Keeping things cool

    Fire suppression systems can protect anything from small primary schools, to huge campus or city universities with large networks of buildings. With gas and synthetic options available, our systems’ priority is to help save lives, whilst simultaneously protecting your school or university, its contents, and valuable assets should the worst happen.

    The first thing that springs to mind for many people when they think about fire suppression systems is sprinklers. However, in reality, sprinkler systems are not highly regarded or used very often because of their destructive properties. They are designed specifically to protect the building, disregarding the protection of the contents inside. In schools and universities, this can make them a very costly form of fire suppression. Our fire suppression systems are ideal for protecting assets that could be damaged by water such as books/paper documents, computers and other electrical equipment.

    Fire Suppression Systems

    One of the first things you learn about fire safety in school is the three elements that make fire, more widely known as the fire triangle. The three elements that are needed for a fire to survive are oxygen, heat, and fuel. Without any one of these elements, the fire will be extinguished. Fire suppression systems work by flooding areas with gas, starving the fire of either oxygen or heat, therefore eliminating it. To ensure these systems are not deployed under a false alarm, which could cause serious issues, they work on a series of detector activations known as ‘first and second’ stage alarms.

    When an initial alarm is triggered at one of the detectors, the ‘first stage’ alarm is activated. At this point, a sounder will be triggered to alert the relevant staff members of the danger. If a second detector is then activated, confirming the presence of a fire/potential fire, the system switches to the ‘second stage’, meaning a countdown will begin before the gas is released into the target area. When the gas is being released a buzzer and light will be activated.

    Our Range Of Fire Suppression Systems

    Novec 1230:

    As the industry’s standard suppression system, and our most frequently recommended, Novec 1230 works by rapidly removing heat and extinguishing the potential fire before there is even a flame. The colourless gas is virtually odourless, does not cause harm to humans, evaporates 50 times faster than water, and is non-conductive. As a result, it has no effect on energised electronics, does not damage paper documents, and is safe to use even in occupied areas.

    • Safe to be used in educational environments and does not pose a threat to health
    • 10 second discharge time, extinguishing fires in less than 20 seconds
    • Eco-friendly as it poses no threat to the environment due to its composition of green gases
    • One of the most advanced technologies which not only meets today’s requirements but the requirements for the foreseeable future
    • Stored as a liquid and dispensed as a gas
    • Due to the gas being stored as a liquid and consequently at a lower pressure, the cylinders have to be located closer to the target area than inert systems
    • You will need to have your room/area pressure tested

    Inert IG-55:

    This solution is a 50/50 mix of Argon and Nitrogen which when deployed will reduce oxygen levels inside a room or area to between 12% and 15%. This is significant because when oxygen levels are below 15% there is not enough to allow a fire to burn, but if levels were to drop below 12% human life could not be sustained. Therefore, by reducing oxygen levels to between 12% and 15% (typically 12.5%) you can safely suppress a fire without causing any additional health and safety issues.

    • Non-conductive, colourless, and odourless. This system is safe to use in occupied areas
    • Discharges in around 60 seconds
    • Because the solution is stored as a gas, it has higher pressure and so can be located further away from the room it is designed to protect than any other solution
    • The most recommended solution for the protection of electrical and electronical materials
    • You will need to have your room/area pressure tested as this system releases 40% more gas into the area
    • You will need to have regulation vents installed
    • The gas is stored as a gas which means more cylinders are required than Novec 1230 and CO2


    Considered as the most efficient form of fire suppression, CO2 suppression systems work by cooling the fire and removing its oxygen and has been the industry’s most trusted solution for many years. Unlike other solutions, this one poses a considerable threat to human life when deployed and so is normally preferred in non-occupied environments.

    • Non-corrosive, non-conductive, and leaves no residue meaning sensitive equipment is not damaged when the solution is deployed, reducing downtime and costs
    • The cost of cylinder refill is comparatively less expensive than other systems
    • Can be used in a local environment (on a specific area or piece of machinery) or can be used to totally flood a room
    • Discharges and floods a room in just 20 seconds
    • While CO2 systems are potentially the most effective, they also pose a health risk compared to other agents, so you are best using them in non-occupied environments
    • Comes with more health and safety measures needing to be put in place because of the threat it poses to humans
    Richard Hayes Estates Bursar, St Edward’s School

    “We have a long-standing relationship with Chris Lewis Fire & Security and we greatly value their product and technical knowledge, and their professionalism. They provide a very efficient call-out service if we experience a problem and their engineers are always very friendly and efficient.”

    Mick Garner Assistant Engineer Estates & Facilities, University of Southampton

    “We have a long standing relationship with Chris Lewis Fire & Security and now having them maintaining the university’s fire, intruder and access control systems is proving very useful as there’s always an engineer available on site.”

    Paul Mulford Clerk of Works, Balliol College, Oxford

    “The College is delighted with its new fire system and very appreciative of the service we received from Chris Lewis Fire & Security. Their engineers provided sound advice and recommendations and made what could have been a very difficult and disruptive process, very smooth and painless”

    What can Chris Lewis do for you?

    With over 25 years of experience, our team of experts can design a fire suppression system that meets your individual requirements regardless of what they are. What’s more, once your suppression system has been designed and installed, we can maintain the system to the highest of standards, ensuring that it’s there for you when you need it the most. We even have the ability to maintain, upgrade, or takeover your existing systems, even if we did not install them. Why not get in touch today to see how we may be able to support you? 


    Room integrity testing involves ensuring that the room/area in which you are installing a fire suppression system is airtight enough to make certain that the suppression system can be effective. If the room leaks too much, the system can not deploy the gas at a high enough concentration to eliminate the fire. This testing should be done annually as part of your suppression system maintenance and is something Chris Lewis can do for you, regardless of if we installed your system or not.

    Yes we do offer sprinkler solutions (and we can maintain them) but we would very rarely recommend them due to the damage they cause. We would only really recommend them in things such as stairwells and areas which protecting the buildings integrity is key. Companies will often benefit more from targeted suppression systems which protect both the buildings integrity and its contents.

    Sprinklers are an effective way of suppressing fire but unfortunately often cause irreversible damage to things such as valuable paper documents and electronics, which almost every environment possesses. Our systems offer a much more targeted approach to fire suppression and can ensure that you minimise the risk to your contents being damaged. In large environments, such as factories and warehouses, it prevents hundreds of people having to be evacuated as the fire can be dealt with on a local level.

    Looking to connect with one of our experts regarding your requirements?

    Submit the below form and we will get back to you very shortly. 

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