Hard Fire Suppression Systems Blog

How it Works: The Components of a Fire Protection and Fire Suppression System

Hard Fire is one of the leaders in fire suppression in Cleveland, designing, installing, monitoring, maintaining and repairing 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. In order to fully understand the importance of a professional fire suppression system, it is important to know its many parts and what makes it work. That’s why we’ve decided to provide a brief description of each component, its function and how it fits into the big picture.

fire suppression


The notification system is the alarm. It can include strobe lights or audio devices such as a horn. This is how 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.

Alarm Panel

The fire alarm panel is the brain of the 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 be best to meet your building’s fire protection needs.

Power Supply

The primary power source is what provides power for your fire protection and fire 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.

Backup Power

The secondary power supply is the primary power supply’s back-up and usually consists of batteries, an emergency generator or other type of emergency power device. The secondary power supply will engage if something happens to the primary power supply. It helps ensure your fire suppression and fire protection system can still be depended upon even when the power goes out.


There are two types of initiation devices. 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.

Contact the professionals at Hard Fire and we can tell you even more about fire suppression systems, their components and what they can do for you and your business.

Are you interested in learning more about fire suppression for your Cleveland area business? Call us at Hard Fire at 800-848-1301 or 614-882-2990 or you can Contact Us.

Fire Alarm Systems: Types of Detection & Benefits

When it comes to fire and fire protection, there is no room for error. And, this begins from the very beginning; with the detection of the fire. The quality and dependability of your fire alarm system is essential to the well-being of your business. So, it is essential to understand the differences in types of systems and what benefits to look for.
Hard Fire specializes in fire alarm systems, so we thought we would take the time to discuss the most common types of alarms and their many benefits. And, when you’re ready to install a dependable fire alarm system for your Akron business, give us a call! Our highly trained, licensed fire alarm system specialists will design, install, monitor, service and test the essential technologies you need to protect your employees, customers and assets.fire alarms cleveland hard fire

Types of Fire Alarm Detection technologies

Photoelectric Fire Alarms. This type of fire alarm responds to slower, smoldering fires by aiming an LED light in a straight line into a sensing chamber. If smoke gets into the chamber, the particles of the smoke will interrupt that light beam and scatter it into different directions. Some of that LED light will go toward the light sensor and trigger the alarm to go off.

Sometimes when a fire breaks out, it does not instantly burst into flames. Fires can smolder for quite some time before spreading. This type of fire alarm system is excellent, especially, at detecting this type of fire.

Ionization Fire Alarms. These types of fire alarms are usually more responsive to flaming fires. They have a small amount of a radioactive material called Americium-241 that is in between two electrically charged plates. These plates are called electrodes and they are connected to a battery. These electrodes ionize the air and cause electric currents to flow between the two plates. If smoke enters that chamber, it will disrupt that flow of ions and that will trigger the fire alarm.
Both types of detector technologies should be considered for use in most fire alarm systems to ensure there is proper and adequate coverage for all kinds of fires.

Benefits of Fire Alarm Systems

A commercial fire alarm system sounds the warning that a fire has been detected and everyone needs to evacuate. Other components of the system make it easier for the occupants to evacuate, like strobe lights and exit signs. Those lights and signs mean the exits out of the building are easier to see, especially if your building loses power for some reason.

Commercial fire alarm systems are mandatory in most commercial properties. Local codes and regulations vary depending on where you live, how many occupants your building has, if there is a sprinkler system in the building and what kind of building you have. Experts like the ones at Hard Fire know these codes and regulations inside and out, and we stay up to date on them.

Allow us to guide you through the fire alarm system design and installation process; we are the experts!

For more information on a fire alarm system for your Akron business, call Hard Fire at 800-848-1301 or 614-882-2990 or you can Contact Us.

Fire Detection & Fire Alarms FAQ

Everyone knows that quality fire alarms and fire detection is essential to the safety of a business. But, what do you really know about them? At Hard Fire, we get asked many questions about fire alarms, fire detection and our industry in general, especially regarding just how important a fire protection system is within a home or business. So, we’d like to answer a few of the most popular questions we receive and hopefully this will help you decide on a new fire detection system for your Cincinnati business.

fire detection system

Q: Is fire detection required at my business?

A: This is dependent on the size, occupancy and use. Please call us if you have this question and we will assist you with researching if you need a Fire alarm system. It is mandatory to have installed fire alarms active and functional within your business, regardless of its type. Hard Fire can work with you to get the right fire detection system for your wants, needs and building regulations.

Q: Can’t I just get the bare bones? Is a working fire detection system all that important?

A: Although it may seem like nothing bad can ever happen, having a working fire detection system, and one you can depend on, is an absolute necessity. Nearly 60% of home fire deaths between 2007 and 2011 occurred in homes where there were zero functioning fire alarms. Fire alarms are an incredibly easy thing to implement, especially with the help of Hard Fire. A fire detection system serves as one of the most effective ways to alert a building’s occupants that there is a fire and everyone needs to vacate the premises immediately.

Q: How long can I expect my new fire detection system to work?

A: With proper professional maintenance, your new fire detection system can last for over a decade. To ensure this longevity, you should have these fire alarms professionally serviced in the form annual inspections, once a year, by a professional fire detection and alarm company such as Hard Fire.

