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Different Types of Fire Suppression Systems

Fire Suppression Systems act on the intermediary stage of a fire, subsequently to the detection. Their primary purpose is to extinguish the fire or at least control it, avoiding the spread. You might be very aware of the most common sprinklers system, but what to do when you cannot use water to combat fire, either because of its nature or to protect sensitive property in the location?

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Welcome to JEM Systems

Here at JEM we care about people. That’s the philosophy the company was created under, and that’s where we are always moving towards. The healthy relationship and the familiar environment between every single person in our offices is what we care about the most. As a business that revolves around saving lives, we respect and cherish each and every form of life, regardless of any cultural or personal diversity, including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental capacities or social origins. We value every form of self-expression, always putting inclusivity in the first place so everyone can be valued for their differences. No discrimination of any sort is tolerated in any of our premises.

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VESDA Units

The name VESDA stands for “Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus” and is classified as an Aspirating Smoke Detector (ASD). That means that this device offers the earliest possible warning of an impending fire hazard by continuously sampling the air in the environment via aspiration and analyzing it, looking for smoke particles and also hazardous / combustible gases in some modules. Although there are some technical differences between each model available, which is to be expected, their basic functionality is normally based on a flare detection chamber, combining laser-based light scattering technology with optical imaging to deliver higher sensitivity, better dust rejection and improved stability and longevity. Each model has its unique advantage or application, but they all normally aspirate air, some through long line of pipes from different areas of the building and can be easily connected to fire alarm control panels, suppression systems and intelligent building management systems.

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The Five Types of Building Constructions According to the IBC

The importance of this system is precisely informing the standards you will have to abide when building a new construction based especially on its occupancy. This way, when someone building their home or a small business, which represents no big fire hazards and won´t be occupied by too many people, they won’t have to follow the same standards a commercial building with multiple floors would. Someone building their house, for example, can still follow a safer construction standard if they would like to. Even though it would make it way more expensive that it would have to be, there is nothing that prohibits it, as long as you are using a higher standard than the minimum required for the construction type. This cannot happen the other way around. This ends up working in favor of all building occupants. If a building is incorrectly classified into a lower category, it will not be constructed in a manner as required for its intended use and will result in a relative risk to all occupants it serves. These types are better explained in the IBC, along with the maximum dimensions of the buildings and occupancy classification, but at this time we will be focusing on the construction types.

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More Articles

Different Types of Fire Suppression Systems

Fire Suppression Systems act on the intermediary stage of a fire, subsequently to the detection. Their primary purpose is to extinguish the fire or at least control it, avoiding the spread. You might be very aware of the most common sprinklers system, but what to do when you cannot use water to combat fire, either because of its nature or to protect sensitive property in the location?

Read More

Fireworks Safety Tips for a Happy 4th of July

Independence Day is just around the corner, and we all know what that means: Barbecue, Parades, and of course, Fireworks! Even though fireworks are legal in most towns, cities, or regions, that is not always the case, and there are many safety tips that we should all be attentive to. As a Fire & Life Safety company, we are especially cautious about these explosives. Yes, they are a big part of this patriotic holiday, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook the danger they represent, especially when handled by unprepared individuals.

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Welcome to JEM Systems

Here at JEM we care about people. That’s the philosophy the company was created under, and that’s where we are always moving towards. The healthy relationship and the familiar environment between every single person in our offices is what we care about the most. As a business that revolves around saving lives, we respect and cherish each and every form of life, regardless of any cultural or personal diversity, including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental capacities or social origins. We value every form of self-expression, always putting inclusivity in the first place so everyone can be valued for their differences. No discrimination of any sort is tolerated in any of our premises.

Read More

VESDA Units

The name VESDA stands for “Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus” and is classified as an Aspirating Smoke Detector (ASD). That means that this device offers the earliest possible warning of an impending fire hazard by continuously sampling the air in the environment via aspiration and analyzing it, looking for smoke particles and also hazardous / combustible gases in some modules. Although there are some technical differences between each model available, which is to be expected, their basic functionality is normally based on a flare detection chamber, combining laser-based light scattering technology with optical imaging to deliver higher sensitivity, better dust rejection and improved stability and longevity. Each model has its unique advantage or application, but they all normally aspirate air, some through long line of pipes from different areas of the building and can be easily connected to fire alarm control panels, suppression systems and intelligent building management systems.

