In some situations, during a fire incident, it may be a clever idea to employ automated fire extinguishers which are triggered when a certain temperature is reached, or flames or smoke is detected.
There are modern fire protection devices that can be used as an alternative to fire sprinkler systems, especially in cases where water damage would be costly. Today’s technology makes computerised fire extinguishers reliable and a sensible preference.
How is it designed?
An automatic fire extinguisher device gives continuous safety, protection against fire. It removes the need to be manned or monitored, but like manual fire extinguishers, they do need to be maintained frequently, for optimum operation and safety.
There are two important classes of automated system, they have common characteristics that set them apart from traditional extinguishers, and fire sprinkler systems.
1. Engineered systems or Powder extinguishers
Designed for specific applications and situations.
Some examples:transformer vaults, industrial computer clean room designs and those installed in boats and chemical storage facilities.
2. Pre-engineered systems or Gas Extinguishers
They were manufactured for typical use with simple agents already installed; these units are used in common applications and are now appearing more in residential settings. Both these systems will suppress a fire without the need for manual operation.
3. How does an automated system work?
An automated system works independently with a method of detection, a trigger for activation and an agent to suppress the fire.
The working mechanism of an automated system is equal to a manual fire extinguisher, but the major difference is instead of squeezing the handle to operate the automatic system contains a glass bulb.
The glass bulb contains heat sensitive material that expands when it gets hot. As it touches the pre-determined temperature the glass bulb bursts and signals the automatic system to work.
Typically, the agents are either simple wet or dry chemical types (in pre-engineered systems) or formulated agents that can be stored as a liquid and expelled as a gas for safety, and efficiency.
4. Purpose and benefits of an automated system
Automatic systems are great tools for unsupervised regions. You can shield unmanned locations using this cost-effective method of fire protection.
An automatic fire extinguisher device is powerful in many situations. They are useful in certain places where other types of fire protection systems would not be practical.
1. Provides year-round 24/7 fire protection
2. No certified annual testing required
3. Extinguishes fires fast
4. May reduce fire insurance premiums
5. Affordable fire suppressant for many places