In the event of a fire, the ability to quickly extinguish the flames and prevent the spread of fire is critical to the safety of building occupants and the protection of property. One effective tool for fire suppression is the use of foam systems. Foam systems are specifically designed to suppress fires involving flammable and combustible liquids, which can pose unique hazards that other types of suppression systems may not be able to address.
Louis Fire Safety, Abu Dhabi, provides a range of foam systems for building protection that comply with Civil Defence regulations. In this article, we will explore the different types of foam systems used for buildings, their advantages, and the regulatory requirements.
Types of Foam Systems:
There are two main types of foam systems: foam-water systems and foam concentrate systems.
- Foam-Water Systems:
Foam-water systems are designed to quickly and efficiently extinguish fires in a variety of environments. These systems combine water with a low-expansion foam concentrate to create a foam solution that effectively suppresses fires. The foam-water system is a versatile system that can be used in various applications, including high-hazard areas like chemical storage facilities and oil refineries.
Foam-water systems have a number of advantages over other fire suppression systems. They are effective at suppressing fires involving flammable and combustible liquids and are capable of creating a barrier that helps prevent the spread of fire. They are also relatively easy to install and maintain.
- Foam Concentrate Systems:
Foam concentrate systems, also known as foam-injection systems, are designed to suppress fires in areas where flammable and combustible liquids are present. These systems use a foam concentrate, which is mixed with water and then injected into the area being protected. The foam concentrate creates a foam blanket that suppresses the fire.
Foam concentrate systems have a number of advantages. They are particularly effective in high-risk areas, such as aircraft hangers, fuel storage facilities, and petrochemical plants. They are also effective at suppressing fires in areas with obstructions that may prevent the application of water.
Advantages of Foam Systems:
- Fast Acting:
One of the major advantages of foam systems is their ability to quickly suppress fires. Foam systems can extinguish fires in a matter of seconds, which is critical in preventing the spread of fire and protecting building occupants.
- Effective on Flammable and Combustible Liquids:
Foam systems are particularly effective at suppressing fires involving flammable and combustible liquids. Unlike water, foam can create a barrier that prevents the spread of fire and prevents reignition.
Foam systems are a versatile suppression tool that can be used in a wide range of applications. They can be used in industrial settings, including chemical plants and oil refineries, as well as in commercial and residential buildings.
- Environmentally Friendly:
Foam systems are environmentally friendly and do not cause damage to the environment. Foam concentrate is biodegradable and does not cause harm to aquatic life.
In Abu Dhabi, foam systems are regulated by the Civil Defence department. The regulations require that foam systems be installed, maintained, and tested in accordance with NFPA 11 Standard for Low-Expansion Foam and NFPA 16 Standard for the Installation of Foam-Water Sprinkler and Foam-Water Spray Systems.
The regulations also require that the system be inspected and tested regularly to ensure that it is working correctly. The inspection and testing requirements include monthly inspections, quarterly inspections, and annual inspections. The inspections and testing should be carried out by a qualified professional with experience in foam systems.
Foam systems are an effective tool for fire suppression in buildings. They are particularly effective at suppressing fires involving flammable and combustible liquids, which can pose unique hazards that other types of suppression systems may not be able to address.