Read More

The Five Types of Building Constructions According to the IBC

The importance of this system is precisely informing the standards you will have to abide when building a new construction based especially on its occupancy. This way, when someone building their home or a small business, which represents no big fire hazards and won´t be occupied by too many people, they won’t have to follow the same standards a commercial building with multiple floors would. Someone building their house, for example, can still follow a safer construction standard if they would like to. Even though it would make it way more expensive that it would have to be, there is nothing that prohibits it, as long as you are using a higher standard than the minimum required for the construction type. This cannot happen the other way around. This ends up working in favor of all building occupants. If a building is incorrectly classified into a lower category, it will not be constructed in a manner as required for its intended use and will result in a relative risk to all occupants it serves. These types are better explained in the IBC, along with the maximum dimensions of the buildings and occupancy classification, but at this time we will be focusing on the construction types.

Read More

Standard vs. Monitored Fire Alarm Systems

Every “what to do in case of a fire” guide will tell you basically the same steps on how to proceed in a situation like such, and even thought calling the fire authorities is a must, it is also not the first step and should only be done when away and clear from danger, which normally means after you have safely exited the building. These minutes between the start of the evacuation and the alert of the fire authorities can be crucial to a well succeeded response to a fire by the part of the first responders and can play an important role in containing the fire to the room of origin, avoiding the spread. This is precisely the most crucial difference between a monitored and a standard fire alarm system, meaning that a monitored one is literally monitored 24/7, and the actioning of the authorities is done remotely as soon as a fire is detected. This saves precious minutes for the responders to get to the area, consequently starting an early response and preventing unnecessary harm for the occupants and damage to the building structure. Another thing to considered is that, as mentioned in our “Leading causes in office fires” post, even though only 19% of fires occurs on weekends, they correspond for 31% of all the associated property loss in building fires.

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IoT and Fire Alarm Systems

The principle of the Internet of Things is that all devices we use in our day-to-day life are actually connectable both to the internet and between each other. This is possible thanks to the arrival of super-cheap computer chips and the ubiquity of wireless networks, that allows us to make any device into a source of data that can then be transmitted to other devices to be interpreted. What actually makes a random appliance into a data source is the installation of sensors to collect diverse inputs, so it is only logic that a system that already relies on a number of sensors can be widely explored by this emerging tech. Fire alarms systems already relies on inputs coming from the sensors and detectors that composes it, but while now we are using those inputs to simply start a suppression system or sound an alarm for example, the integration with the Internet of Things can actually turn these sensors in live data for firefighters to not only understand exactly where a fire is but also track its development before even stepping into the building. The remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities of an IoT system can help firefighters know where to position personnel and trucks in advance, gaining visibility into how to reach an emergency. Thinking even further, the combination of this technology with Smart Buildings that are becoming increasingly more common, will facilitate even some contingency plans such as shutting down the HVAC system or putting elevators in fire mode automatically after a fire is detected.

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Fire Protection, Prevention and Suppression

We all talk about fire protection in a very wide way to mean the whole system of fire control implemented in buildings and residences, but do you know the actual difference between fire protection, fire prevention and fire suppression? Apparently, they might seem as more of the same, but instead of using these terms interchangeably we need to understand their definitions and how they work together as a system, for instance: Fire Protection This is implemented in the design process of a building with the goal of protecting a building’s occupants and minimize the damage associated with fire. It provides the widest possible window for a safe evacuation while also reducing potential property damage. As the name suggests, it’s all about protection should a fire occur, but it does not act proactively to stop them from happening. Fire protection systems can be active or passive, depending on their functionality during a fire and whether or not they need to be activated, either by human activity or automatically through smart detection.

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Active and Passive Fire Protection Systems

A Fire Protection system is implemented in the design process of a building with the goal of protecting a building’s occupants and minimize the damage associated with fire. It provides the widest possible window for a safe evacuation while also reducing potential property damage. As the name suggests, it’s all about protection should a fire occur, but it does not act proactively to stop them from happening. No building can be 100% free of fire hazards, all we can do is be prepared every way possible to ensure that if it comes to this no one will get hurt and no property will be damaged unnecessarily. Depending on their functionality during a fire and whether or not they need to be activated, either by human activity or automatically through smart detection, the fire protection gear can fall under two of these categories: Active or Passive.

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