How Do Fire Sprinklers Work? – What Everyone Should Know

Fire sprinkler on a white ceiling

Fire sprinkler systems are a common sight in a wide variety of buildings. Whether in the hallways of apartments and hotels, or the ceilings of commercial and industrial buildings, you have probably encountered them many times in your daily life, but have you ever wondered how fire sprinklers work?

Today, we will look in-depth at how automatic fire sprinklers work and why they effectively suppress fires and save lives. We will explain how they function and even look at their primary components and what can happen when fire sprinklers are accidentally triggered.

So, if you are ready to learn about fire sprinklers, it’s time to dive right in!

How Do Fire Sprinkler Systems Work?

Fire sprinkler system with red water pipes along a white ceiling

Fire Detection and Sprinkler Activation

For most fire sprinkler systems, activation is linked to a heat-sensing mechanism. Each sprinkler head has a small glass bulb containing a heat-sensitive liquid agent or a small fusible link. When a fire causes a rapid increase in air temperature, the liquid within the bulb expands, which can shatter the glass bulb, or, if the sprinkler uses a fusible link, it will quickly melt.

Whether the heat shatters a glass bulb or melts a fusible link, the action triggers a release, which activates the sprinkler head. This results in water spraying downwards in all directions. The advantage of this activation style is that each sprinkler is triggered individually, so only those in the vicinity of a fire will activate.

As you can imagine, this helps to limit unnecessary and costly water damage from the fire suppression system. Some sprinkler systems can also be activated manually, so building occupants can activate them if they see a fire.

Others can be linked to the building’s smoke detection system; however, they are less popular, as most of these systems trigger every sprinkler head simultaneously, even if it is not close to a fire.

Water Supply and Deactivation

Fire sprinkler systems are almost always connected to a public water supply. When the fire sprinkler system is activated, water will rush from this water network as it is stored under pressure in the building’s plumbing system. 

As mentioned, most fire sprinkler systems only release water from activated sprinkler heads, as this ensures water is delivered to where it is needed rather than dousing areas that were not impacted by the fire.

A fire sprinkler system can sometimes be connected to a series of dedicated water tanks. This ensures that water is delivered quickly if the sprinkler heads are activated. It also helps in areas where the municipal water system is not reliable enough to ensure the safety of the property and those within.

What Are the Components of a Fire Sprinkler System?

While fire sprinkler systems can vary in design, almost every fire protection system will consist of the following components:

Sprinkler Heads

When you think of a fire sprinkler system, the sprinkler heads are probably the first things you picture. These are the most visible components of the fire protection system, and they are dotted along the ceiling or walls of a building. Each sprinkler head has a heat-sensitive bulb or fusible link, which triggers the release of water.

The ends of the sprinkler heads have a star-like metal feature, which helps to spread the flowing water in all directions. Different fire sprinkler heads have different designs for functional and aesthetic reasons.

Water Pipes

The individual sprinkler heads of the fire suppression system are all connected to a series of water pipes. These pipes deliver water to the sprinkler heads by connecting them to the primary water source. These pipes can be left exposed in more industrial buildings, while some commercial and residential buildings will conceal them behind ceiling tiles.

Primary Control Valve

The control valve is the part of the system that can be opened or closed manually to activate or deactivate the sprinkler heads. In some cases, this is connected to a smoke detector system.

Access to this control valve can be restricted, so fire departments are often responsible for shutting off an activated automatic sprinkler system.

Fire Alarm System

In most cases, alarms are triggered alongside fire sprinkler heads. This helps alert the occupants of the building that a fire has been detected.

Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Effective?

Rendering of a fire sprinkler putting out a fire

Fire sprinklers are amongst the most effective types of fire safety equipment. The fact that they react quickly to rising temperatures means that they can extinguish fires before they have the chance to threaten lives or cause serious property damage. 

A fire suppression system is also instrumental in containing fires. Even if the sprinkler system cannot fully extinguish the fire, it can prevent it from spreading to other areas. This also buys building occupants valuable evacuation time.

The fact that automatic sprinklers are a truly unmanned form of fire safety equipment, meaning they do not have to be operated by a person, like a fire extinguisher; they can continue running while every person in the building evacuates. This helps reduce the risk of injury and death while maintaining the system’s effectiveness. 

What Happens if a Fire Sprinkler System Is Activated Accidentally?

While fire sprinklers are incredibly effective, they do not come without risks. Like any system, misfires and accidental activations can occur. Unfortunately, this can result in significant water damage to the building and the equipment, furniture, and inventory within. 

One of the most effective ways to prevent this is to ensure that a fire sprinkler system is well-maintained. It is also important to keep heat sources away from fire sprinkler heads, as this reduces the likelihood of accidentally activating the heat-sensitive trigger mechanism. 

What to Do if a Fire Sprinkler Misfires?

steps to shut off fire sprinklers using shutgun water sprinkler shut off tool

Since automatic sprinklers can release 60 gallons of water per minute, they can cause significant water damage in the time it takes for the fire department to arrive and deactivate them. Fortunately, there is a simple solution in the Shutgun!

The Shutgun is an affordable and user-friendly fire sprinkler head shut-off tool that can save you tens of thousands of dollars in property damage. Whether your automatic sprinkler was triggered accidentally or it has successfully extinguished a fire but is still running, the Shutgun allows you to turn it off by hand.

The Shutgun’s one-hand operation means you can use it safely from the top of a ladder! Given that automatic fire sprinklers cause an average of $35,000 in water damage, even after extinguishing a fire, the Shutgun is an incredibly useful investment. 

Don’t get stuck with a massive water damage bill; give yourself the ability to shut off fire sprinklers yourself! Learn more and get the world’s leading fire sprinkler shut-off tool by clicking the link below:

Get My Shutgun

When to Call for Fire Sprinkler Repair – Common Signs of Damage

Technician repairing a fire sprinkler system

Fire sprinklers are an essential component of fire safety equipment. Their unique ability to detect and extinguish fires without human involvement makes them incredibly useful for various fire safety applications.

While fire sprinklers can protect lives and property in just about any type of residential, commercial, or industrial building, significant damage to the fire sprinkler system can reduce their effectiveness or even lead to a complete system failure. These damages can range from basic wear and tear to full-blown mechanical issues.

Today, we will cover everything you need to know about fire sprinkler repair, including the most common signs of damage. To help stress the importance of maintaining your fire sprinkler system, we will also cover some consequences of neglecting damage and explain when you should call for professional repair services!

Common Signs of Fire Sprinkler Damage

As mentioned, a damaged or poorly maintained fire sprinkler system can drastically reduce its ability to function during an emergency. Not only can damaged fire sprinklers malfunction when they are most needed, they can even misfire at inappropriate times, which could lead to significant water damage to equipment, inventory, and the building itself.

