What Are the Two Kinds of Fire Protection Systems?

Fire alarm system components

Sadly, over 3,800 people die fire related deaths and about 18,300 people get injured in fires every year in the United States. To make matters worse, most of those fires could have been prevented with the proper fire protection equipment, which is why it’s so important for homeowners to invest in fire protection systems.

There are two main kinds fire protections systems–active and passive. Active fire suppression equipment takes action against the fire, while passive fire protection systems are designed and put in place to restrict the area that fire and smoke damage.

Active fire protection systems are comprised of equipment that will either try to put the fire out, or detect and alert those in the vicinity of smoke or flames. For example, a hotel’s active fire protection system would include two automatic fire suppression systems–sprinklers and smoke alarms–and would also have fire extinguishers, which are pieces of active fire protection equipment.

Passive fire protection systems slow down the spread of fire and smoke so that people have time to safely evacuate and so that the damage to the structure is limited. Passive fire protection systems are usually built as part of the structure’s design, accounting for the type of building material used and other details. For example, an architect or construction company might have had fire protection in mind when they decided to use drywall that contained gypsum, which is a plaster that releases water vapor when exposed to extreme heat, effectively slowing down the spread of a fire. Passive fire protection is the main reason why concrete is so widely used as a construction material.

Basically, active fire protection systems work to extinguish fire, while passive fire protection systems work to contain the fire. In order to properly defend against a fire, it’s important that both types of protection be used. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Helpful research also found here.

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