Why Airports Need Fire Suppression Systems
Did you know that the design and layout of most airport terminals can significantly increase the danger level during a fire or related emergency?
Modern terminals are engineering marvels that support millions of travelers around the world annually. Unfortunately, these locations become exceptionally hazardous during emergencies, especially raging fires. Read on to learn why airports need fire suppression systems and how these systems differ from others.
Why Terminal Designs Escalate Fire Hazards
There are a few design features that a majority of large airport terminals share: open waiting areas, long stretches between spaces, and limited egress points. This layout design can create a chaotic human stampede in the event of a fire. Furthermore, fast-moving fires are much more challenging to extinguish in larger rooms.
Lastly, privileged areas, such as bars, restaurants, and retail stores, further exacerbate airport fire hazards. Any environment with a multitude of gas and fire appliances is an increased fire risk—terminals often feature around five privileged locations! Ultimately, there is great potential for both a fire and uncontrollable responses, creating the worst-case emergency scenario.
How Airports Manage Increased Risks
So, if terminals are so dangerous in fires, why aren’t tragic airport fires more common? Fortunately, airports invest significant time, money, and labor into fire prevention and passenger safety. First and foremost, that large, open layout is a double-edged sword—while there’s potential for a chaotic evacuation, the excess space supports more moving bodies.
More importantly, almost all staff members have received training to manage sizable crowds in the face of emergency situations. As a bonus, all airports have on-site fire crews for immediate response and crowd assistance. Lastly, operational and cargo spaces, where fuel and other fire hazards are abundant, are separate from the public and managed by knowledgeable professionals.
The Need for Fire Suppression Systems
Even with the many precautions practiced by airport staff, the need for fire suppression systems in terminals is undeniable. Automatic industrial fire sprinklers reduce internal heat and protect valuable equipment from fire-related damages. Advanced fire suppression systems contain the majority of the impact inside the airport and away from their expensive aircraft fleet. Plus, fire sprinklers reduce the likelihood of death during an emergency.
However, airport sprinklers aren’t always similar to ones found in office buildings or homes. Rather, certain spaces throughout airports feature specialized suppression systems that dispense synthetic foams instead of water. This evolution of fire suppression systems has saved lives and businesses every day.
Understanding why airports need fire suppression systems highlights the importance of fire safety in high-risk environments. Thanks to technology such as advanced suppression devices, millions of people worldwide can comfortably enjoy air travel!