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Special Risks 

Special Risks -  fire protection systems

Deluge and Water Spray Systems

Deluge systems are installations with a discharge pipe array fitted with open sprinkler heads or water spray nozzles with the water to the discharge pipe array being controlled by a quick opening (deluge) valve.

deluge 1

The operation of the deluge valve is controlled by an independent detection system, usually either electric (e.g. heat detectors, smoke detectors, or other detectors suited to the specific risk being protected) or a further system of small diameter piping with closed sprinkler heads charged with gas or water for control purposes.

On operation of the detection system the deluge valve is opened, water is admitted into the discharge pipe array and is discharged through the open sprinklers or water spray nozzles to provide complete coverage of the entire protected area.
Deluge systems are designed primarily for the protection of high hazard risks where intensive fires with a rapid rate of propagation are expected and it is desirable to discharge water simultaneously over the entire zone in which the fire may occur.

Water spray systems are utilised for more challenging fires where it is necessary to direct the water onto the hazard or surface being protected using directional nozzles. Water spray systems are most commonly used for exposure protection of bulk storage flammable and combustible liquid tanks to cool the shell, prevent explosion or collapse of the tank and extension of the fire. In addition, water spray systems can be utilized for extinguishment and control of some flammable liquids fires, some combustible liquid fires, class A combustibles, and electrical transformer applications.

Water Spray Nozzles

deluge spray 1 deluge spray 2 deluge spray 3
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Dry Systems

A dry pipe installation is a sprinkler installation in which the installation pipe work is permanently charged with gas under pressure above the alarm (dry pipe) valve and with water under pressure below the valve. When a sprinkler head opens, the gas pressure drops allowing the dry pipe valve to open and admit water to the installation. To speed up the opening of the valve an accelerator or exhauster may be included in the installation.

Dry pipe installations are only permitted for installations where freezing of water in the pipes would be a problem (e.g. cold and cool stores or areas where climatic conditions may cause freezing) or in areas where the ambient temperature is above 70°C (e.g. drying ovens).

Dry pipe sprinkler installations must be carefully designed to ensure that the discharge of water onto a fire is not unduly delayed in order to ensure that effective fire control is achieved. Argus Fire Protection's design and engineering team are able to tailor the design of these systems to ensure that your specific needs are met and compliance with the relevant codes and standards is achieved.

dry system 1

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Gaseous Fire Suppression Systems

Gaseous fire suppression systems (also referred to as clean agent systems) are utilised to protect high value assets such as computer server rooms, PLC control rooms, storage of irreplaceable artefacts where a high level of fire protection is required and the use of water or other suppressant agents would be damaging to the protected equipment.

Gaseous fire suppression systems extinguish fires using a gaseous agent that is able to permeate into cabinets and obstructed areas to ensure complete extinguishment. The gaseous agents are non-conductive and non-corrosive making them safe to use around live electrical equipment. The gaseous agents leave no residue so there is no clean up following a discharge and business is able to be quickly resumed.

Argus offers a range of gaseous fire suppression agents to meet a variety of challenges. These gaseous agents are described below.

Proinert

Proinert™
Product Brochures:
Fike PROINERT Inter Gas Fire Protection System

Frequently Asked Questions

Proinert™ is a mixture of inert gases naturally found in the atmosphere that extinguishes fires by lowering the oxygen levels in the protected enclosure below the level that supports combustion. Proinert™ is safe for people with short exposure times and has no adverse environmental impact. Proinert™ is suited to the protection of assets such as:

  • Computer and electronic equipment
  • PLC control rooms
  • Telecommunications and switch rooms
  • Tape and record storage vaults
  • Museums
  • Libraries


NOVEC1230

NOVECTM 1230
Product Brochures:
SEVO 1230 Clean Agent Fire Suppression System
NOVEC 1230 Product Information Datasheet

NOVECTM 1230 is a new generation clean agent with superior environmental properties. NOVECTM 1230 has zero ozone depletion potential, a short atmospheric lifetime and a low global warming potential of 1. NOVECTM 1230 is safe for people at extinguishing concentrations and is ideally suited to the protection of high value assets such as:

  • Computer and electronic equipment
  • PLC control rooms
  • Telecommunications and switch rooms
  • Tape and record storage vaults
  • Museums
  • Libraries
  • Marine vessels and offshore platforms
FM200

HFC-227ea (FM200®)
Product brochures:
Choose FM-200 and Breath Easier

Fike Clean Alert: Can you afford down time?

Telecommunication and Data Facilities Application Guide

FM200® is safe for people and can be used in normally occupied spaces. FM200® is designed to provide rapid suppression and is suited to the protection of high value assets such as:

  • Computer server rooms and data processing centres
  • PLC control rooms
  • Telecommunications and switch rooms
  • Tape and record storage vaults.
CO2

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Product brochures:
CO2 Fire Suppression System for Marine Applications
Carbon Dioxide Fire Suppression System

Carbon dioxide is a tried and proven clean gaseous suppression agent. Due to its asphyxiating nature CO2 is best suited to use in unoccupied areas such as:

  • Engine rooms of marine vessels
  • Printing presses
  • Dip tanks
  • Turbine driven generators
FireTrace

Firetrace

Firetrace Brochure

Firetrace systems provide cost effective, stand alone, automatic fire suppression systems for your critical equipment, electrical/technical systems and various types of enclosures.
A Firetrace system can be utilized anywhere that a fire poses a risk and it is flexible enough for virtually any industrial equipment, storage compartments, control cabinets or various types of remote installations.

