Foam fire suppression systems have three components: Foam concentrate, water, and air. These three components combine together to create foam when the suppression system is triggered. it releases a blanket of foam and fires are extinguished cooling and smothering the flames. The foam fire suppression system also can keep a flame from reigniting because it is smothering the area and the possible flammable gases.
Foam is more effective than “water only” fire sprinklers for hotter fires due to its ability to quickly cool a fire. Since it is faster at putting out a fire there can be less property damage from the fire. It can be harder to clean up after it has been triggered but, it is often less expensive than replacing equipment or structural damage.
- Common areas for foam fire suppression are below:
- Aircraft hangars
- Any place Flammable liquid is stored or exists
- Distribution and Cross dock facilities
- Petroleum Facilities
- Anyplace Machinery exists
- Chemical Plants
- Offshore Oil Rigs
- Dike Areas
- Jet Engine Test Facilities
- Manufacturing Facilities
- Marine Applications
The foams of today that are used in foam fire suppression systems is less toxic to humans but, you will still want the people cleaning up the aftermath to have protective gear and insurance. It is however toxic to wildlife. During cleanup keep all company pets or mascots completely away. Be sure the runoff of the foam or cleaning efforts is controlled and not going into a nearby field or stream. Hiring a Hazardous cleanup company handle this is always a safer bet even though you may want to monitor their activities while on site.
It is important to understand the different foams you might need. if you need Class A or Class B foams in your foam fire suppression system. Consult a fire engineer or a professional with the correct nicet qualifications. Class A foam creates a foam blanket that smothers the fire by not allowing air (oxygen) to access the fuel and lowers the fuel temperature to below its ignition point. The use of Class “A” concentrate allows a fire fighter to use far less water than would normally be needed to extinguish the same fire. Class B foams are usually used for flammable liquids and flammable gasses. Again, consult a fire engineer or another certified professional.
Here are some more detailed definitions to help you understand various types of foams:
- Class B Hydrocarbons (AFFF) are ideal for airports, manufacturing plants, and fire departments.
- Class B Polar Solvents (AR-AFFF) are most effective on hydrocarbon fuels, methanol, ethanol, and acetone.
- Class A Foam Agents make water more effective at controlling combustible materials such as wood, paper, coal, rubber, and plastics.
- Class A, B & LNG Fires High-Expansion Foam is the agent of choice for aircraft hangers, flammable liquid storage, and LNG facilities.
- Fluoroprotein Foam is mostly used in refineries and petrochemical facilities.
- Protein Foam is another fire suppressant of choice for refineries and petrochemical facilities.
- TARGET-7 Vapor Suppression is a neutralizing agent that lessens dangerous vapors released from a spill.
The amount that the foam expands can also be predetermined during set up. Depending on what area the sprinkler head is covering. Foam can be mixed to have high expansion characteristics or low area coverage. Ask about this when in the design process.
Give us a call to help with Design, Installation and future inspections or repairs of your foam system. We can let you know the types of systems that you will need to protect your assets.
Maverick Fire and Safety
1919 West Sam Houston Pkwy N #308
Houston, Texas 77043