Fires can have devastating effects in terms of damage to both people and properties, and house fires are no exception. In the US alone, house fires have caused more than $7 billion in property damage from 2015 to 2019. And sadly, these accidents occur more often than you may think. Let’s see what is fire sprinkler system.
Almost 30% of all reported fires happen in residential areas, and more than 70% of injuries and civilian fire-related deaths are attributed to house fires. The main causes for these types of accidents are cooking, faulty electrical wiring, lighting materials, and smoking paraphernalia.
Fires spread quickly and can be difficult to stop, especially since there are many flammable materials in our homes. While prevention is the best way to go, it does not hurt to be prepared for any eventuality. One of the ways you can minimize the damage from a fire is by installing a fire sprinkler at home.
Why You Need a Fire Sprinkler
Fire sprinklers can be considered to be your first line of defense in case a fire breaks out in your home. Statistics show that property losses have been reduced by more than 80% in houses that had fire sprinklers compared to those that didn’t have any. It was also able to prevent multiple loss of life on many occasions.
Emergency fire responders will usually take some time before they arrive at the site. During these precious minutes, many things can happen, and having a fire sprinkler could prevent the fire from spreading to other areas of the house. This will buy you time to bring your family to a safe location while waiting for help and rescue.
The water damage that would be caused by the fire sprinkler is also considerably less compared to the fire hose from emergency fire rescuers. To give you a quick reference, a typical fire sprinkler would normally discharge anywhere between 30 and 110 liters of water per minute. In contrast, a fire hose can release as much as 360 to 570 liters of water within the same period.
Aside from this, another benefit of having fire sprinklers installed in your homes is the discount that you can get from insurance companies. Based on surveys, discounts range from 7% to 10% from the total premium. If you have installed fire sprinklers in all areas of the house including attics, closets, and attached structures, you can get as much as 13% discount.
Because it involves safety, fire sprinklers must only be installed by trained and licensed service providers. After installation, you have to make sure that your sprinklers stay in good shape at all times. If you notice any signs of deterioration or malfunction, have it checked by a service provider immediately.
“Make sure that you work with licensed professionals who comply with state and local Fire Department requirements. Ask if they are accredited by the State Fire Marshal and the Contractor’s State Licensing Board before engaging their services,” reminds Fraker Fire Protection, a service provider for LA fire sprinkler repair.
How Do Fire Sprinklers Work
Fire sprinklers are actually made up of a system of pipes that are installed and hidden behind walls and ceilings, then connected to a sprinkler head. These pipes are made up of fire-resistant materials and are always filled with either pressurized water or compressed air to ensure that your sprinklers are ready to take action any time fire breaks out in the house.
A common misconception about automatic sprinklers is that they might accidentally get activated and thus cause damage inside the house. However, there is actually a very small chance of this happening because only heat levels reaching more than 155 degrees Fahrenheit (about 68 degrees Celsius) will be able to activate a fire sprinkler.
The sprinkler head is usually connected to a glass trigger filled with a type of liquid that is formulated with glycerin. This liquid formulation expands at the target heat level, which then breaks the glass and activates the sprinkler head. The pressurized water or compressed air in the pipes will then be released, extinguishing the fire, or at least restricting it to a limited area only.
This means that the fire sprinklers will only react to extremely high room temperatures and will not be activated by other triggers such as cigarette smoke or burnt food. Fire sprinklers will also activate only in the area that is on fire, and will not trigger all the other sprinklers in the house.
Many of the newer designs of residential fire sprinklers are quite undetectable and will not affect the aesthetics of the house. These are the types that can be installed flush to the ceiling, with the sprinkler head covered by a panel that will hide it from view without affecting its performance.