Here are some of the most common signs of a damaged fire sprinkler system:

Dripping or Leaking Sprinklers

Any dripping or more significant leaks from the fire sprinkler heads can be a reflection of damaged seals, corrosion within the pipes, or even that the system was installed incorrectly.

An ongoing leak should be treated as a serious issue. If basic maintenance efforts, like tightening the sprinkler head seals, do not fix the problem, it could require professional service.

Signs of Corrosion

An old rusty fire sprinkler

If you notice signs of corrosion, like the color of rust around the sprinkler heads, it is a sign that a professional should assess your fire sprinkler system.

While the sprinkler heads can corrode over time, visible signs of rust and corrosion usually indicate damaged or corroded pipes. This can lead to a pipe burst or complete blockage of the water supply, rendering the entire fire sprinkler system ineffective in the event of a fire.

Inconsistent Water Pressure

If you test your sprinkler heads and notice inconsistent water pressure or that certain heads measure less pressure than others, it could be a sign of a blockage in the water supply system. While this may seem minor, it can make the fire suppression system less capable of handling a fire emergency. 

Visibly Damaged Fire Sprinkler Heads

Naturally, if you can see that one or more fire sprinkler heads are damaged, they should be repaired or replaced. Even small cracks or dents could prevent the sprinkler head from spreading water correctly.

This tends to occur in high-traffic industrial facilities, like warehouses and factories. If this type of damage occurs regularly, you may want to learn how fire sprinkler head guards work.

What Can Happen if You Ignore Damage to a Fire Sprinkler System?

Now that you know more about the common signs of damage and when you should call for repairs, we can discuss some consequences of ignoring damages to a fire sprinkler system.

For starters, neglecting fire sprinkler repairs reduces the effectiveness of the entire system. Fire sprinkler systems are designed to provide complete fire suppression coverage to the interior of a building. If damaged, the system will not offer the same degree of coverage, increasing the risk of the fire spreading.

Serious damages could even cause a fire sprinkler system to fail completely. Not only would this risk lives and significant property damage, the discovery of neglected repairs could result in serious legal consequences or voided insurance coverage.

Finally, a damaged and neglected fire sprinkler system can result in severe and expensive water damage to the property. While small leaks may seem manageable, they can eventually lead to full-blown flooding issues. While it may surprise you, water damage can be just as financially costly as the damage caused by a fire! 

When Should You Call for Professional Fire Sprinkler Repair Services? 

Fire sprinkler repair team

If you notice any visible signs of damage we covered before, like leaks, cracked sprinkler heads, or rust, you should immediately contact a fire sprinkler repair service.

You should also immediately call for repairs if your fire sprinkler system has been activated without reason. Misfires can indicate that your fire sprinkler system is not functioning as it should, so it may not be reliable in a real fire.

You should also schedule an assessment and inspection after your sprinkler system has been activated following a fire. This will ensure that the system was activated correctly and that the fire did not damage the fire sprinklers. The heat-sensitive filaments in the activated sprinkler heads will also need to be replaced.

What to Do if Your Fire Sprinklers Are Activated Accidentally?

As discussed, you should call for repairs from a certified technician if your fire sprinklers misfire. While this is important in the aftermath of the incident, it will do little to prevent water damage in the moment.

Even if your fire sprinkler system worked successfully by detecting and suppressing a fire, it can continue to expel water, which can cause serious water damage to your property.

Fortunately, there is a simple and affordable solution to this costly issue. The Shutgun is an indispensable, hand-held tool that can quickly and easily shut off an activated fire sprinkler. Its one-hand design even means it can be safely operated from a ladder.

steps to shut off fire sprinklers using shutgun water sprinkler shut off tool

Given that a single fire sprinkler head can release 60 gallons of water per minute, significant and costly water damage can occur every second you wait. Rather than wait for the fire department to arrive and deactivate your fire sprinkler system for you, give yourself the ability to act and prevent tens of thousands of dollars in water damage! 

To learn more and order your own, click the link below:

Get My Shutgun

Final Words

It can’t be stated enough how effective a well-maintained fire sprinkler system can protect lives and property during a large-scale fire. By knowing how to recognize damages to your fire sprinkler system, you will be ready to make timely repairs.

Remember, regular fire sprinkler maintenance and repairs are necessary if you want to be able to rely on your automatic fire sprinkler system. You should always contact a certified fire sprinkler technician if you ever need repairs. When it comes to fires, it is always better to be over-prepared than underprepared! 

You can also access our FAQs about fire sprinkler systems if you want to know more.

Breaking Down the Most Common Types of Fire Sprinklers Heads

Various automatic fire sprinkler system heads

No matter what type of business you run, installing a fire sprinkler system is one of the most effective ways to protect your property inventory, equipment, and personnel.

These sophisticated systems are designed to rapidly detect and suppress fires before they can spread, and both threaten lives and cause significant damage.

While you may assume that all fire sprinkler systems have the same basic design and components, several types of fire sprinkler heads are out there. Each fire sprinkler head has its own unique characteristics, and they are designed to handle different situations.

We are breaking down the most common types to help you better understand how fire sprinkler systems work and to help you choose the correct option for your home or business.

If you’re ready to learn, it’s time to get started!

The Most Common Types of Fire Sprinkler Heads

Fire sprinkler heads with smoke detector and fire alarm

While there are specialized options out there for specific industries, the following are the most common types of fire sprinkler heads and what they are designed for:

1. Sidewall Fire Sprinkler Heads

As their name suggests, sidewall sprinkler heads are installed so that they protrude horizontally from a wall. This unique design makes directing water flow in a specific pattern that can suppress fires in tight spaces easier.

Depending on the type of business, some will feature a combination of sidewall fire sprinkler heads and overhead sprinkler heads, as this ensures more coverage and greater fire suppression capabilities.

What Are Sidewall Fire Sprinkler Heads Designed For?

The primary purpose of sidewall fire sprinkler heads is to cover areas with obstructions and limited ceiling space. They can also be used for facilities that have incredibly high ceilings, like airplane hangars and certain manufacturing facilities.

Narrow walkways and high ceilings, like you would find in a large warehouse, often rely on sidewall sprinkler heads to provide coverage to all pathways and storage areas. In these facilities, it would be difficult to properly cover each laneway with overhead water flow in the event of a fire.

2. Pendant Fire Sprinkler Heads

Pendant fire sprinkler head

The pendant fire sprinkler head is the most common type, so it is probably what you have in mind when you try to picture a fire sprinkler system.

These downward-facing sprinkler heads have a circular deflector piece, which ensures that water sprays in all directions when the sprinkler head is activated.

What Are Pendant Fire Sprinkler Heads Designed For?

They are so common because they were designed for general-purpose applications. Thanks to its design, a pendant head provides excellent water coverage, so it works well in just about any type of commercial or retail space, office building, or shared residential space, like an apartment or condominium hallway.

