Different fire safety systems – and which one is right for you?

Engineer checking the red pipe

Fires are one of the most catastrophic events that can happen in your business, government building, shopping centre or other venue. Unlike bush fires and other natural disasters that are more unpredictable, fire safety systems can be put in place in your venue to help warn of fires and mitigate their risk.

To better understand which type of fire safety system you may need, you need to understand what a fire safety system is.

Fire Safety, by definition, refers to planning and infrastructure design aimed at reducing the risk of fire or impeding the spread of a fire when one does break out (safeopedia.com).

Four categories of a fire safety system

A fire safety system is the sum of various individual fire safety measures. We have divided them into four categories:


  • To warn people of an emergency through alarms, sirens, lights and digital or CMAS (Commercial Mobile Alert System) communication.


Restrict spread

  • Restrict or impede the spread of the fire.


  • Suffocate, suppress or douse the fire and its origin.

We have highlighted the two types of fire safety systems within these categories: active and passive systems.

Active fire safety systems

Active fire safety systems are responsive systems that react when provoked by fire exposure or the elements that precede the start of a fire.

Factors could be heat, toxic gas or smoke that set off sprinkler systems, emergency services, sirens or emergency lighting. Active systems can also be triggered manually like fire extinguishers or break-glass alarms.

Passive fire safety systems

Passive systems are systems that don’t make noise. They don’t flash, call anyone or squirt water. Passive fire safety systems can include fire-rated walls, fire or mastic sealant and fire collars, pillows and board.

However, they do limit the potential spread of fire and often require application as part of the physical structure of an apartment building, office, or other commercial space.

man thinking about fire extinguisher

Which fire protection system will work for you?

Unfortunately, with such a specialised area that requires particular expertise, there is no ‘one size fits all’ in fire protection. Each step in the solution design process requires one of our dedicated fire safety experts to assess the situation and advise the best solution compliant with the regulations set out by the governing authorities. Once we have developed the solution, the system installation and ongoing maintenance will also need to be managed by our capable team of industry professionals.

If you are looking for a fire safety system for your business, contact us or email Tom Marshall or Gary Marshall.

Contact DEM Fire & Essential Services Group

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