What is a Clean Agent Fire Suppression System?

clean agent fire suppression system

When we think of fire-suppression systems our minds immediately turn to sprinklers, where a rush of water from the ceiling douses the blaze. But in some spaces—like libraries and museums—that cure is just about as bad as the disease.

In such places, a clean agent fire suppression system is the answer.

Clean agents are gaseous suppressants that control fire by reducing oxygen and temperature levels below what’s needed for combustion and evaporate without leaving behind residue.

Several types of clean agents are available.

Carbon Dioxide

Its biggest downside: For CO2 to be effective at fire suppression, it must displace oxygen to a level fatal to humans. For this reason, CO2 fire-suppression systems typically aren’t allowed in residences and other regularly occupied settings.


Halocarbon agents are organic compounds containing one or more of the elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine.

Inert gases

These agents contain one or more of the following gases: helium, neon, argon and nitrogen—all non-lethal to humans in low concentrations.

Clean agent fire-suppression systems can be installed to either flood a space or provide localized protection.

Flooding systems discharge suppression agents throughout an entire space. Available oxygen is brought below the needed threshold for fire and held there until the temperature drops low enough for the blaze to die out. If the concentration disperses too early fire can reignite. 

In local application systems, extinguishing agents are dispersed to surround a fire. To work, the rate and length of discharge must be great enough to thoroughly envelop the blaze until extinguished—requiring more agents be released.

Clean agent fire-suppression systems typically are installed alongside traditional sprinkler systems and activate once a fire is detected, leaving enough time between detection and dispersal for occupants to evacuate. In the case of false alarms, manual abort switches stop the agent from being released during the period between detection and dispersal.

At Getz Fire Equipment Company we offer highly effective fire-safety solutions in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri (although we can sell equipment nationally). Our solutions include special hazard fire-suppression systems, intercom systems and fire alarm systems—all designed to keep employees, customers, and property safe and secure from the threat of fire.

We employ more than 120 skilled specialists who work side-by-side with our clients to fulfill their fire-suppression needs while ensuring they’re meeting local, state and national codes. To learn more, give us a call at 844.425.1000 or use our contact form to send us a message.