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Regardless of whether a person is at home, at work or on vacation, he/ she needs to be in total safety. Fires, unfortunately, occur equally in enterprises and homes, and hence there is a need to adhere to fire safety rules when using household and heating appliances. Besides, people always need to make sure that obsolete electrical wiring is replaced on time as it can lead to deteriorating consequences (Hurley et al., 2016). For timely detection of potential causes of fire, fire safety systems are used. They are an integral complex of engineering structures and devices that allow monitoring the state of objects and ensure timely detection of the source of ignition, its direct extinguishment, and safe evacuation of people. To ensure proper functioning of fire protection systems, they must be reliable and resistant to the effects of fire hazards during the time required for achieving fire safety objectives. Protection of people and property from the effects of dangerous fires as well as eradicating negative outcomes after the fire are ensured by the decrease in the dynamics of fire factors. The paper describes fire systems, namely a fire alarm system, a smoke protection system, an automatic water fire-extinguishing system, an automatic powder fire-extinguishing system, and an automatic gas fire-extinguishing system. Each of these fire systems has its personal set of qualities that are helpful in preventing fires. Therefore, there is a need to analyze fire protection systems as a set of organizational measures aimed at preventing people from exposing themselves to dangerous fire factors and limiting the material damage caused by fire accidents.
Characteristics of the Fire Alarm System
In the process of developing fire safety systems, it is important to consider automatic fire alarm. In addition to the main function it performs, the fire safety system launches a system to alert people about the fire and activates an automatic fire-extinguishing system and a smoke removal system among the other fire automatics (Hurley et al., 2016). Thus, a fire alarm system entails a rapid and automated response to the fire occurrence or smoke, which, as a rule, is detected by fire sensors.
A fire alarm is a complex set of technical means that serve to detect fire in a protected area in a timely manner. As a rule, the functionality of the fire-fighting system proves to be more effective if the system is used in combination with other security systems. Moreover, experts advise integrating burglar and fire alarm systems in one control room. This integration is generally referred to as the fire and security alarm system. The first thing that should be done when installing a fire protection system is to set up a fire alarm system (Jacob, 2015). When designing a fire alarm, it is necessary to distribute equipment, lay cable routes, and precisely calculate the consumption of energy and battery life of the entire system.
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The fire alarm is complex in structure, and one of its most important mechanisms is a control panel, which refers to the type of device that analyzes the state of fire detectors and loops and issues commands for launching fire automatics. This constituent is the brain of the fire alarm. The second important component is a display unit, or a computer-based workstation, which displays actions and the position of the fire alarms devices. In addition, it is paramount to build in an uninterruptible power supply (Hurley et al., 2016). This unit is the core of the fire alarm system and functions to make sure that the alarm works without interruptions even in cases of power deficiency.
Specific types of fire detectors play a fundamental function in the fire alarm system. In particular, sensors serve to detect a source of ignition or combustion products. To increase the efficiency of the fire department, it is necessary to equip it with manual fire detectors that usually have a form of a closed transparent box with a red button. As a rule, such manual fire detectors are placed on walls in places that can be easily accessible in cases of a fire, so an employee could easily notify the whole enterprise or organization of danger. It is worth noting the tactical benefits of fire alarms also include benefits regarding the safety of passengers and firefighters. A fire alarm is a necessary part in the security system of any project. Therefore, it is obligatory to constantly improve fire alarm systems in organizations and develop new ways of faster fire detection in order to reduce the percentage of false alarms.
A Smoke Protection System and Its Functions
To ensure safety, it is important to provide a smoke protection system in almost all parts of the building. Smoke protection ventilation systems are not mandatory in the premises if automatic fire-extinguishing systems, such as gas, water, powder, and foam, are installed. The aim of smoke removal systems is to eliminate smoke accumulated under the ceiling of the room and then transport it through the ventilation paths outside of the building (Hurley et al., 2016). To properly perform this function, individual ventilation units are used. To remove smoke from corridors, it is necessary to locate smoke intake systems directly under the ceiling but not above the top level of the doors. It is possible to fix smoke detectors on the elevation shafts to the smoke chambers. The length of the room with just one device should not exceed 45 meters (Hurley et al., 2016). A smoke protection system located in a building is one of the main components of the fire safety system. It is worth noting that the tactical advantages of this system lies in the fact that it is good both for ordinary people and firefighters. When smoke fills the premises inside the fire-covered building including corridors with staircases, it considerably complicates evacuation of people. Thus, reducing concentration of smoke inside the building is of paramount importance for successful evacuation.
