Gas extinguishing for critical facilities!
Christmastime is a risky period in terms of fire safety in households. Candles, outdoor burners, porridge forgotten on the stove and broken decorative lights cause a spike in fire damage during the darkest time of the year. In businesses, factors causing fires are quite similar; in addition to the human factor, fires are caused by unserviced and broken machinery, etc.
As the solutions of my unit become tangible in the situation where the flame has already been lit, I will do my bit in promoting the fire safety week by giving my tips for selecting the extinguishing solution for your business.
Secure your property, its movables and people from fire
The extinguishing system of a property is always determined case-specifically. In addition to the requirements of the authorities and insurance companies, it is important to consider the demands set to the extinguishing solution by the nature of your business operations or the needs of your personnel. A correctly scaled, high-quality extinguishing solution is safe to people, protects the business from stoppages and property damage and increases the value of the property.
The right extinguishing solution with the help of professionals
When planning to procure an extinguishing solution, turn to a reliable supplier. Ask for references and inspect the supplier’s ability to service and modernise the equipment.
Water as an extinguishing substance is not practical in a property where it will damage the building or its movables. Computer rooms, electrical facilities, art museums and other specialised properties should be protected with a gas extinguishing system.
A gas extinguishing system provides effective means against fires
An automatic gas extinguishing system is an effective means of preventing fires. The gas that is discharged in the event of an alarm either smothers the flame by replacing oxygen or freezes the air in the facility, thus preventing the fire from spreading. The deployment of a gas extinguishing system requires professional and careful planning. In addition to the fire load in the facility to be protected, individual safety must always be taken into consideration as early as in the planning stage.
The selection of the right smoke detection system to guide the launch of the gas extinguishing equipment is vital; this is selected in cooperation with the user of the facility as they have the best information on the usage conditions of the facility. A correctly selected detection system alerts the fire alarm central panel and/or the surveillance system of the property in the first stages of the fire.
After installing the equipment, the installation company orders a deployment inspection from the testing institution. This so-called third-party inspection guarantees that the installations have been carried out according to valid regulations. The installation of gas extinguishing equipment is always subject to licence in Finland and the installation company must be approved by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes).
Annual maintenance of gas extinguishing equipment
According to regulations, the extinguishing equipment must constantly be kept operational. This means that the equipment must undergo annual maintenance and testing in accordance with legislation. The holder of the equipment must also receive sufficient instruction on the use and maintenance of the equipment from the system supplier. The extinguishant containers of the gas extinguishing equipment are pressure vessels. In addition to system maintenance, the containers must undergo pressure testing (water-pressure test) every 10 years according to legislation regarding pressure vessels.
Have a fireproof year 2017!
A fireproof property is the sum of several factors where corporate culture, safe policies and serviced equipment play a significant role. A correctly scaled and appropriately maintained extinguishing system is a component whose importance is highlighted in unfortunate situations. And those situations arise quite often. Last year, there were 2,000 fires in business properties.
Some of the most rewarding moments of my work are those when I hear that an extinguishing system installed by my team has prevented a fire. Fortunately, those situations occur as well, approximately 15 times a year.
I wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and a fireproof year 2017!
The author is a Business Line Manager of the gas extinguishing unit with a burning passion for preventing fires!