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Choosing the Right Fire Suppression System

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Dry chemical fire suppression system     Liquid agent fire suppression system     Dual agent fire suppression system
There is no one size fits all solution for fire protection. When choosing your fire suppression system, consider the unique hazards of your machine. AFEX offers dry chemical, liquid agent, and dual agent fire suppression systems in a variety of sizes and configurations to meet your needs. To determine the appropriate type of system to utilize, the first step is to conduct a "Fire Risk Assessment" of the machine to be protected and the environment in which it will be operating. This evaluation should include such considerations as the physical size of the machine, the engine horsepower and the volume of hydraulics. The potential for debris to accumulate also is a key factor when it comes to designing a system. Whether the engine is a TIER 4 or not can also impact the choice of protection type and system size.

Overall, AFEX has found that dual agent systems, combining the benefits of dry chemical with the benefits of liquid agent, are the most effective way to address most risks. Dual agent systems are so effective that the National Fire Protection Agency requires them for large hydraulic shovels. Not only are they more effective, dual agent systems require less space and are more economical than a comparable liquid-only system for the same machine.

To learn more, or to get the help of an AFEX Specialist to determine a specific system configuration, call us at (919) 781-6610 or use the contact form below.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

DOES AFEX OFFER LIQUID-ONLY FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS?

Yes. AFEX offers liquid-only fire suppression systems that have been tested and approved by Factory
Mutual (FM) and provide Australian Standard 5062 (AS 5062) compliant fire suppression abilities.

DOES DRY CHEMICAL OR LIQUID AGENT PROVIDE THE BEST PROTECTION?

It depends. Dry chemical and liquid agent should each be considered for their unique benefits. Dry chemical floods an entire enclosure, is effective against debris, fuel, and electrical fires, and provides unparalleled fire knockdown speed, making it especially well suited for protecting vehicle engine, transmission, and hydraulic pump compartments. Liquid agent provides an extended, cooling, discharge for a targeted area, making it the top choice for protecting specific high risk vehicle components such as turbochargers, exhaust components, and Tier 4 aftertreatment components or for penetrating areas with debris build up. Dual agent systems combine the most desirable qualities of both dry chemical and liquid agent and will provide the best overall protection for most applications.

ARE LIQUID-ONLY SYSTEMS AS EFFECTIVE AS DRY CHEMICAL SYSTEMS?

They can be, if you use enough agent. However, it is a common misconception that they are also more efficient than dry chemical systems. Because liquid agent does not flood an enclosed space, more nozzles are required to protect a similar size compartment, and even then the overall coverage cannot accurately be compared to the total-flooding of a dry chemical system. These additional nozzles result in a more complex distribution network, which adds to the required system installation time.
liquid-only dimensions dual agent dimensions
Liquid agent tanks also provide fewer nozzles per tank than a dry chemical tank of the same size. For example, a 60 pound dry chemical tank provides up to 12 nozzles, whereas a 5 gallon liquid agent tank (which has the same physical dimensions) only provides 4 nozzles. Therefore, in order to provide the same coverage as dry chemical or dual agent systems, liquid-only systems would require more and/or larger tanks, increasing the required space on the machine. Ultimately this results in liquid-only systems that are heavier, occupy a larger footprint, require greater installation times, and cost more than a comparable dry chemical or dual agent system.