Accidental fire suppression activations can cause quite a mess to clean up. Some costs associated with a fire suppression discharge include clean up, refilling the fire suppression system, and business delays. The following are the 5 common causes of fire suppression discharges and how to prevent accidental fire suppression activations in your facility.
- Manual Activation Switch Location
- Exhaust Fan and Filter Issues
- Carelessness and Inexperience
- Improper Installation and Maintenance
- Acts of God
Manual Activation Switch Location
The placement of your fire suppression manual activation switch could put your facility at risk for dumping the suppression system. When the fire suppression manual activation switch is near other switches and buttons it creates confusion. This becomes even more of a risk when the staff regularly uses a nearby switch. One day they might get distracted and accidentally hit the manual fire suppression activation switch.
Exhaust Fan and Filter Issues
An improperly functioning or turned off kitchen hood exhaust fan keeps heat in the kitchen area. Once there’s enough heat the wet chemical fire suppression system will activate. Another common cause of an accidental fire suppression system activation is removing exhaust filters from the kitchen hood. This exposes fusible links to excess amounts of heat and grease produced from cooking.
Carelessness and Inexperience
Double check that fire protection system technicians hold certifications to service your system. Inexperienced technicians don’t understand the proper procedures for servicing fire suppression systems. They’re at a greater risk of making a detrimental mistake like forgetting to disable the system during maintenance. Whereas, seasoned technicians are much less likely to cause false fire suppression activations.
Improper Installation and Maintenance
Unfortunately, improper installations and maintenance can cause accidental fire suppression system activations. Installing the wrong fusible link can cause the problem. Appliance manufacturers list the temperature rating and proper fusible links required for each location within the plenum or appliance. Double check the operation manual for guidelines on the installation requirements. Additionally, follow NFPA maintenance guidelines and change fusible links every 6 months.
Acts of God
Accidental fire suppression activations due to Acts of God are somewhat unpreventable. Power surges and lightning strikes pose a threat to fire suppression systems. You can install surge protectors as a precaution. But, that still doesn’t guarantee your system is entirely safe from a false activation.
The most common causes of accidental fire suppression activations are preventable. By following these tips, you can help to ensure your fire suppression systems only activates when necessary.