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Beyond Water: How One Company Is Reducing Property Fire Damage With Clean Agent Technology

Facilities with critical equipment, spaces or procedures rely on special hazards fire detection and suppression systems (rather than water-based fire protection) to prevent damage and eliminate costly downtime. Even when deployed, these specialized systems minimize business interruptions by providing early warning detection and gaseous fire suppression.

Bisnow chatted with Cannistraro — a Massachusetts-based mechanical contractor that provides turnkey solutions for fire protection, plumbing and HVAC services — to find out the three core benefits of clean agent protection solutions to commercial property managers.

1. Reducing business interruption

Tech center

Consider Google or Amazon, two of the world's most-visited websites and producers of commerce in the world. If one of their servers were to shut down from heat or fire for even 10 minutes one day during peak business hours, it could cost millions of dollars. If smoke or fire triggered the facility’s sprinkler systems to deploy, water damage or clean-up could cause even further delay.

“Even a relatively short amount of downtime for such businesses can be extremely costly,” Fire Protection Special Hazards project manager Todd Stevens said. High-end tech firms, healthcare providers and other companies that rely heavily on data remain incredibly vulnerable, yet special hazards fire protection such as clean agent suppression systems can minimize that risk.

2. Protecting valuable artifacts and assets

Yosemite Museum Artifacts

In one fire disaster, everything can literally go up in smoke. Antiques collectors with, say, an automobile collection may want to preserve as much of their cars’ exteriors as possible without adding water damage to the mix in case of fire. Museums, historical artifacts and valuable possessions are at particular risk for fire safety.

“If you’re thinking about the commercial real estate space,” Stevens said, "we’re talking about owners and developers building around valuable assets and ROI."

This is why special hazards fire protection installers suggest the use of a gaseous suppression system in place of standard wet systems, which might save lives but result in irreparable damage to millions of dollars of paintings or documents. The clean agent suppression system instead discharges into the space and extinguishes the fire without causing damage to the space or the items within it.

3. Environmental sustainability, cleanliness and safety

Fire suppression

Clean agent suppression systems are a safe, clean alternative to sprinkler systems. The gas retains zero ODP (ozone depletion potential), zero limitations on use by the EPA, and even low to zero atmospheric lifetimes. Furthermore, clean agents are non-toxic and leave no residue behind, significantly reducing the time and cost of clean-up for affected buildings, managers and occupants. Suppression agents will also not obstruct vision or make it more difficult to breathe, which fire and smoke already do.

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