Posted: November 2nd, 2022

Are you shopping around for fire suppression systems and want to know which are the most effective?

There’s no getting around the fact that the dangers of fire within the home or office are real. With numerous fire hazards such as volatile liquids, gas burners, and electrical systems, it’s imperative that every property owner ensure their building is fitted with the latest and best in fire suppression mechanisms.

Before we explore these systems, however, let’s first explain what they are and what they do.

What is a Fire Suppression System? provides us with a comprehensive definition of what a fire suppression system is:

“…it is an engineered set of components that are designed to extinguish an accidental fire, typically in a workplace but also potentially in a transport vehicle or other site of interest.”

In Canada, the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes issues and regulates the standards for the quality of fire suppression systems.

What do Fire Suppression Systems Do?

Fire suppression systems perform two major tasks:

These systems are trying to prevent the fire from growing and spreading; thus it can be said fire suppression systems are created to save lives and reduce potential property damage.

Now, with this background, let’s look at three of the most common fire suppression systems in use.

3 Common Fire Suppression Systems

1.     Chemical Foam Systems

Dry chemical fire suppression systems are a type of fire protection equipment that uses a chemical powder to snuff out fires.

The two major chemicals relied upon by this system to function are namely mono-ammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate. These powders are stored in a pressurized tank and discharged when the system is either electrically or manually activated.

How They Work

There is a valve on the pressurized tank that’s automatically opened when the fire is detected. The dry powder flows along the piping system and is released from the nozzles. The powder smothers the fire by removing the oxygen component needed to keep fires blazing.



2.     Pressurized Gas Systems

Pressurized gas systems are another popular fire suppression system in Canada. The majority work by absorbing heat.

Gas systems are preferred for protecting rooms with high-end electronics like data and server rooms.

The most common gaseous agents used in these systems include inergen, Novec 1230 and FM 200.


Inergen is an inert gas safe to discharge even when people are in a building. It’s comprised of 52% nitrogen, 40% argon, and 8% carbon dioxide.

Inergen’s advantages are that it’s safe, non-toxic and non-corrosive. The fact that it’s highly affordable and easy to replace makes it a favourable option. It also doesn’t reduce visibility in a room and there is no residue left over.

The disadvantages of inergen include the need for elaborate hardware that’s able to withstand high pressures. Plus the necessity for a considerable number of storage cylinders on site to store the gas.

Novec 1230

Novec 1230 is still quite a new gaseous fire suppression agent in Canada. Brought over from mainland Europe as a liquid, it becomes a vapour when it is discharged and suppresses fire through heat absorption.

Novec 1230’s advantages include its short atmospheric lifetime of just 5 days compared to the 33 years of most halocarbon agents. This makes it an excellent option for use in residential and commercial spaces. Furthermore, its potential capacity to deplete the ozone is zero.

Novec 1230 must be stored in tanks that are within a 30 m radius of the property being protected.

The halocarbon must be discharged at an elevated pressure in order to be effective. But fortunately, it poses no harm to electrical appliances, books or artwork.

FM 200

A halocarbon gas, FM 200 is designed to suppress fire through heat absorption. It’s generally stored in a liquid state and released in gaseous form.

FM 200’s major disadvantages include it being a noxious gas that presents significant health challenges if discharged when people are still inside the building. Its use has also been linked to global warming because of some of its decomposition by-products. To top it all, the gas itself is one of the most expensive inert gases to replace.

3.     Water-Based Systems

The majority of fire suppression systems are water-based and exist in the form of automatic sprinkler systems. They are the most effective at containing fires and preventing excessive property damage and severe injuries to people. Water-based fire extinguishing mechanisms are suitable for residential and commercial use.

Water-based suppression apparatus is available as water mist systems, wet pipe systems, dry pipe systems and pre-action systems. A consult with a fire specialist will inform you of the most appropriate system for your property.

All sprinkler systems must be designed and installed by experienced professionals. They must also be manufactured by a qualified firm in order to conform to NFPA 13.

How They Work

The water sprinklers are connected to the main water supply or to an independent reservoir.  In the event of a fire, the water-based fire suppression system will be triggered by temperature rises in the environment and discharge a water mist to extinguish the flames.  This mist is released at a rate of 100 litres per sprinkler per minute.



Invest in Fire Suppression Systems Today

Are you ready to invest in fire suppression systems?

Nutech Fire Prevention offers businesses and homeowners in Hamilton an array of high-end fire suppression systems. We’ve got systems to meet all types of budgets and needs.

That’s not all however as we also offer a comprehensive line of emergency backup generators, fire alarm systems, fire warning systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, exit lighting, fire safety plans, sprinkler systems, and gas detection services.

Request a free quote today.

Looking for more insight? Check out these previous posts:

·         How to Plan a Fire Evacuation Plan for Your Business

·         How to Quickly Stop a Fire in the Workplace

·         Fire Safety Training Courses for Canada Businesses