FireDos Generation III Foam Proportioner

The designation of Special Hazards encompasses a variety of fire protection systems and technologies, used to protect highly-sensitive, valuable, or mission-critical assets and operations. For consumers or facility owners, it is critical to understand the types of Special Hazards applications available, and whether one is the appropriate solution to protect your operation.

In some cases, foam systems are the right choice to protect a higher-hazard occupancy. This is a common application that relies on foam to extinguish, or blanket, ignited materials. The foam itself is produced from two supplies, one of water and one of concentrate, that are mixed and ejected at the time of a fire. This foam “blanket” extinguishes Class A or B fires, making it well suited to protect chemical, oil, and gas plants, or any facility where highly-flammable liquids are produced, transported, stored, or disposed of. There are a variety of foam systems out there, but one manufacturer offers a distinctive advantage to consumers.

FireDos designs and manufactures foam proportioners that, unlike traditional bladder tank systems, do not expel foam when testing. Instead, a FireDos proportioner in testing mode will only expel water, while the concentrate used in the case of a fire circulates within the proportioner. This method of testing is not only a cost saving boon to owners, it prevents unnecessary levels of chemical concentrate from entering the environment.

Video courtesy of FireDos

When there is potential of a Class C fire, or in cases when property damage would be catastrophic, consumers should look to clean agent fire suppression systems. Clean agent fire suppression systems utilize either a chemical or inert gas to extinguish flames, and leave no residue behind. These systems work fast, taking seconds to reach full concentration in the case of a fire, and are people safe (100% USEPA approved for normally occupied spaces). Clean agent systems are the ideal choice for data centers, control rooms, museums and galleries, historic properties, or any place with irreplaceable assets or the potential for a Class C fire. Consumers may also consider a clean agent system in order to limit potential disruption to their operations. For many facilities, a major operational shutdown could be its own form of disaster.


A newly-installed clean agent system protecting a testing lab in Frederick, MD.

In addition to suppression systems, detection plays a key role in protecting your facility. Not all detection systems are created equally, and early warning detection offers an advanced solution to customers who require an added level of security. The smoke emitted from lighting a match may be commonplace in some buildings, but cause for serious concern in others. A Special Hazards provider can identify the right system for your facility, and importantly, customize it to fit your needs – ensuring your space and its occupants are protected at the first sign of trouble.  

For those in the world of fire protection, Special Hazards systems are commonplace. But for many consumers, a traditional sprinkler system is all that comes to mind when considering fire protection. Learning the basics of Special Hazards ensures that as consumers we can be equipped to seek out the right system to protect our operations, our building, and its occupants.

In this article, we explored only a few Special Hazards systems in very broad brushstrokes. If you’d like to learn more about these, or other technologies that can help protect your facility, please reach out to me anytime at [email protected].