A fire event changes a business forever. One out of two businesses never re-opens after a disaster, such as a fire, according to Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), when sprinkler systems activate, they are successful in stopping the spread of the fire 97% of the time, saving the business. We are experienced in designing and implementing fire protection solutions for a wide variety of facilities, protecting what’s important to you.
Water-based systems are becoming more advanced and varied. With emerging technology, facilities have numerous options to fit their specific needs. Each facility is unique and deserves custom solutions. While a retail center may benefit from a wet pipe system for a quick reaction, a library would fare better with a pre-action system to ensure the condition of housed materials and a transformer would need a deluge system. F.E. Moran Fire Protection and Special Hazard Systems are experts in their respective fields and design systems based on the hazards each individual property possesses.
Wet Pipe Sprinkler Systems
By a wide-margin, wet pipe sprinklers are the most popular due to their simplicity and low-margin of error. However, these systems are constantly filled with water, so they should not be installed in environments that have the potential to freeze.
Once the heat-sensitive automatic sprinkler is triggered by a fire, the pressurized water that inhabits the pipe allows the water to flow from the activated sprinkler. Because water flows only from the activated sprinkler, the water expels within the direct area of the fire, minimizing water damage. Alarms sound once the sprinkler initiates and continues until the water flow is manually extinguished.
Wet pipe sprinklers should be used exclusively in temperature controlled environments that do not run the risk of freezing. Additionally, if a wet pipe sprinkler is severely damaged, it could result in leaks.
Dry Pipe Sprinkler Systems
When there is the potential for freezing, dry pipe systems are an ideal option.
Dry pipe sprinklers do not have water present in the piping until the system operates. The piping is filled with pressurized air that is supplied by either an approved air compressor or nitrogen. Once a sprinkler is activated by a fire, the dry pipe valve opens, allowing water to flow into the pipes.
Due to the air in the piping, there is a time delay in sprinkler activation. This can cause the fire to grow larger than it would with a wet pipe system. To counteract the delay, more sprinklers in the fire area will activate than with a wet pipe system. Another option to compensate for the delay is adding a quick opening device to rapidly remove air from the pipes.
Pre-action systems are ideal for computer rooms, museums, or other institutions that hold equipment or materials that could be harmed by water. This system requires a preceding fire detection event to occur in order for the sprinklers to activate. This prevents the sprinkler from accidentally triggering.
Pre-action systems are a mixture of wet, dry, and deluge systems, depending on the facility’s needs.
There are three types of pre-action systems:
Non-Interlock - A valve is activated by a detection system or heat-responsive sprinkler and water floods the piping systems.
Single Interlock - A fire detector initiates the deluge valve, introducing water into the piping system. A sprinkler fuse will then signal the sprinkler to activate.
Double Interlock – Water is introduced into the sprinkler piping only after a fire alarm initiates and the sprinkler fuse signals.
Scalability is limited due to pre-defined size restrictions. Future enhancements require the modification of interconnected fire detection and control systems to guarantee optimal performance.
Deluge systems are best for areas that hold high-risk equipment and are not vulnerable to water damage. They are utilized in environments where a fire could spread quickly due to its aptitude for quickly extinguishing fires.
A detection system prompts the water to enter into the piping system. Because deluge sprinkler heads are continuously open, the water will then freely flow, extinguishing the fire.
Sprinkler heads are consistently open, so deluge systems should only be installed in open environments that do not have water-sensitive equipment.
Water Mist Systems
In areas that are often frequented by personnel, but with equipment that is water sensitive, water mist systems are a good option. The light mist uses minimal water, creating a steam that controls the fire without water damage. Water mist sprinklers are an environmentally friendly alternative to Halon.
Water is converted into steam, which redirects oxygen from the flames, extinguishing the fire. The fuel is cooled during this process, preventing the fire from reigniting. The National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors tested the water mist sprinkler, and found that the control group fire’s flames reached four meters above the test room module and reached 100% smoke in 20 minutes. With the use of a water mist sprinkler, the fire was extinguished in 2 seconds.
Water mist sprinklers require heat to vaporize the mist, so these systems may not be as effective with smaller fires.
