A fire hydrant is a visible fixture placed inside or outside a building, parking area, industrial area, mine, roadside, etc. that is connected to the municipal or a private water service network. Fire hydrants are designed to instantly provide the water required by fire fighters to extinguish a fire.
A fire sprinkler system is an active fire protection method, consisting of a water supply system, providing adequate pressure and flow rate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers are connected. Although historically only used in factories and large commercial buildings, systems for homes and small buildings are now available at a cost-effective price. In buildings completely protected by fire sprinkler systems, over 96% of fires were controlled by fire sprinklers.
Pre-action fire sprinkler systems employ the basic concept of a dry pipe fire sprinkler system in that water is not normally contained within the pipes. But rather holding water from piping via pressurized air or nitrogen, pre-action sprinkler systems restrain water with an electrically operated valve, known as a pre-action valve.
The system’s discharge is a two-step process: First, the innovative detection system identifies smoke or heat, which activates a pre-action valve that allows water to flow into piping and effectively creates a wet pipe sprinkler system. Second, individual sprinkler heads release to let water flow onto the fire. This second step provides an added level of protection against inadvertent discharge, which makes pre-action systems ideal for water-sensitive environments
A deluge fire sprinkler system is similar to a pre-action system except the sprinkler heads are open and the pipe is not pressurized with air. Deluge systems are connected to a water supply through a deluge valve that is opened by the operation of a smoke or heat detection system. The detection system is installed in the same area as the sprinklers. When the detection system is activated water discharges through all of the sprinkler heads in the system. Deluge systems are used in places that are considered high hazard areas such as power plants, aircraft hangars and chemical storage or processing facilities. Deluge systems are needed where high velocity suppression is necessary to prevent fire spread.
A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. It is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which has reached the ceiling, endangers the user i.e. no escape route, smoke, explosion hazard, etc. Typically, a fire extinguisher consists of a hand-held cylindrical pressure vessel containing an agent which can be discharged to extinguish a fire. Fire extinguishers manufactured with non-cylindrical pressure vessels also exist but are less common.