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Inert Gas Fire Suppression Systems
Overview - How Do Inert Gas Systems Work?
Inert gas suppression systems are important fixtures in a variety of facilities for their ability to suppress flames without damaging assets with water. Server rooms, record keeping libraries, areas with laboratory/medical equipment, and flammable liquid/chemical storage are all prime candidates for a gas-based suppression system. Inert gas systems contain a mixture of inert gases: nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide stored as a gas in pressurized steel cylinders. The combination of gases is released quickly into the designated area to subdue the fire through oxygen deprivation. These systems are designed to starve flames of oxygen to deny further combustion, but to also allow enough for humans in the immediate area to breathe and make a safe escape. Known for being safe to humans and the environment, inert gas has many advantages based on the needs of the space.
Inert gas systems are an effective fire suppression tool with the following advantages:
- Location – A big benefit of inert gas comes in where the cylinders can be kept. With other clean agents, they must be kept in close proximity to the area protected as compressed liquid can’t travel too far within discharge piping. With inert gas, you’re dealing with stored gas, allowing for longer discharge piping which means tanks can be located further away from protected areas. If space is tight, inert gas systems can be a smart solution when optimizing space in your facility.
- Safety – Clean agent systems are so named because they are safe to use in an occupied space with no substances toxic to humans or vision obscuring fog. While inhaling these concentrations for too long can yield adverse effects on the body, regularly inspected alarm systems should limit humans’ exposure to these gases. Inert gas systems are some of the safest, gas-based fire suppression systems on the market today, so consider inert gas when protection is needed in an occupied area.
- Environmentally Friendly – Inert gas systems are made up of natural occurring gases, thus no negative effects are seen in our atmosphere when released. Inert gas systems are tested and ensure no Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) or Global Warming Potential (GWP) and no impact on Atmospheric Lifetime; 3 major indicators used when measuring environmental impact.
Popular Inert Gas Systems Supported By Ahern
A big benefit of inert gas comes in where the cylinders can be kept. With other clean agents, they must be kept in close proximity to the area protected as compressed liquid can’t travel too far within discharge piping. With inert gas, you’re dealing with stored gas, allowing for longer discharge piping which means tanks can be located further away from protected areas. If space is tight, inert gas systems can be a smart solution when optimizing space in your facility.
Argonite offers a simple combination of 50% argon gas and 50% nitrogen gas. This composition has a similar density to air, allowing Argonite to remain in the air longer than other inert gas systems which reduces the need for hermetic sealing of the protected space. With options for total flooding or local release for a particular machine or section of a space, Argonite systems are modular and come with relatively low installation and maintenance costs.
Fike’s Proinert agent is another blend of Argon and Nitrogen, however due to a unique valve assembly on storage cylinders, the flow rate is even and steady, allowing for a deliberate, safe discharge preventing any damaging side-effects. This design allows for discharge piping with a smaller diameter, greatly reducing installation costs. Proinert systems are known for having their storage cylinders far away from the discharge point for maximum flexibility within your facility.
Installation & Maintenance Services
Each inert gas fire suppression system installed by J.F. Ahern is NFPA code compliant. Our systems go through rigorous testing and inspection prior to shipment because we take fire safety seriously. Our expert technicians will work with your schedule to accurately and quickly install your inert gas suppression system so your business can be back up and running in no time. After installation, we will train your staff on how to safely and effectively use the system, as well as conduct regular inspections and maintenance.
Let our experts help with your fire suppression needs. Contact us to request a quote or more information!