(Collingwood, ON – April 12, 2013) In regards to water damage, the fact is that insurance deductibles are increasing for commercial buildings and residential facilities. In the interest of saving cash, building owners are willing to pay more out of pocket for minor issues rather than watch their premiums rise.
But what if the damage has less to do with leaky pipes and failing fixtures and involves the main sprinkler system? Industry experts explain why the amount of damage inflicted by fire sprinkler activation should not be overlooked or underestimated.
“A fire sprinkler head that is activated and not immediately shut off can easily cause tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage,” said Greg Patterson, President of Shutgun, a tool designed to shut off fire sprinkler water flow instantly.
Barry McGrory is Labour manager with Commodore Builders, “In my experience, if a sprinkler is set off in a condo or apartment building, the real damage is to the floors below, so stopping the flow of water becomes even more critical for the owner.”
With water from a sprinkler head releasing at flow rates exceeding 25 gallons per minute, mere minutes can mean the difference between a single room being out of operation for a few days to multiple rooms on many floors being unavailable for weeks.
In cases of water damage claims from sprinkler activation, only a small percentage are the result of actual fires – the rest are accidental activations. This leaves contractors, service people and maintenance personnel in a very susceptible position.
Gregory Orndorff is with A1 FloodTech and has witnessed firsthand, the harmful effects of water damage both on the buildings and on a property’s insurance premiums.
“When we get to a building and the flood is still occurring, the first thing we have to do is stop the source of water,” he says.
In many municipalities, the building manager is not allowed to shut off the building’s main water supply until the fire department has arrived but can shut off the activated sprinkler head. These minutes are crucial in terms of damage inflicted.
“If the building owner is assuming more responsibility in order to not put a claim on their insurance, then having a device to stop water flow becomes crucial if it means you are on the hook for every $5000, $15,000 or $35,000 issue.”
Shutgun was designed with a built in fusible link, which releases and allows the sprinkler head to reactivate, thus providing continued fire protection.
“Of course, a building’s first priority is safety,” said Patterson. “If there is a solution which allows you to operate ‘business as usual’ faster – I think building managers would be wise to take it.”
Shutgun has become a tool box staple for building managers, superintendents and contractors. Conceived by a Toronto District Fire Chief of 35 years, Shutgun is a one-handed, easy-to-use fire sprinkler shut off tool. Shutgun avoids shutting off the main water supply to the sprinkler system, thus giving continued fire protection to all units. Shutgun shuts off most types of sprinkler heads including the semi-recessed style now popular in commercial complexes. www.shutgun.ca
Media: Amanda Sutton 705-791-7209 [email protected]
Shutgun: Greg Patterson 1-866-827-8711 [email protected]