Gas Extinguishing Systems

Does your business have areas which could be extensively damaged if they come into contact with water or foam? If so, you may wish to consider a gas extinguishing system for these areas.

Gas extinguishing systems are used to extinguish fires in areas where normal extinguishing agents, such as water or foam might cause more damage to property than fire. They are used in closed areas, usually in data centres, computer centres, control centres, electric switch-rooms of HV and LV as well as in engine testing laboratory, archives and other similar areas.

The room where the gas extinguishing system is installed must be sealed in order to prevent the fire extinguishing gas spreading during extinguishing and to maintain gas concentration for 10 minutes. If there is air conditioning, fire detectors stop air exchange in the room whilst the extinguishing system is in use.

There are four categories of gas fire extinguishing systems:

Chemical Types

  • Suited best to small or medium sized areas
  • Pressurised by a small addition of nitrogen
  • Designed for full flood 3 dimensional purposes

Inert Types

  • Suited best to medium or large sized areas
  • Uses gases from our atmosphere, usually Argon or Nitrogen
  • Designed for full flood 3 dimensional purposes

Liquid Types

  • Suited best to un-manned areas
  • CO2 is pressurised and cooled to produce a liquid
  • Designed for surface, risk specific or full flood 3 dimensional purposes.

Water Based Types

  • Typically known as water mist systems
  • Designed for risk specific 2 dimensional purposes such as electrical and chemical fires, but can turn 3 dimensional when the mist contacts high heat and becomes steam

Gas extinguishing systems work by taking oxygen out of the air to put the fire out; if the fire is starved of oxygen it will stop burning. The system is activated automatically by electric fire signalisation using a High Sensitivity Smoke Detection system (HSSD), more commonly known as VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus).

VESDA is a laser based smoke detector, it sucks air from the protected environment via purpose built aspirating pipe and fittings and samples the quality of air passing through the VESDA detection laser chamber. There are many places in which a VESDA may be used as opposed to conventional smoke detection systems;

In a warehouse, VESDA counteracts the potential issue of having to access high level detectors that have become faulty. As the aspirating pipes will be placed at high level meanwhile the VESDA detector will be located at an accessible level.

In cold rooms; cold temperatures can ice up the optical chambers of conventional smoke detectors, causing problems for the whole detection system. VESDA detectors are located outside the cold area, whilst the aspirating pipe is located within the area at risk.

VESDA detection is ideal for computer rooms or other areas that have high airflow. Conventional smoke detectors struggle to activate with volumous air passing through their chambers. VESDA detectors draw smoke from the aspirating pipe and the holes in the pipe collectively capture the air and draw it back to the VESDA detector.

VESDA smoke detection for lift shafts enhances smoke detection within what is a high sensitive area. It also makes maintenance safe as the engineer will not need to get into the lift shaft for maintenance purposes.

If you require fire prevention systems, we can also install the following for you:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Gas extinguishing systems
  • AHSD systems – early warning air sampling systems
  • Beam detector systems

It may be a requirement of your insurance that gas extinguishing systems are fitted in certain rooms or areas of your business or industrial premises. Contact us today to find out how to protect your critical areas with these systems by calling 0330 1226 999 or email us on and we will be delighted to assist.

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