Q: What does a fire detection system include? Is it just the sounding alarms?

A: Fire alarms can include visual and audio evacuation alarms, calling the fire department, alarm initiating devices; sprinkler water flow alarms, automatic smoke detectors, manual pull stations, heat detectors and much more. Allow the experts at Hard Fire to tailor the perfect fire detection system designed specifically for your unique business and its needs.

If you don’t see your specific question about fire detection, give us a call and we’ll be able to answer it for you. And, when you’re ready to learn more about a fire detection system for your Cincinnati business, call Hard Fire at 1-800-848-1301, or you can Contact Us.

Types of Clean Agent Fire Protection & Their Benefits

Many businesses have been upgrading their fire protection systems with clean agent fire protection. But, what is it exactly? The experts at Hard Fire are here to answer this very question to help you better assess what kind of fire suppression is best for your Columbus area business.

In the event of a fire in your place of business, you will want a system in place that will both eliminate the fire without causing catastrophic damage to your mission critical equipment, information and products. That’s where clean agent fire suppression comes in. So let’s get to it.

Clean Agent Fire Suppression Columbus

What is a clean agent, anyway?

Clean agents inhibit the chain reaction that unfolds between heat, oxygen and a fuel source that ignites a potentially all-consuming blaze. A clean agent is electrically nonconductive; nonvolatile, people safe gaseous fire extinguishing means that do not leave a residue upon evaporation and is a fast, clean way to put out a fire without using water. Thus, clean agents are the ideal choice as office fire suppression systems for data rooms, IT equipment, artwork/antiques, electronics, document storage and more.

Types of Clean Agents

FM200—Also known as 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-Heptafluoropropane, is a colorless and odorless people safe halocarbon (HFC) used as a gaseous fire suppression agent. This suppression type is used most frequently in data processing and telecommunications facilities. It is also safe for the environment.

NOVEC 1230—3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid is a people safe sustainable HFC alternative that works quickly, cleanly and efficiently to help stop a fire before it starts. Designed for use as a gaseous fire suppression agent; like FM200 it is used particularly in situations where a sprinkler would damage expensive equipment or where water-based suppression would not be beneficial. Novec 1230 is also not harmful to the environment. A discharge does not add to the depletion of the ozone layer and possess not environmental threat due to its very short atmospheric lifetime.

Benefits of Clean Agent Fire Suppression

At Hard Fire, we supply these special fire suppression systems to businesses looking to protect the most valuable parts of their business. There are many benefits to a clean agent fire suppression system. Fast discharge and 10 – 20 seconds extinguishment, little fire damage to your property and equipment following a fire. Clean agents also thus vastly reduce downtime, allowing you to return to production, saving jobs and money.

And, 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 fire suppression in Columbus? Call us at Hard Fire at 1-800-848-1301 or 614-882-2990, or you can Contact Us.

Fire Protection Systems in the Workplace

Increasingly, more companies are updating and upgrading their commercial fire protection systems in Cincinnati. In this day and age, it is more important than ever to make sure your workplace stays safe from the threat of a fire. Not only is the health and well-being of your office’s occupants at stake, but also the safety of your assets. As experts in fire protection systems, the pros at Hard Fire have come up with a few suggestions on how you can help keep your workplace safe from fire.

commercial fire protection systems

So what are some of the best ways to keep your workplace safe?

Commercial fire alarms. Fire alarms as part of your commercial fire protection systems sound or visually display the fire signal. Other components make it easier for occupants to evacuate, like exit signs. Strobe lights and other signaling options on commercial fire protection systems will light up in various ways that will help residents identify the exits. This is especially true in the event of power loss; audio and visual components of the system will continue to function. Commercial fire protection systems are mandatory in most commercial properties. Local codes and regulations vary in different areas, such as how many occupants a building is allowed to have, whether a sprinkler system needs to be in the building and what building type classification you operate under. Commercial fire protection systems and alarms help with the overall cause of minimizing the damage done as a result of fire. The faster the fire is spotted, the sooner your notification system can alert the proper emergency personnel to come and put out the blaze.

Fire Protection Equipment. Make sure all of your commercial fire protection systems are properly installed and monitored. They can help save lives and minimize the amount of damage done. Since these are so essential, it is also important to make sure you hire the professionals to ensure the job is done well. At Hard Fire, we have professional representatives on NFPA standard’s code committees and work closely with fire detection and suppression system manufacturers. Our intelligent fire detection capabilities include high sensitivity incipient smoke, spot, linear heat, flame, and combustible gas, which can be integrated with FM200, Novec 1230, CO2, Foam, and Water Mist fire suppression.

Have an Emergency Plan. Even before a fire emergency, be sure that you have a detailed emergency plan in place. And, make sure all of your employees and/or residents understand how to execute the plan efficiently.

Routine Inspections. When you have commercial fire protection systems installed, it is also important to have them inspected on a regular basis. At Hard Fire, we use the best technology available to monitor your fire alarm and fire suppression systems.

You simply cannot put a price tag on safety. The well being of your buildings’ occupants and the items you wish to protect make any commercial fire protection systems worth it. When you’re ready to learn more about commercial fire protection systems for your Cincinnati office, call us at Hard Fire at 800-848-1301 or 614-882-2990 or Contact Us.