Water extinguishing systems: An overview

In practice, different types of water extinguishing systems are in use, which have different advantages and disadvantages.

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29 September 2023 Fire Safety

Water extinguishing systems have a crucial position in fire protection. They are used to extinguish fires and prevent their spread in order to save human lives and minimise property damage. In practice, different types of water extinguishing systems are used, which have different advantages and disadvantages.

Water extinguishing systems: Types

In practice, the following three types are currently encountered:

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Sprinkler systems

Sprinkler systems are widely used in many types of buildings, such as homes, offices or industry. They react automatically to heat or smoke so that they start the extinguishing process directly. For this purpose, a large number of sprinkler heads are installed on the ceiling to ensure fire extinguishing in the entire room. The outlet openings are closed with glass barrels. In the event of a fire, when the trigger temperature is reached, a liquid expands in the glass barrels and causes them to burst.

However, large quantities of water are released when the fire is triggered, so that considerable water damage to the building is possible. In the event of false alarms, this can result in unnecessary interruptions to operations.

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Water spray extinguishing systems

A water spray extinguishing system is similar in design to a classic sprinkler system. However, unlike sprinkler systems, they consist of a pipe network with regularly arranged open nozzles. This means that the extinguishing nozzles are not closed with a glass barrel as in the classic sprinkler system. After fire detection, the extinguishing water is released in the alarm valve station, whereupon water flows out simultaneously from all nozzles in the entire protected area. In contrast, the sprinklers in a classic sprinkler system only open when the trigger temperature is reached.

Fire detection and activation can be carried out electrically via fire alarm systems, pneumatically via control networks or manually.

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Water mist extinguishing systems

Water mist extinguishing systems produce very small water droplets, which thus cover a larger surface area and ensure very effective fire fighting. The extinguishing principle of the fine water drops pursues the goal of depriving the fire of its energy and oxygen content. This leads to the suffocation of the fire and the interruption of the combustion process.

Water mist extinguishing systems are suitable for a wide range of environments, including industrial, commercial and domestic. Advantageous, if any, over other water extinguishing systems is the much smaller volume of water used and therefore less water damage. They are also much more sustainable, using less energy.

Areas of application for water extinguishing systems

Basically, water extinguishing systems are versatile, as they can be used for both personal and property protection. Compared to gas extinguishing systems, they are harmless to people and animals. Frequent areas of application are therefore industrial and logistics companies, public buildings, sales and meeting places as well as offices. Water mist is also becoming increasingly interesting for residential buildings.

Good to know: Every water mist extinguishing system is planned according to individual safety requirements. This makes them an option for smaller businesses as well.

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The future of water extinguishing systems

For future water extinguishing systems, the focus is also increasingly on the issue of sustainability.

For example, water mist extinguishing systems already offer a more environmentally friendly, but also more cost-effective alternative to classic water extinguishing systems (i.e. sprinkler and spray mist extinguishing systems). They offer an environmentally friendly approach to firefighting through efficient water use and minimal damage.

Advantages at a glance:

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CWS Fire Safety supports

CWS Fire Safety will be happy to advise you on the installation and maintenance of water extinguishing systems in your building. Our experts are on duty for you throughout Germany.

Good to know: Our focus is on water mist extinguishing systems as a sustainable alternative to classic water extinguishing systems. We would be happy to show you the advantages in a personal discussion based on your building requirements.

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