September 17, 2018

How Foam Fire Suppression Works


When most people think of methods of putting out fires, they are most likely to think immediately of water. However, water isn’t always a suitable means of dousing fires. Water can ruin expensive equipment when it is used to put out electrical fires, and it can actually make certain types of fires even worse. You should never use water on a fire sparked by combustible metals such as magnesium, for example. Fortunately, there are other effective ways to stop a fire in its tracks—such as foam.


What is foam fire suppression?

When you can’t use water to suppress a fire, the most common substitute method is foam fire suppression. Foam is a substance that is made up of water, air, and foam concentrate. It is essentially a mass of bubbles, filled with air. While there are many substances that can turn into foam, the kind of foam used for fire suppression purposes is designed to be as consistent as possible.


Why is foam fire suppression effective?

Foam works primarily by separating the fire from the fuel that is feeding it, smothering the fuel and preventing oxygen from reaching it. It also suppresses the vapors associated with fires and cools the area, helping to reduce the risk of the fire reigniting. Foam is a time-proven method that is highly effective at putting out fires that have been started by grease, gas, or flammable liquids.


Why is foam fire suppression more effective than water?

While foam does contain water, part of the problem with using plain water to put out fires is the surface tension that holds the water together. Instead of staying on the fuel of the fire and smothering it, the water’s tendency is to run off right away. Foam, on the other hand, spreads and sinks into the fuel, which makes it more effective at dousing the fire.


Are you looking for a new fire protection system to protect your building? Kazal Fire Protection, Inc. has been providing the city of Tucson with first-class fire protection services for more than 30 years. We believe in treating our customers fairly and honestly. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, give us a call today at (520) 323-1518.