- What is a fire sprinkler?
A fire sprinkler is part of a network of sensors, valves and piping that are used to detect, control and extinguish fires inside a building, through targeted water dispersion.
- How does a fire sprinkler work?
Each sprinkler head is kept sealed by either a strip of heat-sensitive metal, or a small glass bulb filled with a liquid alcohol. When the temperature of the room exceeds approximately 70°C, either the metal melts, or the liquid expands and shatters the bulb – allowing the water to escape from the pipe above. The water is forced into a small deflector, which bounces it upwards to create a gentle spray of water over the area below.
Each sprinkler head acts individually, so a small fire can be contained and extinguished without other areas of the building being affected. If a blaze spreads, so too will the action of the sprinkler system, until the fire is put out or firefighters arrive at the scene.
- Should I use a fire sprinkler?
Sprinklers not only save lives, but can significantly reduce the damage caused by a fire. Their instantaneous response to a breakout allows a fire to be controlled before emergency services can reach the scene, and allow building occupants to safely evacuate the premises.
Legislation outlines which properties legally require fire sprinklers as part of their safety measures, including businesses and residential buildings (like blocks of flats). Even if it is not mandatory to install a fire sprinkler system, consider the risk of fire and the potential damage. Installing a fire sprinkler can be costly, but it seems like a small price to pay for the protection of valuable stock, and human lives.
- When to use a fire sprinkler
- Warehouse spaces or shop floors over 2000m2
- Industrial storage over 20,000m2
- Social housing
- Care homes
- Residential blocks over 30m tall
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