The proper design and installation of these systems require extensive knowledge and expertise. The Moran Group has three companies dedicated to the fire protection industry. They are well-versed in designing systems that will best fit each facility’s needs.
High Expansion Foam Systems
Ideal for a Class A (ordinary combustibles) fire high expansion foam is effective in extinguishing fire in confined areas with containment barriers. It has low water content, minimizing water damage. High expansion foam has a 200+ expansion ratio.
High expansion foam forms a flooding layer of air-filled bubbles in areas with containment barriers. The foam smothers the fire, suffocating the oxygen supply, resulting in extinguishment.
High expansion foam is best used in small areas due to foam break down. Additionally, special consideration must be made to the piping system to prevent ambient corrosion.
Low Expansion Foam Systems
With an expansion ratio of less than 20, low expansion foam is ideal for covering a large space. Low expansion foam amply smothers Class B (flammable liquid and gas) fires. It is especially effective with 2-dimensional, pool fires where the foam spreads a thin layer over the fire source.
The foam coats the Class B fire source, isolating it, and affectively cooling the source.
Low expansion foam is only effective with two-dimensional fires.
Clean Agent Systems
Clean agent systems are effective in extinguishing Class A, B, and C (electrical) fires while protecting sensitive equipment. If designed correctly, clean agent systems are a safe choice for environments frequented by personnel.
Clean agent systems, otherwise known as gaseous fire suppression, use inert gases and chemical agents to douse a fire. Chemical agents release gases that extinguish fire, and inert gases lower the oxygen in the area to control the blaze.
Piping must be resilient to corrosion from the chemicals. Additionally, special design considerations need to be made in areas where people congregate.
Carbon Dioxide Systems
Carbon dioxide systems work well in areas that have delicate equipment that could be damaged by other suppression systems. It is also quite effective in suppressing Class B flammable liquid and gas fires.
The “fire tetrahedron” consists of fuel, oxygen, heat, and a chemical reaction to create a fire; Carbon dioxide displaces the oxygen component while simultaneously cooling the heat and reducing the concentration of the fuel.
Carbon dioxide has adverse affects for people. If it is necessary to use a CO2 system around public areas, ample warning for inhabitants in the vicinity must be given.
Condensed Aerosol Systems
Condensed aerosol systems are a flexible and cost effective means of extinguishment. Consisting of minute particles (>10 micrometers), they are safe for use in the vicinity of sensitive equipment. These systems are flooding agents, which mean they can extinguish a fire no matter the location.
With multiple means of delivery - mechanical operation, electric operation, or combined electro-mechanical operation - condensed aerosol systems are a flexible fire protection solution. These systems use four methods to put out the fire: reduction or isolation of fuel, reduction of heat, reduction or isolation of oxygen, and inhibiting the chemical reaction that creates the fire.
Creates chemical reaction with free radicals in fire, interfering with the combustion process.
Particles absorb the heat energy.
Chemical reaction links free radicals with oxygen, changing the element.
Through this process, the fire becomes extinguished with one-fifth the amount Halon 1301 needed to complete the same process.
Exposure to condensed aerosol systems should be avoided. It has not been listed as safe to use in occupied spaces.
Fire Water Supply
Fire water supply is vital for any water-based fire suppression system. It is essential to choose a fire protection solution provider who is experienced in installing fire water supply. Expertise in specialized connections, system elements, and working with extreme pressure applications that could cause water hammers if not designed correctly is critical.
Underground Mains and Tanks
Underground installations require extensive expertise. They are innately more difficult due to the possibility of unseen obstructions. It takes a skilled solution provider to be able to customize on-site based on underground discoveries. Additionally, they have experience designing solutions that incorporates material selection and specialized equipment.
Fire Pumps and Tanks
We know the importance of properly functioning fire pumps and tanks. We install, inspect, test, and maintain diesel and electric fire pumps, underground and above ground storage tanks, and deep well and pond suction systems.
F.E. Moran Fire Protection and F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems are well-versed in current NFPA 25 requirements for the inspection, testing, and maintenance of fire pumps, ensuring compliance. Facilities can trust that their water supply will be working optimally with us.
