To save human lives and/or property, a fire must be quickly and reliably detected and signalled at an early stage, in order to initiate an entire series of actions. If a risk analysis shows that the time between fire detection and the start of extinguishing operations is too long, thus leading to an increased risk for occupants, the members of the response/emergency services team and/or for the extent of damages, the space must be equipped with an appropriate extinguishing system. A fixed powder extinguishing system is one such option.
The system buyer determines the requirements with which the powder extinguishing system must meet and mentions them in their specifications, after having consulted with all interested parties, i.e. the relevant fire department, the insurance company, the designer, the certified system installer and, potentially, installers of other fire protection systems. The installer then proceeds with the design, installation and commissioning of the certified powder extinguishing system. If applicable, the system components will have the CE marking. It is then the responsibility of the system user to ensure the proper operation and monitoring (if applicable) of the system and to plan for periodic maintenance and checks.
To ensure the compliance of the installed system with the requirements of the specifications, the system owner may (at the request of the relevant fire department and/or insurer) use the services of an inspection body. The standards and specifications applicable to powder extinguishing systems actually state that the acceptance testing and periodic checks must be conducted by a qualified inspection organisation.