Carbon Dioxide CO2
Fire Suppression System Design

In a Carbon Dioxide CO2 Fire Suppression System Design, CO2 reduces the amount of oxygen in a space to a point that combustion is not possible. Carbon Dioxide systems are not suitable for use in areas that are occupied by human personnel, due to health and safety risks. However, when designed and maintained correctly, Carbon Dioxide is an efficient and effective suppressant with good environmental credentials.

CO2 Fire Suppression Design Engineers Desktop

Carbon Dioxide CO2 is suitable for use as a Total Flood or a Local Application System Fire Suppression agent. Carbon Dioxide is a naturally occurring component of the atmosphere, and it doesn’t decompose when subject to heat as some synthetic agents do.

As with other systems, Carbon Dioxide CO2 gas suppression design is critical to the outcomes of a project, and project owners should consider the following as a quick guide for understanding the potential use cases for Carbon Dioxide.

Fire Systems Products has designed, and commissioned high-quality Carbon Dioxide CO2 as well as other gas fire suppression systems in many major institutions and commercial operations throughout Australia. Through our industry partners, we have provided customised project solutions, complying with our duties as a designer under the regulations.

Specific CO2 Fire Suppression Design Criteria

Being 1.5 times heavier than air, Carbon dioxide can drift and settle into adjacent places outside the protected space. It also needs to be considered that carbon dioxide collects in pits and hollows below the protected area after a discharge. Additionally, discharges can occur within the protected space and within the CO2 container storage, areas and appropriate measures should be undertaken to eliminate these cases during the design phase.

Correct system design, installation and maintenance are fundamental to the safe and effective use of any gaseous Fire Extinguishing System. Fire Systems products can assist fire systems integrators with these and many more particulars; contact us for details.

Carbon Dioxide Fire Suppression systems are suitable to be used in Total Flooding, but are also highly effective in Local Application Systems. The design consists of a fixed supply of the agent connected to a piping system with nozzles to direct the agent to a special hazard or into an enclosed space. Inert gas extinguishes fires by lowering the oxygen content below the level that supports combustion. In simple terms, if the atmosphere’s oxygen content reduced to a level below 15%, most ordinary combustibles will not burn.

ANSUL CO2 Carbon Dioxide product range

Other considerations

Carbon Dioxide CO2 Fire Suppression Systems reduce the oxygen concentration in an enclosure by increasing the carbon dioxide concentration. The increase in Carbon Dioxide isn’t favourable to the occupation of the area during discharge, due to the toxicity of Carbon Dioxide at elevated levels. Proper and safe system design requires that before agent discharge, adequate warnings and safety measures provided to maintain personnel safety.

Despite its limitations within normally occupied spaces, CO2 is a highly effective suppression agent with a lot of use in certain environments. If combustion continues after discharge, the concentration levels of Carbon Dioxide in the area will only increase as the fire feeds on the remaining oxygen.

It is not permitted for changes to equipment, pipework, or nozzle positions to be made without the authority of the suppression system’s Design Engineer.


Under normal conditions, Carbon Dioxide CO2 will reduce some visibility within a protected enclosure. However, when there is a fire with large amounts of smoke, it is possible that the agent discharge could create some displacement of smoke around the enclosure, which would reduce visibility.

Information Required for Gas Suppression System Design:

Our Team

Our management team have a combined 60+ years fire industry experience, and are committed to providing proven gas suppression designs, focusing on value-added engineering solutions. Furthermore, Fire Systems products has fostered strong relationships with leading manufacturers and industry partners means that our system designers regularly receive the latest product information and training to enhance the level of expertise and quality of our work.

In addition, our gas suppression design team at Fire Systems Products can provide you with a bespoke, site-specific design solution that supports the mitigation of safety risks to our high, exacting standards. This process involves a consultative approach with our experts to evaluate our customers’ needs to produce a final compliant design that exceeds requirements.

Limitations of CO2 Fire Suppression Systems

When designing any Fire Suppression system, it is essential to understand its limitations. Carbon Dioxide is not a suitable suppression agent for the following:

  1. Chemicals that contain their own supply of oxygen. e.g., Cellulose Nitrate, used in gunpowder, nail polish and lacquer finishes.
  2. Mixtures containing oxidizing chemicals. e.g., e.g., Sodium Nitrate, used in fertilizers and explosives.
  3. Chemicals can undergo auto-thermal decomposition, where a chemical begins to decompose if it reaches a specific temperature.
  4. Reactive metals, e.g., the element’s Sodium, Potassium, or Magnesium.
  5. Areas with large heated surfaces (not by fire) to a temperature that breaks down the chemical structure of the extinguishing agent. The agent is then unable to extinguish a fire.
  6. Areas normally occupied by human personnel, unless strict safety systems are in-place and adequate regular training provided to personnel.

For more information about Carbon Dioxide – CO2 Fire Suppression System Design.