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Dry Fire Suppression Systems vs. Wet Fire Suppression Systems

Updated on December 24, 2013

When it comes to fire suppression there are basically two ways it can be accomplished –with wet fire suppression systems or with dry fire suppression systems –however, there are often cases where both types of systems are used. But, is one type of system better than the other one? Or, does it depend on the space that one wants protected? These are valid queries and ones that will be addressed below. Let’s get started.

First things first, any fire suppression system is better than not having one at all! How else can one protect the lives of those they love and the items that matter to them from the destruction of a fire if there is no system in place! Next, having an understanding of the various choices will come in to play.

A dry fire suppression system uses dry chemical compounds that quash the fire successfully because they can be installed in any industrial building. It works through dispersing pressurized air or nitrogen inside the system’s piping thus keeping the dry valve close and the water out of the system. When a sprinkler opens, the air escapes and then allows the water to enter the system. Wherever there is an opened sprinkler head, the water will flow through it and put out the fire. Dry systems are most commonly used in areas such as warehouses, freezers and unheated buildings where water filling the piping system could actually result in frozen water. It should be noted that due to the chemicals involved in dry suppression systems, the system is required to comply with a high set of standards placed by the National Fire Prevention Association. Also, the dry systems must be recharged after every use and do not react as quickly (can take up to a full minute to engage!) as a wet system does.

The wet fire suppression systems are simple and effective. They are most commonly used to suppress commercial cooking fires and help prevent a fire from spreading to other parts of a cooking area. They work by sing a liquid spray that hits a burning surface and quickly prevents fats and oils from reacting and becoming dangerous. The system engages quickly, so any fire is stopped sooner not later.

Regardless of the system one might choose, it is vital that it be inspected annually to ensure that it is in top working order. If your place of business already has a fire suppression system, but you are uncertain as to when it was last inspected then be sure to address that soon. You never know when your building might need to be protected from the ravages of fire, and it is certain that you do not want to deal with the aftermath of a fire!

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of wet and dry fire suppression systems. One such site worth visiting is

Janet Slagell independently authors articles for, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.


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