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As systems of smoke intake use special valves to capture smoke, they must have special devices to control it in different modes. As such, smoke ventilation systems should be able to work separately in all fire-fighting compartments (Hurley et al., 2016). The air pressure system provides forced delivery if there is fire occurrence in some parts of the building. To ensure reliable operation of the smoke protection system, it is necessary to test it from time to time in order to determine if it meets the required standards (Jacob, 2015). Such checks can be conducted only by organizations that have a special license for it. The smoke protection system of a building or a structure should ensure that people are protected on evacuation routes and have access to safe areas that are free from exposure to danger. Herein, it is taken for the time, which is necessary to evacuate people to a safe area or the entire time of development and subsequent extinguishing of a fire via removing combustion products and thermal decomposition as well as preventing their spread.
Automatic Water Extinguishing System
Water is recognized as the most popular and widespread means of extinguishing fires and combustion of various substances. The advantage of water is its cheapness and availability, relatively high specific heat, high latent heat of evaporation, and chemical inertness in relation to most substances and materials (Hurley et al., 2016). Water is an effective cooling agent widely used for protection of specific objects in areas of burning and fires. Depending on the type of sprinklers, automatic water extinguishing installations are divided into sprinkler installations, where sprinklers are used, and deluge installations, in which deluge sprinklers are applied.
Depending on the air temperature in the protected room (volume), automatic settings of water or sprinkler fire-extinguishing are divided into the following most commonly used types. In particular, water-filled are used in rooms with a minimum air temperature of 5°C (Jacob, 2015). At the same time, air is used in unheated buildings (for example, warehouses, hangars, and car parks) with a minimum temperature below 5°C (Jacob, 2015). In these systems, all pipelines are filled with water or an aqueous solution.
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Sprinklers are installed only upwards. The pump station must be located in the heated room. Initialization of automatic systems of sprinkler fire extinguishing occurs after the activation of thermal sprinkler locks directly above the fire zone. As a result, pressure in the supply and distribution piping system drops, the control unit valve opens, and water from the ring fire water pipe is fed to the fire. Thus, an important tactical advantage of automatic water extinguishing installations for people is that such system is the most widely used at present as it not require urgent evacuation of the personnel.
Automatic Powder Fire-Extinguishing Systems
Automatic powder fire-extinguishing systems are designed for the automatic fire detection, transmission of a fire report to the personnel on duty, automatic localization, and fire extinguishing. The principle of the operation is to supply fine powder composition to the combustion zone. There are certain methods of extinguishing, namely volumetric, local in area, and local in volume (López, Firmo, Correia, & Tiago, 2013). According to the normative documents of fire safety, automatic powder fire-extinguishing installations are installed in public, administrative, industrial, and warehouse buildings, as well as in process plants and electrical installations. Powder composition has a minimal impact on the protected products, materials, and/or equipment. It is possible to place powder fire-extinguishing installations with complex object safety systems, technological equipment, fire alarm systems, smoke removal systems, and ventilation.
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Automatic powder fire-extinguishing systems are classified into several types. First, there are automatic powder fire-extinguishing installations that detect fire and are brought into operation by a signal from an automatic fire alarm system followed by a signal to start the system. Second, there are powdered fire-extinguishing installations with a manual start-up. In such fire-extinguishing systems, the starting signal is manually supplied from the fire station, fire-extinguishing station, and protected premises (Jacob, 2015). Finally, there is a category of stand-alone installations that are responsible for fire detection and where powder detection functions are performed independently from external power supplies and control.
