Sprinklers have a bit of a bad reputation due to common misconceptions. In fact, some think sprinkler systems are more trouble than they are worth, which is not true. In fact, sprinkler systems are the most effective life safety systems available. They save lives. Even though there are some common misconceptions about how they work, read on to learn the facts.
One of the most prevalent misconceptions about sprinkler systems is that they will cause excessive water damage. Some even believe they can cause more damage than the fire itself. The truth is that a fire can get out of control very fast, becoming a serious life safety hazard. Smoke and heat will build, endangering occupants. Sprinklers respond quickly, allowing people to evacuate safely. For most fires, only one sprinkler will discharge and this is usually sufficient to control or extinguish the fire. This will prevent a substantial amount of property damage. Without a sprinkler system, a fire can spread and reach a point where fire, smoke, and water damage (from high-flowing fire department hoses used to extinguish the fire) are far more severe than the discharge from one sprinkler. Any damage caused by a sprinkler system will be negligible compared to this.
TV and Hollywood Get it Wrong
On TV and in the movies, you will see all the sprinklers discharging at the same time. Unfortunately, people tend to believe that if a sprinkler system activates, every sprinkler will discharge water. This is not true. Sprinkler systems are activated by heat, which will only allow the sprinkler closest to the fire to discharge. Each sprinkler head is equipped with a heat-sensitive material (liquid or bi-metallic element) that will melt or burst at a certain temperature. This will open the sprinkler head, allow the water to be released and extinguish or control the fire. The first sprinkler will be successful in most cases, effectively putting out the fire and lowering the temperature so the other sprinkler heads never activate.
Water is Not the Only Extinguishing Agent
When you think of sprinklers, you think of a device that sprays water. There are several different types of fire suppression systems that are utilized for different facilities. These include water mist and clean agent systems. Water mist systems use far less water than traditional sprinklers and clean agent systems use no water at all.
One of the best ways to ease your mind about water damage is to keep your system properly maintained. A professional can explain how your system works. They will professionally inspect and maintain it, repairing any deficiencies they might find. Understanding how your system works and having it regularly inspected will give you peace of mind knowing your business, employees, and customers are protected from fire and that you won’t suffer inadvertent water damage.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting
people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.