How Do Gaseous Suppression Systems Work?
A gaseous fire suppression system consists of the gas cylinders filled with the suppressant gas and connected to calibrated discharge nozzles within the protected space by a pipework array.
The operation of the gaseous fire suppression system is controlled by a control panel connected to smoke detectors (or other detector types for more specialised environments) spaced throughout the protected enclosure to detect fire and audio / visual warning devices to warn occupants of the systems operation.
The gaseous suppression system provides both automatic and manual detection as described below.

How_Gas_Works

Automatic Operation

On operation of the first smoke detector the control panel is placed into a first stage condition, the FIRE ALARM portion of the audio/visual warning sign is illuminated and the sounder emits a warning tone confirming to AS2220

Fire_Alarm_Sign

The gaseous fire suppressant agent is not released on first stage. First stage operation is intended to give the occupants the opportunity to investigate the cause of the alarm and take action if it is safe to do so.
On operation of a second smoke detector the control panel is placed into a second stage condition, the DO NOT ENTER portion of the audio / visual warning sign outside the enclosure is illuminated, the EVACUATE AREA portion of the audio / visual warning sign inside the enclosure is illuminated and the sounders emits an evacuation tone conforming to AS2220.
Once in second stage the gaseous suppression system shuts down equipment such as air-conditioning and power (if required) and starts a time delay (typically 30 seconds to a minute) at the end of which the actuators fitted to the gas cylinders are energised and the suppressant gas is released.

Manual Operation
The gaseous fire suppression system can be manually activated and the gas released by pressing the MANUAL RELEASE button on the remote control station.
The remote control station can also be used to prevent discharge of the suppressant gas up until the point where discharge has started by pressing the AGENT INHIBIT button.
A further manual override is possible by directly operating the actuator fitted to the gas cylinders.

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Foam Systems

Foam deluge and foam sprinkler systems are utilised to protect specialist risks involving the storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids. Examples of occupancies where foam systems may be used include:

  • Storage tank protection
  • Warehouse storage of flammable and combustible liquids
  • Aircraft hangars
  • Heliports
  • Truck loading areas

How does fire fighting foam work?
Fire fighting foams suppress fire by forming a blanket across the surface of the liquid fuel and separating it from the air (oxygen) that it needs to burn. In addition to smothering the fire the foam blanket also cools the fuel and suppresses the release of flammable vapours.

Types of Fire Fighting Foam
There are several different types of foam to suit a wide range of applications and fuel types. Argus's engineering and design team would be happy to discuss your needs with you to ensure that the best solution is offered to meet your specific requirements.

foam system 1

foam system 2

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Preaction Sprinkler Systems

Argus Fire Protection has considerable experience with the design, on-going service, maintenance, testing and compliance management of specialist fire sprinkler systems such as preaction sprinkler systems. We are able to offer a full range of specialist systems of this type and the backup service to support your installation.

What is a Preaction Sprinkler System?

Preaction sprinkler systems are utilised in situations where a greater level of security against false discharge of water is required.

A preaction sprinkler system is a form of dry pipe sprinkler system incorporating water discharge pipework fitted with closed sprinkler heads, but charged with low pressure gas for supervision purposes. Water entry to this piping system is controlled by an independent detection system, usually either electric (e.g. heat detectors, smoke detectors, or other detectors suited to the specific risk being protected) or a further system of small diameter piping with closed sprinkler heads charged with gas for control purposes.

Before water may be discharged it is necessary that both the detection system and the sprinkler heads on the discharge pipework operate.

Preaction sprinkler systems are categorised by their style of operation (generally either single interlock or double interlock) and their type of detection (generally electric or pneumatic) as described below.

Types of Preaction Sprinkler Systems

The basic types of preaction sprinkler systems and their typical uses are described below.

Single Interlocked
With a single interlocked preaction sprinkler system the preaction control valve opens and charges the discharge pipework with water on operation of the detection system. Water is not discharged from the discharge pipework until one of the closed head sprinklers on the discharge pipework operates.

The discharge pipework is normally charged with gas at low pressure for supervision purposes to ensure that the pipe remains closed. If a sprinkler on the discharge pipework is operated without the detection system operating then the preaction system will provide indication of a defect state, so that the service agent can be brought to site to repair the system.

Single interlock preaction systems are typically installed to protect sensitive equipment such as computer server suites which require a higher level of protection against accidental water discharge.

Preaction Sprinkler 1

Preaction Sprinkler 2

Double Interlocked
With a double interlocked preaction sprinkler system the preaction control valve does not open until both the detection system and one of the closed head sprinklers on the discharge pipework operates.

Double interlocked preaction sprinkler systems are more complex than single interlocked sprinkler systems and are therefore considered to be less reliable. In addition because the preaction control valve does not open until both the detection system and a closed head sprinklers on the discharge pipework operate there is a longer delay before water is discharged onto the fire.

The New Zealand automatic fire sprinkler standard (NZS4541) only permits the use of double interlocked preaction sprinkler systems in freezers and other similar environments where it is undesirable to permit water to enter the discharge pipework until the after the sprinklers have been activated due to the risk of and damage associated with freezing water in the pipework.

Pneumatic Detection
The most common type of detection for a preaction sprinkler system is pneumatic detection where a system of small diameter piping with closed sprinkler heads charged with gas (normally dry air) is distributed throughout the enclosure for detection and control purposes. When a sprinkler on the detection network operates, the gas pressure is lost and the preaction control valve operates.

The New Zealand automatic fire sprinkler standard (NZS4541) favours the use of pneumatic detection over other means of detection.

Electric Detection
The New Zealand automatic fire sprinkler standard (NZS4541) only permits the use of electric detection in limited circumstances such as freezers and then only with the specific approval of the Sprinkler System Certifier

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