective or other extinguishing agents could cause significant damage.
The major components of the gas extinguisher are an extinguishing agent, agent storage containers, fire detection systems, release valves, fire detectors, agents delivering pipe, and dispersion nozzles. The other terms used for describing inert gas extinguishers are gaseous fire suppression equipment and clean agent fire suppression. The inert gas fire extinguishers use argon and nitrogen gases and their mixtures as an extinguishing agent and work by reducing the oxygen concentration inside the protected hazard. The environment-friendly, gaseous fire suppression system produced by the inert gas fire extinguisher is safe for people and equipment.
Working Principle of Inert Gas Suppression System
The inert gas fire extinguisher system works by reducing the amount of oxygen present in the area where the fire breaks out. The oxygen concentration is lessened by the use of inert gas until it attains a level where combustion is no longer carried. It does not eliminate oxygen from the space altogether while only the oxygen level is lowered. When discharged, the inert gas is rapidly and uniformly distributed with the protected hazard area, achieving design concentration in 60 seconds. The inert gas may be applied at normal temperatures with substances such as nickel, copper, steel, brass, bronze, plastics and they are non-corrosive.
Main areas where gas extinguishing systems are useful includes
- IT systems and computer rooms.
- Document safes and archive rooms.
- Art galleries, museums, libraries, and film projector rooms.
- Emergency call centres, television, radio and control rooms.
- Flight navigation and control rooms.
- Mobile phone transmitter stations and internet service provider centres.
- Medical Sector: medical facilities, operating rooms, military storage centres.
- Industrial facilities such as laboratories, pharmaceutical industry, and hospitals.
- Emergency power generators, power plants, wind turbines, educational institutions, and banks.
- In-flight simulators, ships, and military vehicles.
Main features and benefits of Inert gas extinguishers
- Zero ozone Depletion Potential
- Zero Global Warming Potential
- No Combustion By-Products
- Weight similar to air
- No fogging
- No Residue
- Electrically Non-conductive
- Minimal Thermal Stock
Since argon and nitrogen are naturally present in the environment while using inert gas extinguishers, there is nil green-house effect and zero level ozone layer depletion potential. It is non-conductive, colourless, odourless, flavourless, and chemically inert. To ensure the use of the correct quantity of agent for the sufficient suppression of fire within the specific risk area, the area must be accurately measured to protect by an inert gas.
Like the installation of any other fire protection engineering systems, an inert gas fire extinguisher should only be installed by an expert person. Because of its unique pressure regulated valve assembly, the fire extinguisher agent reaches the protected area or rooms within 60 seconds, The inert gas fire extinguisher system occupies a small area and is more economical than any other fire suppression system.