When it comes to fire protection technology, there are a wealth of solutions on the market. No matter your industry, you’re likely familiar with fire sprinkler systems, fire alarms, extinguishers, and the more common fire protection technologies available. But, fire protection technology expands far beyond some of those well-known protection and suppression systems. If you’re interested in learning about some of the most interesting technology in fire protection, or if you’re looking for new solutions for your industry, here are three exceptionally useful fire prevention technologies you may not have heard of before:
Visual flame detectors are an interesting and useful fire prevention technology that’s not often talked about. Intelligent visual flame detectors process live video images to sense the characteristic properties of flames. Particularly useful in oil and gas applications, as well as in manufacturing industries, and even airplane hangers where flames are exceptionally hazardous, visual flame detectors can identify flames in as little as 3-5 seconds, increasing your fire protection system’s reaction time.
Visual flame detectors are designed to discriminate against common sources of unwanted alarms, ensuring they only alarm when an actual hazard is present. Quality visual flame detectors, like the options offered by MICROPACK, provide additional features like explosion-proofing, and installation capabilities in even the harshest locations around the globe. Though visual flame detectors are a fire protection technology you may not have heard of, they are exceptionally useful at keeping people, processes, and facilities safe in some of the harshest conditions.
Air sampling smoke detectors are an exceptional fire prevention technology. An active detection technology, they work to provide the earliest possible warning of a potential fire hazard. Air sampling smoke detectors are very useful in detecting fires before they spread, helping to suppress a fire before it even gets started.
Unlike a traditional smoke detector that passively detects smoke as it begins to fill the air in the detector’s general vicinity, an air sampling smoke detector actively draws in air through air sampling ports, piping, or tubing. The detector then analyzes the air for smoke. These detectors can pull air in from a number of locations in a building depending on the complexity of the detectors sampling ports and piping. In this way, air sampling smoke detectors are a fire prevention technology that actively work to look for signs of smoke or fire and prevent fires in very early stages of combustion.
Self-expanding fire fighting foam is a newer fire prevention technology that’s starting to gain a presence in the market, especially as fluorine-free foam options are becoming more readily available. It features many of the same benefits of typical fire fighting foam, with a few key advantages:
Self-expanding foam (SEF) is stored under pressure and deployed anywhere it’s needed, without the need for supplemental water supplies, foam proportioning equipment, or foam concentrates. SEF is mixed on location and only requires as much potable water as is necessary to meet the volume capacity as the foam storage tank. Once SEF is mixed and the tank is installed, no permanent water supply is needed. This means you can place the vessel wherever is most suitable and deploy from there with no additional tools or supplies.
SEF is typically guaranteed for a minimum of 10 years. This could vary by manufacturer, but generally the fire prevention technology is a long-lasting solution you can count on. This benefit is improved by the fact that SEF is not affected by extreme temperatures. It operates as flawlessly in direct sunlight and hot desert conditions as it does in sub-zero temperatures.
SEF operates entirely on stored energy. It does not require fire water infrastructure, additional pressure, or gas cylinders to help with actuation, making the system a low cost, low maintenance option. What’s more, it provides exceptional performance. In a fire test where a 40-foot diameter tank with diesel fuel was ignited and left to burn for 90 seconds, SEF was able to control the fire in 15 seconds, and extinguish at 25 seconds. When a comparison test was run, a traditional fire system extinguished the same fire in a bit more than 10 minutes.
If you’re working in an industry like oil and gas that needs extra protection from potential fires, some of these fire prevention technologies might be right for you. Talk to one of Vanguard’s fire protection technicians for more information on what technology you need to keep your facility, your assets, your employees, and the space around you safe.