Active vs. Passive Fire Protection Systems

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A fire protection system is essential in order to keep your business premises and your employees safe in the event a fire breaks out. But what kind of fire system do you need? Fire protection systems fall into two different categories – passive and active. Read on to find out the differences between the two so you can decide which is right for your company.

Passive fire protection systems

A passive fire protection system helps to prevent the spread of fire and smoke in the event that a fire breaks out. It is called passive fire protection because you don’t need to do anything in order for it to take effect.

The most common example of this is fire doors. These are doors made from fire-resistant materials, ensuring that the door won’t catch fire or will be incredibly slow to catch fire. They also limit the amount of oxygen that passes into the part of the building where the fire started, which helps to suppress the fire.

Other structural components may act as passive fire protection, including fire-resistant walls, floors, and ceilings. By preventing the fire from spreading further, damage is limited to a smaller area of the building. It also makes it easier for people inside the building to escape safely without suffering from burns or smoke inhalation.

Active fire protection systems

In contrast, active fire protection consists of everything that requires an action, such as triggering a fire alarm when you see smoke or using a fire extinguisher against a fire. However, active fire protection also includes automatic actions. This means that a fire alarm that triggers when it detects smoke is considered to be active fire protection. The same goes for a sprinkler system that activates when heat is detected.

Active fire protection systems play a number of roles in fire protection, depending on the equipment. Some may be used to extinguish or suppress a fire whereas others are simply there to warn everyone inside the building or even alert the authorities or a security monitoring company.

Which type of fire protection system should you have?

The answer is that you need a combination of both active and passive fire protection to keep your building and its residents safe. This provides maximum protection and the two often work hand-in-hand together. For example, a fire alarm sounds when it detects smoke or is activated by a person (active protection). Connected to the rest of the fire system, this alarm then sends a signal that automatically closes the building’s fire doors (passive protection).

If you need to install or upgrade a fire protection system in your commercial building or business premises, then contact Carolina Alarm for installation and monitoring around Greensboro, Kernersville, Winston Salem, and High Point, North Carolina.