3. Concealed Fire Sprinkler Heads

As you may have guessed, concealed fire sprinkler heads have a discreet design. The sprinkler head sits in a recessed hole in the ceiling, which is then covered with a detachable cover plate.

When the fire sprinkler is activated by temperatures that indicate a fire, the cover plate springs free of the fire sprinkler so that water can be released downwards in a circular pattern.

What Are Concealed Fire Sprinkler Heads Designed For?

Although they function much like pendant fire sprinklers, these concealed sprinkler heads are designed to be a more aesthetically pleasing alternative.

They are commonly seen in upscale indoor spaces that prioritize their appearance but still need an effective fire suppression system. These can include expensive hotels, high-end restaurants, and high-cost shared living spaces, like condominium buildings.

4. Upright Fire Sprinkler Heads

As the name implies, upright sprinkler heads face upwards. When they are activated, the water supply sprays upwards and then cascades downwards in all directions. This can allow for wider water coverage than you would get with a basic pendant fire sprinkler.

What Are Upright Fire Sprinkler Heads Designed For?

Typically, upright sprinklers are used in crowded spaces, like industrial warehouses and factories with assembly lines. They are also a good option for buildings that have partially open ceilings.

Some lofts and trendy restaurants that feature an industrial aesthetic will use them because they are more visually appealing than downward-facing sprinkler heads, but they still offer the same level of fire suppression capabilities.

What Should You Do if a Fire Sprinkler Head Misfires?

No matter which fire sprinkler heads your system uses, they can activate at inappropriate times due to misfires, leaks, and other malfunctions. Unfortunately, this can cause significant water damage, as a typical fire sprinkler head will release approximately 60 gallons of water per minute!

Automatic sprinkler heads can misfire, and they will continue running even after completely suppressing a fire. Again, this can cause serious water damage, especially in a building with sensitive equipment.

Introducing the Shutgun

steps to shut off fire sprinklers using shutgun water sprinkler shut off tool

Fortunately, a simple tool can now shut off most fire sprinkler heads in seconds. The Shutgun was developed to allow individuals to shut off an activated fire sprinkler quickly. Thanks to its one-hand design, it can be operated by a single person on a ladder.

Rather than waiting for firefighters and other fire safety personnel to arrive, you can shut off a fire sprinkler head yourself. This could save your business tens of thousands of dollars in water damage.

There are also Shutgun variations designed to work with different types of fire sprinkler heads, such as the Concealed Head Shutgun.

To learn more about the Shutgun and its variations, click the following link: Get My Shutgun.

Final Words

If you are unsure which type of fire sprinkler heads your business or residential space requires, consult a fire protection professional. These trained professionals will be able to assess your needs and make a recommendation based on the unique fire protection needs of your building.

Remember, an automatic sprinkler system is one of the most essential investments your business will ever make. It may even be a legal requirement in many cases according to local fire codes and regulations.

What Causes a Fire Sprinkler to Activate? – Understanding the Triggers

Fire sprinkler spraying water on fire

As you may already know, fire sprinkler systems are incredibly useful for fire safety. When activated, fire protection systems can quickly and effectively suppress a fire, limiting property damage and protecting lives.

While there is no doubting that automatic sprinklers are incredibly important, many people are unsure what causes a fire sprinkler to activate. This is where we can help!

We will explain in detail what causes a fire sprinkler to activate, so you can better understand how these fire suppression systems are designed to work.

We will also cover some reasons for an accidental fire sprinkler activation and what you can do about it.

So, let’s get started!

How Fire Sprinklers Are Supposed to Be Activated

Red pipe and head of fire sprinkler system

While there are other ways that a fire sprinkler system can be activated accidentally, most systems are designed to be activated in two ways:

1. Heat Detection

While many people assume that fire sprinkler systems are triggered by smoke detection, they are activated by heat. All modern fire sprinkler systems rely on heat-sensitive elements to act as triggers. Depending on the design of the fire sprinkler, it will either use a fusible link or a series of glass bulbs.

Those that rely on the fusible link design feature a metal alloy with a specific melting point. According to the National Fire Protection Association in the US, typically, this will be around 135°F to 170°F. When the air surrounding the fusible link reaches this temperature, the metal alloy will melt, triggering the sprinkler head to release the water supply in all directions.

Other fire sprinkler systems use a glass bulb within each sprinkler. These bulbs are filled with a liquid that expands when heated to a certain temperature. When this occurs, the glass will break, which activates the sprinkler head.

Thanks to these designs, each fire sprinkler head operates independently. This prevents water damage in areas that are unaffected by fire.

2.     Manual Activation

Most fire sprinkler systems can also be activated manually through a control panel. If the heat does not cause the sprinklers to activate and release water flow, the option for manual activation can be incredibly important.

Some more advanced commercial fire sprinkler systems can be linked digitally to the fire alarm system. These tend to be less common in public buildings, as the water damage caused by a fire sprinkler system activated due to an accidental or malicious fire alarm pull would be too great of a risk.

Can Fire Sprinklers Misfire?

Close up of fire sprinkler head on ceiling of building

While it is true that most fire sprinkler systems are reliable, there are ways that they can be activated unintentionally or at inappropriate times. When accidental fire sprinkler activation occurs, the water damage caused by the misfired sprinkler can be costly and destructive.

To help you determine if your fire suppression system is at risk of unintentional activation, here are the leading causes of misfires.

High Temperatures Unrelated to a Fire

Since fire sprinkler heads are activated by heat, high temperatures unrelated to a fire could trigger a misfire. In most cases, this is due to the sprinkler head’s proximity to a heat source, as the temperature needs to be very high to melt the fusible link or shatter the glass bulb.

Avoid positioning sprinkler heads near steam pipes, heating vents, cooking appliances, or machinery that generates significant heat.

Physical Impact

If a sprinkler head is hit with enough force, the fusible link or glass bulb could become damaged, triggering a sprinkler misfire. You should always avoid positioning equipment and inventory near fire sprinkler heads.

Not only would doing so increase the likelihood that the sprinkler could be hit, but it could also block water from reaching a fire if needed to suppress a fire.

Installing fire sprinkler head guards is another way to prevent misfires due to physical impact.

Corrosion and Lack of Maintenance

Like any fire suppression system that involves pressurized water, fire sprinklers can rust and corrode over time. When this happens, it can cause failures and unintended activations.

Various defects can trigger a fire sprinkler to activate at an inappropriate time. To avoid these issues, it is crucial to inspect your automatic sprinkler system at regular intervals, as well as perform the manufacturer-recommended maintenance requirements.

Read A Guide to Maintaining Your Commercial Fire Sprinkler System for more information. This guide is packed with helpful information and a breakdown of monthly and annual maintenance requirements.

