Common Mistakes that Cause Fire Sprinkler Failure

Fire sprinklers can be triggered by all kinds of things, especially if they’re exposed to the elements. In movies, they’re usually the funny crescendo that happens to our hapless hero. In real life though, it’s a much more drama than comedy. See why fire sprinkler failure is more common than you might think, and how a sprinkler stopper can help you avoid the same fate.

A Lesson in Force

If you know anything about physics, you know that one action leads to a reaction. When fire sprinklers are broken, regardless of how, they can end up shooting water everywhere. Whether it’s a forklift or a football, sprinklers both above and below fail when they’re subjected to too much trauma.

Unsurprisingly, this happens in areas designed for activities. The University of Iowa had to clean up 600 gallons of water from the gym floor after someone kicked a soccer ball just a little too hard at the sprinkler head. Their campus was no stranger to this kind of accident either. Years earlier, administrators had to deal with a failure when a student grabbed a little too hard at something she’d hung up on a sprinkler in her dorm room.

Construction workers and forklift operators are also notorious for damaging sprinklers while they’re at work. Crew members are certainly trained to avoid sprinklers, but the machines are large and difficult to handle.

A Little Vandalism

Sprinkler heads are sometimes damaged by those who are either bored, vengeful, or just want to cause a little chaos. It’s more likely to happen at a prison, where presumably people are trying to cause a distraction, but it’s been known to happen at schools and workplaces too.

Maybe employees want to dance in the ‘rain’, maybe children are just curious, or maybe basketball players are angry at the establishment for some reason. One kid dares another kid, and the next thing you know, the fire sprinklers have caused thousands of dollars in property damage.

The Real Costs

Fire sprinklers are obviously meant to save the building, and that’s exactly what they do when there’s a fire. But if they go off when there’s no fire, it only takes a few seconds to cause unnecessary havoc. Water seeps into carpets, hardwood floors, and even the walls, and none of it is cheap to fix. It can destroy expensive stock, supplies, and equipment. The National Fire Protection Agency reported 33,600 unintentional activations in 2014, a number that doesn’t really scratch the surface of the costs of all that water damage.

The Solution

For just $60, a Shutgun minimizes the financial impact of an unintentional activation. Store them with the fire extinguisher, tell staff members about it, and make sure to use it when the time is right. It can be immediately used by practically anyone. It only takes one hand to do it!

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