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How Fire Suppression Systems Are Installed And How They Work When They Are Submerged In Your Floor

Most fire suppression systems, if you have ever seen them, are built into the ceilings such that they express water or a fire retardant chemical from above the flames. However, newer suppression systems also incorporate an under-the-floor system of pipes. Here is how fire suppression systems are installed and how they work when they are submerged in your floor.

Single Attack or Double Attack

If your commercial or industrial building is installing or updating its suppression system, you can choose between the "single attack" or "double attack" systems. The single attack system is often the overhead sprinkler-type system, but you can also elect to have just a floor system instead. The double attack system (as it is affectionately referred to by some) includes both the overhead and the floor systems so that the fire or dangerous chemical spill is liquidated (or attacked) from above and below.

The Submerged/ in the Floor Suppression System

If you select either of the aforementioned systems, the submerged or floor system is usually installed before the concrete is poured. However, if your company is updating the system to include the floor components, the contractor can lift up large sections of the concrete floor to install the pipelines. Before the pipes are covered up with fresh concrete the contractor will connect them to the tanks of water or fire suppression chemical, which usually stands upright near a wall. He or she will test the system to make sure it works and that there are no leaks. 

Then the contractor pours fresh concrete over the pipes, leaving the heads of the system exposed in the floor. Over these areas the contractor places protective covers that will pop up and off when the system is activated. When the system is inactive/ on standby, the covers will keep employees from tripping over the system's heads and the openings in the floor.

Connecting the System to a Manual Override Switch

If you have a floor system installed in a plant where potentially dangerous chemicals could spill out, then you may also want the contractor to install a manual override switch and floor drains. The manual override switch will connect to the system near the suppression tanks. When your plant experiences a dangerous spill, you pull the switch and the floor system (and the overhead system, if you have that too) will create a pool of diluted chemicals that it washes down the floor drains.

Additionally, if you have a fire and the system for some reason does not automatically engage at the detection of smoke or fire, then the manual switch will activate the system and suppress the fire like it should.