Why Special Hazard Fire Protection Systems?

To understand why there is a need for special hazard fire protection systems it is important to understand what a ‘special hazard’ is.

Special hazards can be defined as, but not limited to:

  • Any area containing equipment or processes of exceptionally high value
  • Any area containing unique or irreplaceable assets (museums, archives, art galleries, records storage)
  • Any area or process where the revenue produced or its function is of greater value than the equipment itself

Special hazards are everywhere and are very wide ranging. A special hazard can be a building, an area, a room or a piece of equipment. Some examples of places where you would find special hazards include: data centers, telecommunications, power generation, manufacturing and testing facilities, machinery spaces, healthcare facilities and more. These areas are exceptionally challenging from a fire protection standpoint. The fire alarm and sprinkler systems we see every day may not be appropriate as the only line of defense. That’s where special hazard fire protection offers unique solutions.

Special hazard fire protection systems are:

  • Designed to quickly detect an incipient fire or heat condition
  • Designed to suppress fires when sprinklers are not appropriate as the first and only means of fire protection
  • Designed to protect people
  • Designed to mitigate business interruption
  • Designed to limit the loss of assets, information and revenue
  • Require uniquely trained and qualified personnel to design, install, service, repair and maintain these systems

Special hazard fire protection systems include detection and control coupled with a fire suppression system. Some common fire suppression agents used in these systems include:

  • Clean Agents
  • Inert Gases
  • CO2
  • Water Mist
  • Foam
  • Hybrid Systems
  • Dry Chemical
  • …and more!


The Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA) is an organization of manufacturers, suppliers, and designer-installers, dedicated to providing this higher level of fire protection.  FSSA members are specialists in protecting high value special hazard areas from fire.  Contact your local FSSA Representative to help tailor a special hazard fire protection solution to your most demanding fire protection challenges.