Four Fire Safety Terms Every Business Owner Should Know

Whenever you run a business there is a lot to learn – not just about your industry but about all the support systems that allow you to operate legally and safely. From insurance to legal-speak to safety codes, there’s a lot to take in and understand. When it comes to fire safety, it’s no different.

Don’t worry though, we’re here to help drill down some of the lingoes you should know and be aware of so that your workspace is safe and that you know what needs to be done and why it needs to be done. Here are four basic terms you should know when it comes to your businesses’ fire safety.

NFPA Standards

NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Association. and they are responsible for issuing industry standards for safety.

The major codes for fire protection are:

  • NFPA 10 (fire extinguishers)
  • NFPA 25 (sprinkler systems)
  • NFPA 72 (alarm system)

You don’t need to know these codes inside and out, but when you hear them brought up by an inspector or fire safety professional, that’s what they’re talking about.

Wet and Dry Pipe

Whenever you’re going to install or upgrade a sprinkler system, there are two main types of sprinklers – wet and dry pipes. They make up basically all of the sprinkler systems you’d see in a run of the mill commercial space.

Wet pipe systems are the most common and they draw off the water supply to spray water and the pressure at which the water is distributed is what will put out a fire. The pipes are like any water pipe – they’re always full of water and with that comes some good and some bad. If the pipes burst, you’ll have a water problem so, like any plumbing asset, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re inspected regularly.

Dry pipes draw off a water source that’s hooked up right next to the sprinkler valve. Those pipes aren’t full of water; instead, they’re full of compressed air. When the sprinkler head pops, the airflow opens up in the valve and out comes the water. If you work in a building with little heat, this is the type of system you’ll be most likely to encounter. You see a lot of them in parking garages and the like – and they basically exist to make sure that the pipes won’t burst in the cold temperature.

Clean Agents

Clean Agents is a fancy term to describe chemical suppression systems. Chemical suppression is used in places where you don’t want water to do a number on anything that might get destroyed by water. People use these in data centers, museums, or anyplace where there’s water-sensitive equipment.

Backflow Preventers

Backflow is basically what happens when a liquid, gas or solid back up into a water supply and contaminate your water. These are commonly used in wet pipe configurations so that bad stuff doesn’t get into the water. After all – a leaky pipe or fire is bad enough – you don’t need any other potential hazards contaminating your space in addition to all that!

If you have any questions about today’s topic or any other fire protection topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety. We will be happy to help.

All About Fire Pumps

In this ever-changing world, one thing you can count on is for us to be here to support your fire protection needs. Since we are considered an essential business, our ability to provide these services continues.

Also, we are going to continue providing useful blog content on our website and sharing it on social media. Even in times like these, we feel like we need to continue our discussions about fire protection topics as we have in the past.

Fire Pumps

Depending on how your building is laid out and how your sprinkler system works – it might not be able to control or extinguish fires unless there is enough water pressure. When this occurs, you’ll need to make sure there’s a fire pump installed and if there isn’t one – that you have one put in.

Fire pumps come in all sorts of different makes and models. It’s important to understand what each one does – as its ability to pump water will have a significant impact on your fire safety planning. Here are some of the most popular fire pumps that you’ll encounter, what they do and what makes them appealing as well as what their limitations are.

Horizontal Split Case

Horizontal Split Cases are by far the most popular fire pump out on the market today. While it needs its own water source and isn’t necessarily a part of your fire suppression system, it’s still surprisingly easy to work with. In fact, if you ask a fire safety pro, most will probably say this is their preferred pump to work with.

Not only are the parts easy to maintain, but these systems can last for years and are among the most reliable pumps on the market.

Vertical Split Cases

Vertical split cases are basically the exact same thing as a horizontal split case – except they have vertical components. The good thing about this model is that it takes up significantly less floor space than their cousins. This is important – especially in small buildings where space is at more of a premium. These systems are built to go ‘up’ as opposed to out.

Vertical In-line

Vertical in-line pumps are a little different from split-case pumps in the sense that they’re a lot smaller. Like Vertical split cases, their primary claim to fame is that they save space in buildings where there isn’t much room to be had. They do need a special base to anchor them though, and they can be a pain for service professionals when it comes time for preventative maintenance. Just to get at some of the most basic components, the system has to be taken apart. So while they work great and save you a ton of space (they’re also ultra-durable), they’re a little bit of a bear when it comes to simple service.

Think of them as a higher-end sports car. They’ll last forever, they handle, drive and look great and you can be sure you won’t deal with many issues. But when you do – it’s expensive.

Vertical Turbine

No matter what kind of system you have, they all require some sort of positive suction to draw water from an outside source. Not with a vertical turbine, though. Instead, these pumps can use water drawn from nearby wells and tanks. It’s then moved to the top and is used whenever it needs to be. The motor is almost always located on top of the pump as well – making it both easy to monitor and maintain.

If you have any questions on this topic or any other fire protection topics, please feel free to contact Protegis Fire & Safety.

We hope you and your family have continued good health. Take care.