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Different Types of Fire Suppression Systems (And How to Choose the Right One for Your Building)

fire suppression system

Choosing the right fire suppression system is not a task you want to take lightly. Fires claim thousands of lives and destroy billions of dollars in property annually.

Thankfully, a quality fire suppression system designed for your building can help make sure you aren’t part of those statistics should a fire start.

Keep reading to learn about the different kinds of fire suppression systems and how to choose the right one to keep your building safe!

Types of Fire Suppression Systems

Different types of buildings and industries require different kinds of systems to meet their needs. When trying to choose the right one for your needs and space, you’ll need to understand these differences.

Engineered and Pre-Engineered

An engineered fire suppression system floods the entire room with a chemical agent. A pre-engineered system is geared toward smaller spaces and enclosures, especially those that have additional hazards like electrical panels.

Fire Detection Systems

Fire suppression systems use different methods to detect fires. The main two are active and non-electric.

Active detection systems have a constant power source and detect fires by monitoring for smoke and heat. These are constantly on guard, but if power is lost, the system stops working.

Non-electric systems don’t rely on power and instead use a tube system. The tubes burst on contact with flames and cause the system to respond at their discharge.

Direct and Indirect Release

A direct release system works at the point the fire was detected. If the tube bursts at a certain spot, for instance, the chemical agent is released through that hole directly on the flames that affected it.

Indirect release systems discharge fire suppressing agents through a diffuser that works on an entire area instead of one spot.

Types of Substances Used

There are several kinds of agents used in fire suppression systems. Understanding the differences and what each works for will help you choose the right one for your building.

Chemical Clean Agents

This class of chemicals are fast-acting fire suppressors. They are called “clean” because they are safe for people to be exposed to and don’t damage assets like computers, electronics, artwork, and paper records.

Inert Gases

These include nitrogen, argon, or a combination of gases that work to reduce oxygen levels so that fire can’t be sustained. These are also safe for people and the surrounding environment.


The systems that use CO2 create a blanket out of the gas that reduces the oxygen level like inert gases. These systems, however, are not safe for people, so they are generally used in areas that employees and the general public can’t access.

Water Mist

The next step up from traditional sprinklers are water mist systems, which produce ultra-fine water droplets. This mist uses between fifty and ninety percent less water and results in almost no water damage to the surrounding area.

Choosing the Right Fire Suppression System

Choosing the right fire suppression system for your building is best done with the help of a fire suppression system professional who can assess your needs and help you find the right blend of components to make sure your building is safe.

Contact us at United Fire today and let us help you keep your building safe from potential fires!







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