What Should You Do if Your Fire Sprinkler Misfires or Accidentally Activates?

While avoiding the primary causes of accidental activations and misfires is incredibly important, fire protection systems can still release water at inappropriate times. Unfortunately, even a single sprinkler head can release 60 gallons of water per minute, which can cause significant water damage.

Rather than waiting around for the fire department’s arrival, give yourself the ability to shut off a fire sprinkler in seconds by looking at the Shutgun.

The Shutgun is an easy-to-use, handheld tool that can shut off a fire sprinkler head in seconds. Its one-hand operation means a single person can shut off a sprinkler from a ladder without training.

Learn more and order your own Shutgun by clicking the following link: Get My Shutgun!

Final Words

While a misfiring fire sprinkler can be incredibly damaging, especially if you do not have access to a shut-off tool, like the Shutgun, it is essential that you still have a fully-functioning fire sprinkler system to protect your business, employees, and more.

To prevent accidental activations and to know that you can rely on your system when the worst happens, perform regular inspections, tests, and maintenance on your system. Remember, water damage can be costly but never as dangerous and destructive as large-scale fire damage.

A Guide to Maintaining Your Commercial Fire Sprinkler System

install fire sprinkler system industrial plant

A well-functioning fire sprinkler system can help protect the building your business occupies, your employees and customers, and even the inventory and equipment within your business. The problem is that a commercial fire sprinkler system will be ineffective if it is not properly maintained.

To help you ensure that your business’s fire sprinkler system is reliable, we will explain everything you need to know about maintaining it.

Not only will we explain why regular maintenance is so important, but we will also outline tasks you should complete on a monthly and yearly basis to keep your commercial fire sprinkler system running.

Why Is Fire Sprinkler System Maintenance Important?

fire sprinkler system

Before we dive into how you should maintain your system, it is beneficial to explain why doing so is so important.

Confidence in the Effectiveness of Your System

For starters, testing and maintaining your fire sprinkler system is a way to guarantee that you can rely on your system to function properly in the event of a fire. Once you are confident that your system will run as designed, you can develop evacuation drills accordingly.

Leak Prevention

Maintaining your working fire sprinkler system at the appropriate times can help you avoid leaks. Since commercial fire sprinkler systems consist of pipes and various fittings, they are susceptible to leaks. While a small leak may not seem overly serious, it can lead to corrosion issues over time.

Given enough time, a leaking fire sprinkler system could also cause serious water damage. Pooling water can also pose an injury risk to employees and other personnel due to slips and falls.

Avoid Misfires and Water Damage

When fire sprinkler systems are allowed to fall into disrepair, there is always a chance that they will be triggered accidentally. Improper installation of the system and damage to the temperature sensors could trigger a misfire. When this occurs, the sprinkler system could cause significant damage to inventory, equipment, and the building itself.

How to Maintain Your Commercial Fire Sprinkler System

fires prinkler red pipe

Now that you understand why it is so important to maintain your fire sprinkler system, we can get into some of the monthly and yearly maintenance tasks you should be performing.

Monthly Fire Sprinkler System Maintenance Tasks

1. Visually Inspect the System

At least once per month, visually examine the system. Start with the sprinkler heads to make sure they are undamaged and unobstructed. Look for signs of rusting and excessive debris buildup, and ensure that they are not blocked in any way.

2. Test All Alarms

Since most fire sprinkler systems communicate with smoke alarms and pull stations, you must check to ensure that every part of your fire alarm system is functioning correctly each month. This can be a part of monthly fire drills if your business is operating in an industry with a high risk of fires.

3. Inspect All Control Valves

Check that all control valves are not leaking or corroded. Depending on the manufacturer of the sprinkler system, you may need to lubricate the valves on a monthly basis.

4. Check the Pressure

During monthly maintenance, you should check pressure gauges to ensure they remain within the manufacturer’s recommended range. If the pressure is too low, it could be a water supply issue or another issue with your fire suppression system.

5. Install Fire Sprinkler Head Guards

If you are running a business in an industry where mechanical operations could put your sprinkler heads at risk of damage, installing head guards is a good idea. Learn more by reading What Is a Fire Sprinkler Head Guard & How Do They Work?

Annual Fire Sprinkler System Maintenance Tasks

As expected, your annual sprinkler system maintenance tasks must be more comprehensive. The following are just some of the ways your fire suppression system should be maintained; however, the manufacturer of your specific system may recommend further steps.

1. Schedule a Professional Inspection

Your fire protection system should be assessed and maintained by qualified professionals at least once per year. During their inspection, they will cover everything from the water pressure to the quality and condition of the piping. If the fire sprinkler inspection uncovers anything that needs to be repaired or replaced, they will explain the next steps.

2. Sprinkler System Flushing

A flush of your commercial sprinkler system is essential to help clear any debris or sediment that could be building up in the piping and fittings. After your system has been professionally inspected, you will be informed whether or not this step is necessary.

What Else Can You Do for Your Commercial Fire Sprinkler System?

If you are performing the monthly and yearly tasks outlined above, you can remain confident that your commercial fire sprinkler system can be relied upon in the event of a large-scale fire.

That said, even well-maintained systems can suffer from occasional misfires due to faulty sensors or human error. Unfortunately, when this occurs, your business could suffer severe water damage.

Given that a single sprinkler in a commercial fire sprinkler system can release 60 gallons of water in a single minute, the structural damage and damage to your inventory and equipment can be severe.

This is where the Shutgun comes into play. The Shutgun is an affordable, user-friendly tool that can be used to shut off an activated fire sprinkler in seconds.

steps to shut off fire sprinklers using shutgun water sprinkler shut off tool

Rather than waiting for fire safety professionals to arrive to shut your commercial fire sprinklers off, the task can be completed in seconds, which could protect your business tens of thousands of dollars in water damage.

Learn more about the Shutgun and order your own by clicking below:

Final Words

No matter what type of commercial fire sprinkler system your business relies on, it is always important to maintain it properly and regularly. Not only will this extend the lifespan of automatic fire sprinkler systems, but it can also help ensure their reliability and effectiveness.

Follow all of the monthly and yearly tasks we outlined above, as they will help you address any issues before they can cause your commercial sprinkler system to fail, misfire, or leak.

If you want to learn more about fire sprinklers, we recommend reading How Does a Fire Sprinkler System Work?

How to Prevent a Grease Fire in Your Restaurant

fire gas burn cooking

Any restaurant owner will tell you that grease fires are one of the greatest threats to the safety of staff, customers, and the building itself. Grease fires can spread rapidly and be incredibly difficult to extinguish.

Not only can it cause structural damage and destroy valuable equipment, but a kitchen fire can also cause injuries and even loss of life.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can prevent grease fires. Practicing the correct safety precautions and equipping your restaurant with the proper safety equipment can significantly increase your chances of avoiding a costly grease fire.

