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How Do Foam Fire Suppression Systems Work?

How Do Foam Fire Suppression Systems Work?

A Hi-Expansion foam fire suppression system.

Fire suppression systems come in all different forms, but they all serve the same purpose: to suppress or extinguish a fire. One form is a foam fire suppression system, which is similar to a wet sprinkler system but combines water and foaming agents for large scale fires or those difficult to extinguish. This kind of water-based fire sprinkler is quite efficient in extinguishing certain types of fires. For more information about how these fire suppression systems work and how they can help your facility, read on!

How Do Foam Fire Suppression Systems Put out Fires?

Foam fire suppression systems extinguish a fire by cooling and separating fuel from oxygen. In more technical terms, the systems are used to “cool the fire and coat the fuel that the fire consumes to prevent contact with oxygen and reduce any combustion ability.” To do this, the extinguishing agent blankets or smothers the surface of the fuel. The foam’s water content will then cool the fuel, and the area of foam that is covering the fuel will stop the combustion of flammable vapors. High expansion foams work by completely filling the volume of a building from floor to ceiling to suffocate and cool the fire.

How Do These Systems Discharge?

Foam suppression systems are designed a lot like a wet sprinkler system in that stored water flows through an extensive network of pipes where it is then discharged through multiple sprinklers or nozzles. The main difference between foam systems and other traditional wet sprinkler systems is the addition of foaming agents. The foaming agent is stored in a tank separate from the water, and the two become mixed within the piping system before discharge. At the end of the piping is a nozzle or sprinkler. When the water mixes in with the foaming agent, then a foam-water mixture occurs and is discharged onto the fire. 

What are the Common Uses for Foam Systems?

You will typically find foam fire suppression systems in larger areas where there are flammable or combustible liquids. For example, some of the top uses include:

  • Warehouses storing aerosols, paint, or alcohols 
  • Aircraft hangars
  • Jet engine testing sites
  • Marine applications
  • Flammable liquid storage and distribution facilities

Fire Protection Services from Fireline

Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 30th, 2020 at 12:59 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.