What Is a Fire Suppression System?

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For businesses in every industry, it’s essential to have appropriate commercial fire safety equipment in place. 

As well as keeping people and property safe from the risk of fire, having the right fire safety systems in place is actually part of your legal obligations as an employer. 

According to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is the legal responsibility of business owners to ensure that ‘appropriate fire fighting equipment’ is in place. 

Fire suppression systems are one such method of fire fighting that you might consider for your organisation.

In this article, the team here at KW Fire Protection will provide you with everything you need to know about fire suppression systems, outlining how they can enhance the fire safety of your business. 

What is a fire suppression system?

A fire suppression system is a term that refers to a group of fire fighting units that are installed in commercial buildings to extinguish a fire and prevent it from spreading. When a fire occurs, the system will detect it and release an extinguishing substance, such as water, foam or a chemical compound, that strives to extinguish the blaze before it spreads and causes further harm. 

The type of extinguishing agent used will depend on the kind of environment the systems have been installed in. For instance, if the suppression system is being used in a server room or a place where electrical equipment is being stored, chemical extinguishing agents will be more appropriate as water cannot be used on electrical fires.  

The different types of fire suppression systems 

There is a wide range of fire suppression systems available, all of which are appropriate for different environments. This includes:

Gas systems 

One of the most popular types of fire suppression systems on the market, a gas system releases an effective extinguishing agent that can quickly suppress a blaze. No water is used in these systems, which makes them ideal for rooms that contain electrical equipment.     

Wet chemical foam systems 

The perfect kitchen fire suppression system, a wet chemical foam system works by emitting a water-based foam into small areas of a room where a fire has been detected. Normally, these systems are placed above stove tops and are triggered when high temperatures which indicate a fire are detected.  

Water mist systems

Opposed to traditional sprinklers that release large amounts of water, water mist suppression systems work by producing smaller droplets that are layered over a fire, starving it of oxygen and extinguishing it. As they use less water, it makes them a more sustainable method of fire suppression while still remaining effective.    

Industrial systems  

In industrial environments, the likelihood of hazards occurring is increased. This includes the chances of a fire, especially when chemicals, fuels and other hazardous materials are being handled. 

With this in mind, industrial fire suppression systems that use dry chemicals are the most appropriate.  

When is a fire suppression system required? 

Often, fire suppression systems are used as an alternative to sprinklers, and are required in rooms where water extinguishers are not appropriate. As well as rooms with electrical equipment where water would be dangerous, people may prefer suppression systems as they remove the risk of water damage that sprinklers can sometimes cause.

These systems also help you comply with your legal responsibilities as an employer. While there is no direct legal requirement to have suppression systems in place, employers must provide ‘appropriate fire fighting equipment’. This could take the form of fire suppression systems.      

Plus, fire risk assessments may also recommend these systems be installed. 


There are a whole host of fire suppression systems available, and here at KW Fire Protection, we can help you find the solution that is most appropriate for you and your organisation. We particularly specialise in Ansul fire suppression systems, which is the preferred system for commercial kitchens, restaurants and other cooking environments. 

This type of kitchen fire suppression system can be automatically triggered when a maximum temperature is exceeded, protecting both people and property.


Operating across Manchester, Oldham, Bolton and the surrounding areas, our friendly expert team is always here to help, get in touch today to find out more.

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