Hard Fire Suppression Systems Blog

FAQs about Fire Protection

At Hard Fire, we are often asked the same questions about our industry and just how important a fire suppression system and fire alarms are. So we wanted to take some time to talk about the questions we hear the most often about fire protection in Ohio and the surrounding areas.

Q: How important is it to having working fire alarms in a home or business?

A: Very important! Fire alarms are an important part of a good fire protection system, whether you are at home or at work. Nearly 60% of home fire deaths between 2007 and 2011 were in homes were there were no working fire alarms. Fire alarms are one of the most effective ways to alert a building’s occupants that there is a fire and everyone needs to evacuate as quickly and safely as possible.

Q: How often should I have my fire extinguishers inspected?

A: We recommend that you get your fire extinguishers inspected on a yearly basis by a fire protection company like Hard Fire. We also recommend that you look at your fire extinguishers on a monthly basis for any obvious signs of damage.

Q: I have a sprinkler system in my home or commercial building. What can I do to make sure it stays in good shape and functions if it’s ever needed?

A: The best thing you can do for your fire protection system, like a sprinkler system, is to have it inspected by Hard Fire at least once a year. We can catch any problems that might impact the system’s ability to work if it is needed. We also recommend that you take a look at it on a monthly basis and that you take basic precautions like never painting over the sprinklers, never obstructing them and never hanging items from them.

Q: I just had some fire alarms installed. How long will they last?

A: With proper maintenance and care, your new fire alarms will last around 12 years. Fire alarms are an important part of fire protection, so you should have your alarms looked at by professionals like the ones at Hard Fire at least once a year. You should be sure to make sure the batteries are fresh by changing them at least twice a year.

Do you want to learn more about fire protection in Ohio? Call Hard Fire at 1-800-848-1301, or you can Contact Us.

The Basic Components of a Fire Protection and Suppression System

As one of the leading companies in fire protection in the Columbus OH area, we design, install, maintain, monitor and repair a variety of fire protection and suppression systems for property owners like you. Every system we design is unique, but there are some basic components that go into all of them. Here is a brief rundown of each basic component and its function.

Fire Alarm Panel

This is the brain of your entire fire suppression system. It monitors every connected device and relays information between each part. It also monitors the system’s integrity and output. A fire protection company like Hard Fire knows exactly what type of fire alarm panel will best meet your building’s fire protection needs.

Initiating Devices

There are two main types of initiating devices: manual and automatic. Manual devices are ones that require a person to activate them, such as pull stations and “break glass” stations. Automatic devices are ones that respond on their own to the detectable physical changes that come with a fire, like heat and smoke.

Primary Power Supply

This is the main source of power for your fire protection and suppression system. Usually there is a dedicated branch circuit for the fire suppression system, and the power supply is generally controlled by the power company.

Secondary Power Supply

This is the primary power supply’s back-up and usually consists of batteries, an emergency generator or some other type of emergency power device. The secondary power supply will engage if something happens to the primary power supply. This is to ensure your fire protection and suppression system stays up and running even if the power goes out.

Notification Appliances

These include strobe lights or audio devices such as a horn. This is the way the system tells the building’s occupants that there is a fire and everyone should evacuate immediately. They also help people evacuate the building quickly and safely.

These are just a few basic components of a fire protection and suppression system. Professionals like the ones at Hard Fire will know exactly what your building needs to respond to a fire emergency. That way, you can rest easy knowing your property, its occupants and your assets are well protected in the event the worst happens.

Are you interested in learning more about fire protection in Columbus OH? Call us at Hard Fire at 800-848-1301 or 614-882-2990 or you can Contact Us.

What is a Clean Agent in Fire Suppression?

A clean agent is defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as “an electrically nonconductive, volatile or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not leave a residue upon evaporation.” Simply put, a clean agent is a way to extinguish a fire without using water. This is ideal for data storage rooms, IT equipment and irreplaceable items like art and antiques. As a commercial fire sprinkler systems company serving Columbus and the surrounding areas, we thought we would provide more information about clean agents and how they can benefit you.

Clean agents work by primarily inhibiting the chain reaction between heat oxygen and fuel source. Some examples of clean agents are FM-200 and Novec 1230.

