Did you know that 90% of fires are stopped by a single sprinkler head? How about that the combination of sprinkler systems and fire alarms could reduce overall property damage, injuries and loss of life by at least 50%?
In the past, mechanical sprinkler systems were required by code for larger commercial buildings only. However, as the importance of sprinkler systems has become well-known, they are now increasingly being used in smaller and residential properties alike. sprinkler systems are designed primarily to limit and control the spread of fire until the emergency services arrive on-site. Types of sprinkler systems we work with are:
These are the most common types of sprinkler systems. Wet pipes are always kept fully charged with water to achieve immediate discharge in case of a fire. Wet pipe systems are very reliable, easy to maintain and modify. However, they are not suitable for areas containing high-value items that could be damaged in case of an accidental discharge of water.
Dry Pipe Sprinkler Systems
These are usually found in unheated areas where freezing could occur. The pipe is pressurized with air rather than water. When a sprinkler head bursts as a result of a fire, pressurized air inside the dry pipe is allowed to exit rapidly. Once the air is exhausted, a valve allows water to enter the pipe and naturally exit at the location of the activated sprinkler head.
Pre-action Sprinkler Systems
Pre-action systems are a hybrid design of wet and dry pipe systems. Like a dry system, the pipe contains pressurized air instead of water. However, before water is discharged, a fire must first be detected using heat sensors or smoke detectors, which then opens the pre-action valve, allowing water into the pipes. The system will then operate like a wet pipe sprinkler system.
Deluge Sprinkler Systems
Deluge systems offer the most protection for areas containing a rapid fire hazard (i.e. large volumes of flammable chemicals). With a deluge system, the pipes contain unpressurized air and all heads are open. In a fire, water enters the pipe only after the fire alarm system detects a fire. The deluge valve opens up, allowing water to flow into the pipe and out from all sprinkler heads.
How we can help
Our professionally trained sprinkler fitters and inspectors are on standby to assist you with the following services for your building’s sprinkler systems:
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A fire alarm system alerts occupants to a potential fire, but it does nothing to extinguish it. A sprinkler system on the other hand will alert occupants and either completely extinguish the fire, or at minimum limit the fire’s expansion until emergency services arrive. This is crucial in minimizing damage to the building and risk to its occupants. Can the sprinkler system in your building be counted on to operate as designed in the event of a fire? The only way to ensure this is through periodic tests, inspections, maintenance and repair.
Testing, Inspection & Maintenance
As with all other fire protection systems, no single method is failsafe. While it is rare, sprinkler systems sometime fail to operate as designed. It is much cheaper to discover such failures during routine tests and inspections, rather than during a real fire. In most cases of failure, human error is to blame. Some reasons include poor maintenance, intended interruption, incorrect system application during building design, or the system could simply have been turned off and went unnoticed.
Avangard Fire & Life Safety will perform sprinkler testing and inspection in accordance with current applicable codes, standards and best practices. All sprinkler systems and components will be tested using methods approved by the manufacturer. Our Sprinkler System Testing, Inspection & Maintenance page will describe the scope of work of each of the annual, semi, bi-monthly and monthly sprinkler system tests and inspections.