Fire sprinklers are a necessity in any commercial building to help protect the inhabitants and the property. These simple devices are inexpensive to install, yet they provide a blanket of security around the building. Fire sprinklers are fast acting and often extinguish the fire with minimal smoke, fire, and water damage to the property. Let's examine in more depth how fire sprinklers work to help protect your investment.
Sprinklers are Triggered by Heat
A common misconception is that fire sprinklers are triggered by smoke. In reality, what causes the fire sprinkler to release water is actually heat. When a fire ignites, heat immediately billows upward toward the ceiling. As the fire continues to burn, the heat disperses across the ceiling, increasing the temperature. Within a fire sprinkler is a tiny glass bulb, and inside the bulb is a liquid gel that is usually a glycerin-based mixture. The glycerin expands when heated to the right temperature, typically between 135 and 136 degrees Fahrenheit. When the gel expands, it causes the glass bulb to break, triggering the fire sprinkler.
Sprinklers Work Through a Chain Reaction
Following the breaking glass bulb within the sprinkler, a chain of reactions begins to occur. The breaking glass sends a signal to the system that it’s time for water to put out the immediate fire threat. This activates a valve to a reliable water supply located outside of the building. The water coming from the water supply is pressurized and rushes to the site of the fire sprinkler head. It is important to have pressurized water for the system because it allows the water coming out of the fire sprinkler to create a wide arc, covering the most amount of area with the least amount of water. Not only does this help extinguish the fire quickly, but it limits the amount of water needed, reducing water damage to the property.
Benefits of Fire Sprinklers
Aside from a general life-safety standpoint, fire sprinklers in commercial buildings have many benefits. Fire sprinklers are fast acting and can quickly detect heat from a fire. Because fire sprinklers are triggered by heat, smoke from simply burning toast in the morning will not trigger a waterfall of water through the building.
Further, fire sprinklers are extremely effective at both containing the fire and putting the fire out quickly. with most fires, a fire sprinkler is able to contain the fire before the fire department even arrives to the site. This is helpful to not only reduce the amount of damage caused by the fire, but it also helps to mitigate the amount of toxic smoke in the building.
Fire sprinklers use about six times less water than a fire hose, so water damage is also greatly reduced.
The team at Gausman & Moore cares about constructing safe buildings, and is sure to install commercial fire sprinklers. This simple, yet effective, protection measure is invaluable when preventing a fire from spreading out of control. Our team of engineers can help determine the best fire sprinkler system for the building and make recommendations for proper installation and water sources to use.
To learn more about our team and our services, contact us today!