The Need For The Right Fire Suppression System

Justin Ross

Fire suppression systems are an important part of fire safety, especially in large buildings where there are large groups of people working. The type of fire suppression system chosen is key, as the type and use of the building may require a different type of suppression system, depending on the needs of the building. Here are the four main types if fire suppression systems to consider.

Wet Systems

Wet systems are a series of pipes running through the roof of your buildings floors that are connected to a water tank. This type of system has water running through the pipes at all times. Should a fire set off one of the sprinkler heads due to heat, the water within the pipes will immediately rush out through the open sprinkler head to start to spray down the fire. As more sprinkler heads become active, more water will rush through the piping systems.

These systems are good for large buildings where all areas are heated, and where no important documents or electronics may be stored.

Dry Systems

Dry systems are set up exactly like wet systems, except for the fact that instead of the piping being filled with water, the pipes are filled with air instead. The overall system still works very similarly though. The sprinkler head opens and air rushes through, with water stored in the tanks following shortly thereafter. The water then exits through the sprinkler heads to quench the fire.

Why would you want air in your pipes though? Dry systems are normally used in conjunction with wet systems, in areas where the pipes are likely to freeze. A good example of this is in attics that are not always heated. With water in the pipes, the water would freeze and burst them. With air there, the pipes are not likely to burst, and will still quench the fire. The slight downside is that this system is a little slower to actually release water on to the fire, due to having to push the air out of the pipe first.


Pre-action systems are set up very similarly to wet systems as well, however, they have one crucial safety measure. These systems require two triggers to activate. This means that if one sprinkler head gets opened, the water will not immediately start to flow through the pipes. Instead, the system waits for a second trigger before it begins to quench the fire

This system is ideal for areas that need extra protection against water damage, such as libraries, archives, or massive computer banks. Other systems may go off by accident, which in a dormitory is not as much as a problem, but when it is a data centre, it is much more so.

There you have it, the three different types of fire suppression systems and their strengths and weaknesses. Make sure to pick the best fire protection system for your building.