What Is a Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System? Here’s the Inside Scoop

Fires of any size can be extremely dangerous. The faster a fire can be controlled and suppressed, the best chance you’ll have of minimizing any damage to your facility or injury to your employees. Various industries and applications require specific fire suppression solutions. So, which fire suppression system is best for your industry? 

One of the most effective systems on the market today is the dry chemical fire suppression system. We’re here to tell you all about it. 

What Is a Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System?

Dry chemical fire suppression systems use proven technology to quickly knock down even the most challenging flammable liquid and gas fires. They detect fires early and use a dry chemical powder to suppress the complex hazards that are too difficult or inaccessible for firefighters to reach. 

When a dry chemical fire suppression system is activated (either electrically or manually), the valve on a pressurized tank will open, allowing the dry powder to be released into a piping system and out of nozzles throughout the system. Then, the powder will smother and extinguish the fire.

What Chemicals Does a Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System Use?

Two primary chemicals within dry chemical fire suppression systems are sodium bicarbonate and mono-ammonium phosphate. They’re both quick-acting extinguishants, but they each have their own strengths.

Sodium bicarbonate can stand up against all Class B fires and sometimes Class C fires. Mono-ammonium phosphate is an all-purpose solution that can fight Class A, B, and C fires. 

What Applications Use Dry Chemical Fire Suppression Systems?

Dry chemical fire suppression systems provide extensive fire protection in high-risk areas where disastrous fires could occur. The large, fixed-nozzle piped systems provide up to 3,000 pounds of dry chemical extinguishing agent for large industrial applications.

The typical application locations for dry chemical fire suppression systems include:

  • Petroleum and petrochemical loading racks
  • Refinery processing plants
  • Product transfer and storage facilities
  • Offshore platforms
  • Marine tanker decks
  • Machinery spaces
  • Loading docks
  • Paint spray booths
  • Dip and quench tanks
  • Warehouses
  • Storage buildings with hazardous materials
  • Machinery lubricating systems
  • Flammable liquid storage areas

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dry Chemical Fire Suppression Systems?

Like other fire suppression systems, dry chemical systems are chosen for specific reasons. We’ll dive into the pros and cons of these systems so you can determine if they’re the right fit for your application. 

Advantages of Dry Chemical Fire Suppression Systems:

  • You can repeatedly use a dry chemical fire suppression system because they’re rechargeable. 
  • These systems are pressurized with nitrogen to discharge their dry chemical powder so fires can be suppressed almost immediately. 
  • They’re accessible and easily installed whether you’re remodeling or in a new construction facility. 
  • Systems can be operated both automatically and manually. 
  • Dry chemical systems are more affordable than other fire suppression systems.
  • They can be used in areas where an extensive piped sprinkler system or water isn’t practical. 
  • Since they don’t use water, dry systems don’t cause damage to electrical systems or other expensive assets. 
  • These systems are reliable and built to last. 

Disadvantages of Dry Chemical Fire Suppression Systems:

  • For the system to work again after it’s used, you have to recharge it. 
  • Extensive cleanup after each use is required due to the chemical agent released to suppress the fire. You must follow a proper dry chemical cleanup procedure to get your facility back in working order.

Is the Dry Chemical Fire Suppression System Right for You?

As you can see, there are many reasons why facilities are opting to invest in dry chemical fire suppression systems. Is this system best for you and your application? Contact us at Total Industrial Solutions! We’d be more than happy to walk through your options and find the best fire suppression system for you.