What Is an ANSUL System?

Mary Lougee

An ANSUL system is a sophisticated method of extinguishing fires. There are several types of ANSUL systems and products, which are each for use in a specific location or on a specific type of fire. Components may be used individually or can be combined for the utmost in fire safety.


Fire extinguishers remove one of the three key elements that a fire needs to burn. These are fuel, oxygen and heat. A fire extinguisher or an ANSUL system applies an agent that either displaces the oxygen in its surrounding or cools the burning fuel to smother fires effectively. Carbon dioxide is commonly used and is a smothering material.


The most important function of an ANSUL system is to save lives and property from fire and from fire related deaths such as by asphyxiation, which is obtainable when you install the correct system suited to your needs in the home or workplace.


An ANSUL system in its most complete form includes fire and heat detectors with an alarm system. The purpose is to notify occupants to leave the premises before being injured. It also includes an automatic release system of the appropriate chemicals to contain and stifle the fire before it causes extensive damage to the property.


The simplest type of ANSUL is a portable fire extinguisher, which you manually operate. These are available for home use as well as in small businesses that do not have highly combustible materials. Companies with combustibles on the premises can use the large piped system that dispenses up to 3,000 lbs. of dry chemical. This is the recommendation for paint booths, flammable storage areas and tanker decks. The type F class ANSUL systems are for commercial kitchens; these systems direct the chemicals at the stoves and fry baskets. Offices with enclosed areas use the clean agent type so there are no harsh chemical fumes remaining after the fire is extinguished. On a large scale, ANSUL systems are mounted on firetrucks for firefighters' use in large areas.


Be prepared in advance for a fire to take place. The best method of preparation is in planning and prevention both at home and in the workplace. In the home, fires occur most of the time in the kitchen, and a portable fire extinguisher that is appropriate for grease fires should be nearby.