To help you run a safer restaurant, we will explain how to prevent a grease fire and the equipment needed to extinguish a kitchen grease fire if one is started.

What Is a Grease Fire?

As the name suggests, a grease fire is a fire that is fueled by the burning of grease, oil, or fat. When ignited, these fuels burn at extremely high temperatures, spreading rapidly to other flammable materials.

One of the most dangerous features of a grease fire is that you cannot extinguish it with water. Water actually causes the fire to spread, which is why many people end up with severe burns when attempting to put out a grease fire.

How to Prevent a Grease Fire in a Restaurant Kitchen

industrial kitchen restaurant 3d illustration

As with any type of fire, prevention is always preferable to reaction. Before we explain how to deal with a grease fire, here are some effective tips for preventing grease fires in restaurants.

1. Clean All Kitchen and Ventilation Equipment Regularly

One of the most effective ways to prevent grease fires is to ensure that all cooking surfaces, ventilation hoods, exhaust systems, ducts, and kitchen appliances are cleaned and maintained regularly. When excess grease and debris are allowed to accumulate, the likelihood of a cooking fire rises dramatically.

All staff should be trained on the importance of keeping equipment and workstations clean. Your staff should be given a list of daily cleaning tasks for which they will be held accountable. Beyond routine, daily cleanings, thorough and professional cleanings of all ventilation and exhaust systems should occur at the appropriate times.

2. Do Not Leave Hot Cooking Equipment Unattended

Under no circumstances should hot cooking equipment be left unattended, even if the appliance has been switched off. Not only should it be watched at all times, but proper temperature settings should also be followed to prevent hot oil and grease from reaching its ignition point.

3. Maintain Safe Storage Practices for Flammable Materials

Flammable materials and supplies, like cooking oil, should always be stored safely far from any heat source. Once something has been used, it must be returned to its designated area. It is vital that all staff are trained on the importance of this practice and that they are held accountable if they continue to make errors.

4. Cook Safely

While it may sound obvious, adhering to proper cooking techniques is vital in a commercial kitchen. Always adhere to safe cooking temperatures when dealing with hot oil and fat. You should also avoid overcrowding pans and deep fryers, as this is a common cause of hot grease fires.

Staff should make others aware of what they are doing when dealing with large volumes of highly flammable oil and grease.

5. Ensure All Staff Are Trained and Educated Properly

All kitchen staff must be trained on fire prevention strategies, safe cooking practices, and relevant emergency procedures. It is essential that this training is taken seriously and that it is completed before any newly hired staff are allowed to work in the kitchen.

Safety Precautions for Avoiding Grease Fires

In addition to the prevention tips discussed above, all restaurants and commercial kitchens should be outfitted with appropriate and well-maintained safety equipment. This should include the following:

Non-Slip Flooring

All kitchen floors should be covered with non-slip mats. Slips while carrying flammable materials are some of the most common causes of kitchen fires. Staff should also be required to wear non-slip-soled shoes for added safety.

A Fire Suppression System

Your restaurant’s non-kitchen areas should have an automatic fire suppression system. If a grease fire erupts in your kitchen, preventing it from spreading into the dining area could save lives.

To prevent water damage from a fire sprinkler system that has misfired or has been accidentally triggered, we highly suggest the Shutgun. This affordable, user-friendly tool was designed to make it easy to shut a sprinkler system off in seconds so you don’t experience unnecessary water damage in your restaurant.

Class K Fire Extinguishers

As mentioned, you cannot extinguish grease fires with water. A small grease fire can be extinguished with baking soda, but this isn’t practical in a commercial kitchen. This is where Class K fire extinguishers come in handy.

They are designed explicitly with extinguishing agents that can handle grease and oil fires, so they should be located in easily accessible kitchen areas. Like any fire extinguisher, Class K fire extinguishers also need to be inspected and maintained regularly.

Learn more about the different fire extinguishers and why it is essential to choose the right kind by reading Different Fire Extinguisher Types & Which Type You Need.

Ventilation Systems

Ensuring your kitchen is ventilated correctly can help reduce the kitchen fire risk. These vents help lower temperatures and pull smoke, debris, and grease-laden air from the kitchen.

Final Words

fire gas burn cooking on iron

Preventing grease fires should always be a top priority in any restaurant, commercial kitchen, or food preparation facility. They can be incredibly destructive and costly and threaten the lives of your restaurant’s employees and patrons.

A fire can also ruin your restaurant’s reputation, even if you manage to put it out before it can cause significant fire damage.

By implementing the tips and safety precautions we discussed above, you can safeguard your restaurant.

For more information on protecting your restaurant, we recommend reading What Is Fire Safety & Why Is it Important for Your Business? Learn about valuable fire safety tips and how to protect your business from the dangers of workplace fires.

5 Common Causes of Fire and Prevention Tips

electrical fire dangers home system burn

When it comes to fires, prevention should always be the goal. This is particularly true for businesses and other organizations where fires can have an enormous financial cost and risk the lives of anyone inside the building.

To help you stay safe, we will identify six of the most common causes of fire. From there, we will cover some effective fire prevention tips you can use to prevent property damage, protect the safety and well-being of employees, and mitigate financial losses.

Common Causes of Fires

1. Electrical Issues and Faulty Equipment

hand choose wooden block stack fire

Regardless of industry, electrical fires are incredibly common. Faulty and damaged wiring can cause sparks, igniting nearby flammable materials. Overloaded circuits and malfunctioning electrical equipment can also spark and generate temperatures that can trigger fires.

Electrical fires are incredibly common and particularly difficult to extinguish, which is why they can be so destructive.

How to Prevent an Electrical Fire:

  • Regularly inspect all electrical systems to ensure that they are functioning properly. Check for damaged wires, outlets, and switches.
  • Always avoid overloading circuits. Use surge protectors if you are running high-voltage electrical equipment.
  • Train employees on how to recognize signs of electrical issues.
  • Make sure a Class C fire extinguisher is in easily accessible locations near electrical panels and electrical equipment.

2. Smoking in Unsafe Areas

Unfortunately, carelessness with smoking is still a leading cause of residential and industrial fires. Smoldering cigarette butts that are disposed of improperly and smoking too close to flammable materials can and will cause fires.

How to Prevent Smoking-Related Fires:

  • Ensure that smoking is only allowed in designated areas that are a safe distance from the building.
  • No-smoking policies in non-designated areas need to be enforced with strict consequences. You should also ensure that all employees are educated on the potential dangers to their own safety if they smoke in prohibited areas.
  • Use effective, fire-safe cigarette disposal boxes in designated areas, as this prevents lit cigarettes from blowing toward flammable material.