There are many benefits to commercial fire sprinkler systems that use clean agents:

  • Clean agents work quickly and can reach extinguishing levels in 10 seconds or less.
  • Clean agents are incredibly effective. In conjunction with an early detection system they control and extinguish a fire when it is still in its incipient stage and before it has a chance to spread. These types of fire suppression agents are non-conductive and non-corrosive, which means they will not damage electronics, mechanical devices, art, etc.
  • Our clean agents are safe to use around people and do not present any health hazards.
  • Clean agents evaporate cleanly by quickly vaporizing into gas during discharge. They do not leave any residue behind and that means that clean up will not be too expensive. They also safely and effectively reach all areas of the protected space and will not damage sensitive equipment.
  • Clean agents such as NOVEC 1230 are eco-friendly. They do not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer, and they have a short atmospheric lifetime. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have any usage restrictions for clean agents like FM-200 or Novec 1230.

Are you interested in learning more about clean agents and commercial fire sprinkler systems in Columbus? Call us at Hard Fire at 1-800-848-1301 or 614-882-2990, or you can Contact Us.

Fire Prevention Tips

As a business owner, you want to keep your employees, customers and assets as safe as possible. And as a fire protection service in Ohio, we understand that desire. You want to be sure you and your employees are doing everything you can to stay safe and help prevent a fire. So here are a few suggestions on fire prevention that we have learned over the years as a fire protection service.

  • Always make sure you have a working sprinkler system and fire detection system. Make sure the system is inspected regularly by a fire protection service like Hard Fire.
  • If you have high shelving used for storage or any other purpose, make sure it is at least 18 inches below any sprinkler heads.
  • Make sure there is always a clear path between shelves too. These paths should be free of debris and anything else that could be lying on the floor.
  • Make sure your employees know the quickest evacuation route in case of an emergency, plus where to meet outside once they have evacuated. All of your employees should also know where fire extinguishers are and how to operate them. The evacuation plan should also be posted throughout your entire building in spots that are easy to see.
  • Make sure your employees also know to call 911 if a fire breaks out and not to assume that someone else has alerted emergency personnel. Even if you have a monitoring service, it’s still a good idea to alert authorities that there is a fire emergency.
  • Your employees should also know where the fire alarm is and how to use it and what the signal sounds like.
  • Do not allow trash or other clutter to pile up. Make sure any trash is removed on a regular basis.
  • Make sure your employees and vendors do not park in fire lanes, even if they are only going to be there for a few minutes.
  • Be sure that no furniture or other heavy items block any doors, especially ones that lead outside.
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke in your warehouse. Have a designated smoking area outside away from the building and make sure there is a container where people can safely extinguish their cigarettes.

Do you need fire protection service in Ohio? Call Hard Fire at 800-848-1301 or 614-882-2990, or you can Contact Us.

Types of Fire Protection and Suppression Systems

As a company that specializes in fire protection in Ohio, we are often asked about the differences between fire suppression agents. Here is a rundown of the basic differences between several popular agents: FM200, Halon 1301, NOVEC 1230 and Water Mist.


This type of fire protection is great for spaces that have normal occupancy. It is a waterless system and will suppress a fire immediately. It is normally used for data centers, medical facilities, telecommunication facilities and other similar buildings or rooms. FM200 is actually an ingredient in medical inhalers, so that is why it is so safe to use in occupied areas.

Halon 1301

Halon is what’s known as a “clean agent.” This means it won’t leave a residue after it dries, plus it is safe to use around people. It stops the spread of a fire by chemically disrupting combustion. Halon 1301 is great to use for spaces that have expensive equipment that you do not want damaged by water or harmful chemicals, like server or computer rooms.

NOVEC 1230

This is a gaseous fire suppression and fire protection agent. This is also a great option for rooms where there is equipment that could be damaged by water: clean rooms, hospitals, computer rooms and more benefit from this type of agent. You will sometimes see portable fire extinguishers with this type of chemical in them. This chemical is not harmful to the environment or ozone layer, which also makes it a desirable choice. Plus it is also safe to use around humans.

Water Mist

This type of fire protection system is exactly what it sounds like. It uses very fine water sprays (water mist) to extinguish a fire. It cools the flame and other surrounding gases, displaces the oxygen by evaporation and attenuates the radiant heat by the small droplets of water. There is never a worry about any toxicity problems or harm to people through the use of this fire protection system.

Do you want more information about fire protection in Ohio? Call Hard Fire at 1-800-848-1301 or 614-882-2990 or you can Contact Us.