Detection systems are tied closely with sprinkler systems. Without a proper detection system, fire protection is at risk. Implementing the correct detection system for a facility requires proficiency in current technology, environmental factors, and current industry requirements. We are dedicated to protecting facilities from a potentially disastrous fire event.
Aspirating Smoke Detector
Aspirating smoke detectors (ASD), such as Xtralis’ Very Early Warning Aspirating Smoke Detector (VESDA), can detect smoke before the human eye. Through the use of fans and sampling pipes, ASD systems actively draw smoke to itself, triggering an alarm up to 1,000 times faster than standard smoke alarms depending on the sensitivity configuration. ASD systems are an effective choice for clean rooms and facilities with highly flammable materials.
Spot-Type Heat-Sensing Fire Detectors
Amongst the most accurate detection devices, spot-type heat-sensing fire detectors alert from heat surpassing the pre-determined temperature. These devices are mainly used in confined spaces and boast rare false alarms.
Linear Heat Detection: Linear Heat detection (LHD) systems are effective in all environments when properly designed. They use a heat sensitive wire coating to detect heat along its entire length. Once the ambient heat melts the protective coating, the inner wires touch, sounding an alarm. The coating can be customized to melt at different temperatures, depending on the environmental configurations. LHD systems are highly effective in all temperatures, allowing for flexible location options.
Smoke Particle-Sensing Fire Detectors
These devices can sense a smoldering fire quickly.
Ionization smoke detectors: Ionizes the air surrounding the detector, causing the air to flow toward the detector. When smoke enters the detector, it disrupts the flow of ions and the alarm activates.
Photoelectric light scattering smoke detectors: A light source is angled away from the sensor in the detector. When smoke enters, it reflects the light into the sensor, activating the alarm.
Air aspirating sampling smoke detectors: A fan pulls the air into a sampling chamber where it is analyzed for evidence of fire.
Linear beam smoke detectors: In an environment where ceiling smoke detectors may have difficulty detecting smoke due to stratification, a transmitter and receiver are advantageously placed to identify hard-to-detect smoke.
Duct smoke detectors: Samples of air in the HVAC ducts are sampled. If smoke is detected, a signal is sent to the fire alarm control panel and an alert sounds.
Flame-Sensing Radiant Energy Fire Detectors
In facilities that house quick-burning materials, flame-sensing radiant energy fire detectors can help lessen the risks of deflagration by quickly identifying flaming fires.
Ultraviolet (UV) flame detectors: UV wavelength of >300 nm can detect a fire or explosion within 3-4 milliseconds, giving the facility ample time to react. UV detectors sometimes activate falsely from UV sources like lightning, arc welding, radiation, and sunlight. To mitigate, a 3-5 second delay should be added to UV flame detectors.
Infrared (IR) flame detectors: A photocell seeks out radiation from a flame and activates the alarm within 3-5 seconds of ignition.
Spark/ember detectors: Detects fire before it fully ignites through radiant energy detection.
In facilities where hazardous gas release is a concern, gas-sensing detectors activate before an unsafe amount accumulates.
When ignition causes a surge in pressure, the contacts on the depression plate close and a signal is sent to the fire alarm control panel.
In the event of a fire in a power generating or chemical plant, it is critical that inhabitants of the facility are informed of the situation and provided clear instructions to protect their well-being. The best method for conveying these messages is achieved through integrating an emergency communication system with the facility’s Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP).
Instant Communication for Life Safety
• Immediate activation from the FACP – when integrated with an FACP, a qualified event can automatically send a signal to a transmitter, instantly initiating communication throughout the facility
• Multiple layers of notification – text messages, emails, emergency pages and LED display messages can be automatically generated upon activation of an emergency communication system for redundant notification
• Intelligible communication– emergency communication systems are capable of delivering clear, concise communication, either through pre-recorded messages or live from an operator
• Wireless systems – utilizing a wireless emergency communication system simplifies installation and saves conduit and cable costs
• All encompassing communication – speakers can be strategically positioned throughout the facility and in outdoor areas for comprehensive communication