3. Improper Storage of Combustible Materials

While the dangers associated with storing flammable materials can vary from industry to industry, it is vital that your business learns how to store combustibles. Not only do they need to be kept at a safe distance from open flames and sparks, but they should also be stored away from heating systems, electrical systems, and any equipment that generates heat when used.

How to Prevent Fires Related to the Unsafe Storage of Combustible Materials:

  • Make sure that all materials are stored in designated areas at all times. This involves ensuring that all employees are trained to put materials away when not in use.
  • Make sure heating equipment is far away from anything flammable. This includes temporary space heaters, furnace units, and anything else designed to generate heat.

4. Kitchen Fires

kitchen fire being

While you may assume that cooking fires are only a serious risk within the restaurant, catering, and other food-related industries, many businesses face fire risks from cooking equipment.

Even a small employee kitchen can be the source of a destructive and widespread fire. Even something as simple as misusing a microwave could trigger a fire!

How to Prevent Cooking and Kitchen-Related Fires:

  • All kitchen areas must have well-maintained smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and even fire sprinkler systems.
  • All cooking equipment, hood fans, and other exhaust systems need to be cleaned and maintained regularly.
  • Employees must be trained on safe cooking practices and storing flammable materials, like cooking oil.

5. Improper Handling and Disposal of Flammable Materials

Not only does combustible material need to be stored in a safe location far away from any heat source, but it must also be appropriately handled and disposed of safely.

This is particularly true for flammable chemicals, which can produce fumes that could trigger fires.

How to Prevent Fires Linked to the Improper Handling and Disposal of Flammables:

  • Follow strict safety precautions for handling and disposing of flammable materials.
  • Always provide functioning ventilation in areas where chemicals are stored and used.
  • Train all employees and contractors on how to handle and dispose of flammables.

General Fire Prevention Tips

Now that we have covered five of the most common causes of workplace fires and safety tips to mitigate their risks, we can quickly touch on a few general fire prevention tips you should follow.

First, ensure that your smoke detector and smoke alarms are always maintained properly. You must also do the same for fire suppression equipment, like a fire sprinkler system and fire extinguisher.

You also need to conduct regular fire prevention inspections. Developing an emergency response plan and practicing fire drills regularly can also help keep all personnel safe if a workplace fire occurs.

Finally, staying compliant with all of the relevant fire codes and fire regulations for your industry and geographic location is essential.

Final Words

It is impossible to overstate the importance of fire prevention strategies. By preventing fires from occurring, you protect the lives and well-being of your employees, customers, and any other individuals that enter your workplace or organization.

You also ensure that your property and assets remain unharmed, so your business can continue uninterrupted.

For more information about fire safety and prevention, we recommend reading What Is Fire Safety and Why Is it Important for Your Business?

Don’t Forget About the Shutgun!

While we are on the topic of fire prevention and safety, it is worth mentioning how important it is to ensure that your business is equipped with the Shutgun! The Shutgun is the world’s leading fire sprinkler shut-off tool.

Unfortunately, fire sprinkler systems can be triggered accidentally or run well beyond the time required to extinguish a fire. Water damage can be far more destructive than a small fire when this happens.

Rather than waiting for first responders to deactivate your sprinkler system, the Shutgun lets you quickly and easily shut a fire sprinkler head down.

To learn more and order your own, click below:

Get My Shutgun

How to Do Fire Prevention Inspections

engineer professional checking fire extinguisher

Fire safety and prevention are essential no matter what type of business or organization you are running. One of the key components of fire safety is conducting fire prevention inspections at the appropriate times.

When you perform fire prevention inspections and fire safety drills at regular intervals, you reduce the likelihood of a large-scale fire, which could cause damage to property, equipment, and inventory and risk the lives of everyone inside the building.

To help you stay safe and ensure compliance with most fire safety regulations, we have provided this general outline of how to conduct fire prevention inspections.

Use this guide to conduct your own inspections and better understand what will occur if you hire fire safety professionals to inspect and audit your business or organization.

Before You Start Your Fire Prevention Inspection

close hand choose prevent icon

Step 1 – Research Local Fire Safety Regulations

Since each industry and region has its own fire safety regulations, the first step of any fire prevention inspection is familiarizing yourself with all the relevant rules and regulations.

Understand the local, state, and national fire safety regulations for your industry and jurisdiction. Once you understand all the legal requirements for fire prevention and fire safety in your area, you can look into how often fire prevention inspections and fire safety drills need to be conducted.

The National Fire Protection Association offers a comprehensive list of NFPA Codes & Standards, a great place to start.

Once you have researched what you need to know, this information should be made available to all employees and members of your organization.

Step 2 – Planning the Inspection

Once you have researched the relevant regulations, you must develop a fire safety inspection checklist. This list should detail all areas and items you will be inspecting.

It will need to cover all aspects of fire safety, including the exterior and interior structure of the building, all electrical systems, your fire protection systems, storage areas, emergency exits, and more.

Once satisfied with your checklist, do a fire safety plan review so you can schedule the fire inspection and notify all employees and other personnel to make necessary preparations.

Components of a Fire Prevention Inspection

After researching local regulations and developing a detailed checklist that covers everything you will be inspecting, you can conduct your fire prevention inspection.

While the exact nature of these inspections will vary depending on the type of industry, building, and where you are located, the following are the main components of any basic fire prevention inspection.

Start at the Main Entrance to the Building and Proceed from There

By starting at the main entrance, you ensure that you cover all areas of the building. Once you have inspected the main entrance and foyer, you will move through the building using your checklist to ensure you cover all areas. Check for all types of fire hazards, as well as any type of violation of local fire safety regulations.

Make sure that you are inspecting every piece of equipment, as well as all inventory. You must ensure that all flammable materials are kept far away from heat sources.

Inspect the Actual Structure of the Building

You need to inspect the building itself, not just its contents.

Like the other steps, the goal is to look for potential fire hazards. Exposed wiring on the interior or exterior walls is one example of a fire hazard. You also need to ensure that all fire-rated walls are not compromised, that fire doors are not blocked, and that they shut automatically.

Assess All Electrical Systems

engineer inspection industrial fire control system

It is essential to check all electrical systems in the building to ensure they comply with the relevant fire safety regulations.

You also need to ensure there are no overloaded circuits, exposed wires, damaged electrical panels, or systems that are not grounded properly.

Inspect Storage Areas and Inventory Stockpiles

These areas are often overlooked, but ensuring they are separated from heat and ignition sources is vital. You also want to ensure that the floors are clear from clutter, as this can increase the fire risk and interfere with evacuation procedures if a fire does break out.

Check All Emergency Exits

All exits should be clearly marked and free from obstructions for emergency preparedness. Ensure that these exits and the pathways leading to them are functional and easy to locate.

Check Waste Disposal Procedures

Far too many fires are started due to the improper disposal of waste and recycling materials, especially when these items are combustible. If these areas are overly crowded, or unsafe practices are carried out near them, like employees smoking nearby, this needs to be identified and addressed.

