Fire Suppression and Alarm Systems
Unless the hazmat building is more than 75′ away from other site facilities, parking lots, property lines, etc., most codes require fire suppression systems. Pre-manufactured hazmat buildings have dry chemical fire suppression because of lowest overall cost. Water sprinkler system is the next frequently specified system because most fire authorities say, “When a chemical type fire suppression runs out of its agent and the fire is not yet out, what do you have left to put it out?” A sprinkler system just keeps pouring it on until manual shut off. But, the total amount of water is to be contained along with any spilled chemical that didn’t burn off. This could require buildings with very deep sumps and/or drainage to some sort of “catch” outside the hazmat building. There are also halon substitute systems such as CO2, Inergen, FM 200 and others that are many times more expensive than dry chemical systems. Some workers can breath the dispensed fire fighting gas without permanent harmful effects but some agents are very harmful, resulting in death.