Automatic powder fire-extinguishing systems are the cheapest systems for application. However, the powder sprayed in the room, being chemically active, leads to the corrosion of metal and destruction of plastic, rubber, paper, and other materials (Kim, Meacham, Park, Hutchinson, & Pantoli, 2014). Thus, many restrictions are imposed regarding the application of these systems, and high demands are placed regarding their reliability and protection against false triggering. The advantage of these systems lies in their simplicity of the installation process because they are autonomous. Their use is recommended, for example, in unattended or oil-serviced premises, where power equipment is located. Besides, they can be used in small offices, cottages, garages, and warehouses.
Automatic Gas Fire-Extinguishing Units
In regards to some objects combustion, it is impossible or economically impractical to extinguish the fire with the conventional methods and means. For example, among such objects might be power plants, premises of server or computer centers, book depositories, museums or galleries for specific purposes (Kim, et al., 2014). One of the most modern and effective methods of fighting with fire in such locations is to use automatic fire extinguishing systems. They eradicate fire in its inception stages and thus protect from the further spread of the flame and the subsequent large damage. As a fire-extinguishing agent, such systems use carbon dioxide, inert gases, and various compositions of fluorine-containing hydrocarbons. The method of automatic fire extinguishing that creates a fire-extinguishing concentration throughout the volume of protective space is called volumetric.
Among the tactical benefits of the gas fire-extinguishing system is that it ensures safety of passengers and firefighters as this system brings the least harm in eliminating fires. Gas extinguishing agents are referred to as volumetric quenching agents and are divided into inert diluents and flame retardants (Jacob, 2015). As inert diluents use gaseous carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, and water vapor, combustion of most substances ceases with the decrease of oxygen in the atmosphere of the protected volume to 12-15% (Jacob, 2015). The most effective among gas extinguishing agents are halogenated carbohydrates, especially halons (Kim et al., 2014). The use of separate types of chladones with volumetric quenching enables not to provide prompt and effective suppression of fire but also prevent creation of explosive atmosphere. Gas fire-extinguishing systems provide minimum impact on material values in comparison with the other automatic fire-extinguishing systems. However, their price is higher and is determined by special requirements for automation and warning, sealing of the premises, the need for gas smoke removal, and evacuation of people. They are used to protect libraries, museums, banks, computer centers, and small offices (López et al., 2013). Fire suppression modules are used to store the gas extinguishing agent. The fire extinguishing modules are devised for the production of a gas extinguishing agent by means of technical devices with electric, pneumatic, or mechanical starting, and also by the combination thereof. Gas extinguishing modules can be used as part of modular, centralized gas fire-extinguishing systems. The fire extinguishing modules function under different operating pressures and are suitable for different purposes. Such automatic fire extinguishing systems are characterized by the safety of construction, long service, and increased vibration resistance. The importance of the correct and timely use of all these systems is one of priorities of security of any enterprise. That is why all systems that are in use are very popular and every production is strictly controlled, so that all instructions and norms relating to the rules of fire safety systems are met.
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At any enterprise and in every office, it is necessary to have a fire system. It is dictated by the desire of an owner to protect property, life, and health of employees and state standards and regulations that are elaborated by any country’s Ministry of Emergency Situations. In general, the fire alarm system is calculated to detect fire at the initial stage and send out an alarm signal to the safety panel. Fire safety systems are important for each enterprise and for all of its employees in general. The automatic fire extinguishing system settings are used to localize a fire. Each company is interested in making its production profitable and ensuring that there are no emergencies. For this purpose, enterprises acquire fire alarms, which is one of the most common methods of fighting to prevent fires. Such units as a smoke protection system should be positioned at each activity. The fire alarm subsystem provides reliable detection of ignition at its initial stage and timely inclusion of the system of warning people about the fire to ensure safe evacuation from the building. The construction of the subsystem is based on address-analog devices, thus allowing performing integration into the management system of each building. Nowadays, automated systems such as automatic gas fire-extinguishing systems, automatic powder fire-extinguishing systems, and water fire-extinguishing systems are in huge demand. Each of these systems are chosen by companies and businesses depending on the budget and business scope.