Inspect Fire Safety Equipment

Not only do all smoke alarms need to be tested, but the inspection should also determine if the facility has enough fire detectors to cover the entire building interior.

Fire protection systems should also be inspected to ensure they function correctly. Fire extinguishers also need to be inspected to ensure they are in good working condition and have the correct classification for the flammable or hazardous materials in the area. It is also necessary to ensure fire extinguishers are easily reachable and identifiable.

Once the fire prevention inspection has concluded, keeping records and addressing any uncovered issues is vital. It is also essential to develop a follow-up fire safety plan and schedule routine inspections in the future.

Remember, fire safety is an ongoing commitment rather than a one-time activity. You must also continuously communicate and educate all employees on fire safety practices.

Communicate any violations or weak points that the fire prevention inspection uncovered.

Final Words

Fire prevention inspections are a critical component of workplace fire safety. Remember, prevention should always be the goal when it comes to fires. While it is essential to have procedures and equipment to react to a fire, it is much better never to have to use them.

Mitigate fire hazards and protect your property and employees from harm! To learn more about fire safety, we recommend reading Do You Need a Fire Prevention Officer for Your Building?

Maintaining Fire Safety Equipment

Speaking of fire safety equipment, it is essential to note that fire sprinkler systems are one of the most effective ways to protect your business or organization from a fire.

Unfortunately, these crucial pieces of fire safety equipment can result in water damage if they misfire or are allowed to run after a fire has been successfully extinguished.

Typically, you would have to wait for the fire department to arrive to shut off your fire protection system. During this wait, the fire sprinkler system could release up to 60 gallons of water per minute, which can cause significant water damage to the building and the equipment and inventory within it.

This is where the Shutgun can come in handy! This user-friendly, affordable tool can shut off a fire sprinkler system head in less than a minute. To learn more about the Shutgun and to order your own, click the link below:

Get My Shutgun

Fire Prevention Tips for Your Business

hand choose wooden block stack fire

Fire safety training and fire prevention practices are essential for just about any type of business. Fires can be incredibly destructive to property, inventory, and equipment and can result in injuries and fatalities to employees and customers.

An uncontrolled fire can be ruinous for a business, so fires must be prevented from occurring in the first place. To help you keep your business and personnel safe, we will highlight some of the most essential and effective fire prevention tips.

By incorporating these fire safety tips into your business’s daily operations, you can help your business avoid the devastating consequences of a large-scale fire.

The Top 10 Fire Prevention Tips for Your Business

Each type of business is unique. Certain fire safety tips will be more or less relevant for your business than others, but most businesses can benefit from taking these tips seriously. Here are our top 10 fire prevention tips:

1. Ensure All Electrical Systems Are Inspected & Maintained

engineer inspection industrial fire control

Faulty and damaged electrical systems often cause destructive fires in workplace environments. These systems can experience a significant degree of wear and tear over the years, as the demands placed on them are far greater than in residential settings.

Make sure they are regularly and professionally inspected and maintained. Have frayed cords and damaged wires replaced promptly and shut down the system until they are replaced. It is also vital to ensure that all electrical system vents and fans are clean and unobstructed, as this can help avoid overheating that can trigger electrical fires.

2. Make Sure All Flammable Materials Are Stored Correctly

While it may sound obvious, all flammable materials must be stored safely and away from any significant heat source. This applies to everything from flammable chemicals and combustible gasses to large paper and cardboard stocks.

Anything that could fuel a large fire should always be stored in an appropriate location. While keeping these materials near their workstations may save employees time, the potential dangers can be severe, so it is not worth the risk.

3. Inspect & Clean HVAC Systems

Like electrical systems, a faulty or poorly maintained HVAC system can trigger a fire. These systems are often coated in dust and debris, which can ignite if the buildup becomes significant enough. Filters also need to be cleaned or replaced at appropriate intervals.

Having these systems professionally cleaned and inspected by a state fire marshal, fire chief, or fire protection professional can be the difference between having them function correctly or being the cause of a devastating fire.

4. Do Not Allow Smoking in Unsafe Locations

All smoking must be limited to designated areas that are both distant and safe. This rule must be strictly enforced for employees, customers and clients, suppliers, and anyone else on the property.

All cigarettes, lighters, vaporizer pens, and other smoking accessories must also be disposed of properly. Far too many fires are caused by careless attitudes toward smoking.

5. Clean & Maintain All Kitchen Equipment

Whether you run a restaurant with a full-scale commercial kitchen or simply have a small kitchenette in the employee break room, all kitchen appliances need to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Ovens, stoves, and deep fryers are all common starting points for fires in commercial and industrial buildings. 

By cleaning and maintaining this equipment, you can prevent the buildup of grease and other flammable materials that could trigger and fuel a destructive fire.

6. Follow All Fire Codes & Local Regulations

While they may seem redundant and overly precautious, adhering to all fire code regulations is another important aspect of fire prevention for all businesses.

Whether industry-specific rules or general fire regulations for all businesses in the area, these legal requirements are designed to prevent the destruction and loss of life that can occur when a fire breaks out in a business. Keep your business safe and avoid unnecessary fines and penalties.

If you are unsure if your business is in compliance with fire safety measures. To learn more, read What Is a Fire Safety Inspection & Why Is it Important?

7. Make Sure Functioning Fire Extinguishers Are Widely Available

engineer professional checking fire extinguisher

An essential component of fire prevention is having the ability to extinguish small fires before they are allowed to spread. Fire extinguishers are among the most effective ways to contain and extinguish small fires.

Ensure that you use the appropriate classification of fire extinguishers for the materials and equipment stored and used within your business. You also need to take the time to train all employees on safe and effective use of fire extinguishers.

Finally, always make sure that your fire extinguishers are regularly inspected and located in easily accessible areas throughout your entire business!

For more information, read Different Fire Extinguisher Types & Which One You Need.

8. Install & Maintain Smoke Detectors Throughout Your Business

Working smoke alarm detectors and fire alarm systems appropriately distributed throughout your business are essential for fire prevention. These sensitive devices are essential for providing all building occupants with enough warning to evacuate safely, and they can also help you put out small fires before they have time to spread.

Not only must your business be properly protected with smoke alarms and fire alarm systems, but these fire protection systems need to be tested and maintained at regular intervals.

9. Educate & Train All Employees on Fire Prevention Strategies

All employees should have basic fire prevention training regardless of their role within the company. This includes properly using a fire extinguisher, storing flammable items, knowing the fire escape plan including the best escape route, and reporting a fire hazard. Regular fire drills and meetings about fire safety protocols can support these training sessions.

10. Install & Maintain a Fire Suppression System

If your business lacks an existing fire suppression system, you should invest in one.

These overhead fire sprinkler systems detect the rising temperatures that indicate a fire. They automatically eject high volumes of water, which snuffs out the flames and prevents them from spreading. Not only do you need to ensure your fire sprinkler system covers your entire business, but you also need to ensure it is well maintained.

Understand the Risks Associated with Water Damage

While a fire suppression system is an incredibly important fire prevention measure for any business, even the best fire sprinkler systems can misfire or run after the fire has been successfully put out.

Since most systems need to be shut off by a member of the fire department or another fire official, the water damage they create can be incredibly costly.

steps to shut off fire sprinklers using shutgun water sprinkler

This is where a fire sprinkler shut-off tool comes in handy. The Shutgun is an affordable and easy-to-use tool that can allow maintenance staff and other personnel to quickly and effectively shut off the flow of water from a sprinkler that has misfired or no longer needs to run.

To learn more about the Shutgun, simply click the link below:

Protect My Building with the Shutgun

How Much Does Hotel Water Damage Cost You?

flooding corridor interior

When most people think of overhead hotel costs, they rarely consider how expensive water damage can be. While a burst pipe or a tap left running by a forgetful hotel guest can contribute to these costs, overhead fire sprinkler systems that misfire or run longer than they need to can be incredibly destructive.

In high-rise hotel buildings, the amount of water damage a fire sprinkler system can cause can cost the hotel hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While repairs and replacing furniture can be incredibly costly, the lost revenue due to forced cancellations and unplanned downtime can be so expensive that the hotel may struggle to recover.

To help you understand the financial risks of hotel water damage, we will explain how much it can cost and what you can do to mitigate the risk.

How Expensive Is Water Damage for Hotels?

Unfortunately, there is no way to point to a specific dollar amount for hotel water damage. This is because the cost can vary greatly depending on the amount of damage the water caused, the size and location of the hotel, and how upscale the hotel is.

According to industry estimates, the average cost of repairing significant water damage in a hotel ranges between several thousand to several hundred thousand dollars.

Sprinkler systems that have misfired and run for too long are among the leading causes of large-scale water damage in hotels, especially within high-rise hotels.

Why Is Water Damage So Expensive for Hotels?

hotel key reception bell

As you may expect, the repairs and cleanup are the most expensive aspect of any water damage in a hotel. Pooled water can penetrate the walls, floors, and even the ceilings, damaging everything from electrical systems to furniture and carpets.

If the water is not cleaned up quickly and professionally, more long-term issues can develop from the remaining moisture, threatening the hotel’s sustainability, such as mold and mildew.

Not only is the actual cleanup and repair process expensive, but it can also be incredibly time-consuming. When rooms, or even entire floors, are closed due to water damage, the hotel can lose large amounts of revenue.

This financial cost can be catastrophic if the water damage impacts the entire hotel. Not only can water damage force a hotel property to lose revenue due to closing off bookings and canceling reservations, but larger hotels can also lose out on revenue that would otherwise be generated by the hotel’s restaurant and conference rooms.

Basically, the hotel cannot function to its full potential if it cannot operate at full capacity while the water damage is being addressed.

What About the Hotel’s Reputation?

One of the more overlooked consequences of severe water damage in a hotel is the damage it can do to the hotel’s reputation amongst existing and prospective guests. If the hotel is forced to cancel reservations due to water damage cleanup efforts, the hotel’s reputation with these unsatisfied customers will be damaged.

Not only can the closure cost the hotel thousands in lost revenue opportunities and refunds, but the negative impression caused by the situation would also almost certainly damage the hotel’s reputation and prestige.

Negative reviews from angry guests impacted directly or indirectly by the water damage issue can quickly sink a hotel’s status.

What if the Hotel’s Insurance Provider Covers the Damage?

While most hotels have insurance policies providing water damage coverage, these payouts can take time and rarely cover lost revenue and reputational damages. This type of coverage will likely cover the repairs rather than the indirect costs associated with the water damage.

It is also worth noting that most insurance policies will not fully cover the costs of cleanup, repairs, and replacements of unsalvageable items.

Instead, the hotel will be forced to absorb some of these costs as part of its annual operating expenses. This can force the hotel to raise prices and cut back on included services, which, again, can damage the hotel’s appeal to prospective customers.

Can Hotels Go Out of Business as a Result of Water Damage?

entrance door electronic keycard lock system

Unfortunately, some hotels are forced to go out of business permanently as a result of a large-scale water leak or misfired sprinkler system. Without proper insurance coverage, the costs can be tremendous.

Even with insurance, there are no guarantees about how quickly the damages can be rectified. Water damage specialists can be in high demand, especially in the more populated areas where hotels are often found. Due to high demand, their availability is limited, and their labor and material costs are much higher.

Where other types of businesses can transition to online sales or even have a short-term move to a rented space, hotels face a unique challenge. The building is the business, so while it is closed due to cleanup and repair efforts, the business cannot generate any income. Given enough time, the hotel simply cannot recover.

How Can Hotels Reduce the Risk of Water Damage?

Given the financial and practical consequences of water damage for hotels, it is well worth taking every precaution to reduce the risk. The following are just some of the ways hotels can protect themselves:

1. Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Having all plumbing, HVAC, and fire sprinkler systems professionally maintained and inspected reduces the risk of water damage.

2. Invest in Water-Resistant Materials and Furnishings

In the unfortunate event of significant water leaks, the damages can be limited by using high-quality materials and furnishings that offer some degree of water resistance. Water-resistant drywall, carpets, and room furnishings can go a long way.

3. Have Water Damage Insurance Coverage

Given how expensive water damage can be, it is always worth acquiring full coverage for any hotel. Look into your existing policy and update it if you are not covered. You can also read our guide for more information – What Type of Water Damage Insurance Coverage Do You Need?

4. Having Emergency Water Shut-Off Capabilities

All plumbing fixtures inside and outside rooms should have easily accessible shut-off valves. This can significantly reduce the damages that a leak could cause.

Fire sprinkler systems often need to be shut off manually by the fire department, even when they misfire. Even if a fire sprinkler system successfully puts out a fire within the hotel, the resulting water damage can also be very expensive.

Fortunately, a simple sprinkler shut-off tool can give maintenance personnel the ability to deactivate a fire sprinkler in seconds. This tool is called the Shutgun, and it is effective, affordable, and extremely easy to use.

Prevent Hotel Water Damage with the Shutgun

steps to shut off fire sprinklers using shutgun water sprinkler

Rather than wait 20 minutes while fire sprinklers rain down hundreds of gallons of water every minute, invest in a simple fire sprinkler head shut-off tool that could potentially save your hotel thousands upon thousands of dollars.

To learn more about the Shutgun and order this critical tool for your hotel’s maintenance personnel, simply click the link below:

Get My Shutgun