Hanging Items Off of Your Fire Sprinkler System

A close-up shot of a Fire sprinkler and red pipe on white ceiling background

We understand the temptation to use that fire sprinkler system head as a hanger of sorts. Some people might just think it’s practical enough to serve double-duty as both a mandatory commercial safety accessory as well as a ceiling hanging tool. But in reality, you should never attempt to use a fire sprinkler head as anything other than, well… a fire sprinkler head. It’s because these sprinklers are purpose-built to safely spray water adequately throughout an area of commercial buildings – and anything hanging from it could cause damage to the sprinkler that could prevent that from happening or obstruct the spray so that it’s not adequately dousing a fire in an emergency. Worst of all, hanging items from sprinkler heads could also lead to accidental activation.

3 Reasons to Never Hang Something from Your Fire Sprinkler System

In case the examples we outlined above aren’t enough of a reason to refrain from hanging clothes, hangers or decorations from fire sprinklers, we thought we’d share a few other ones:

  1. Sprinklers may not work appropriately: Fire sprinklers in commercial settings aren’t triggered by smoke, but by heat – and any obstruction can make sprinklers slower to react when there’s actually an emergency, thereby delaying them from triggering. Even a small delay can result in significantly more property damage, and potentially even more worker injuries or fatalities than a sprinkler system firing off on time.
  2. Greater potential for water damage from accidental activation: Though commercial fire sprinklers are industrial made, there is a certain degree of fragility with such systems. And even just a small amount of force can break the glass bulb that deploys the water. If you’re hanging items from the sprinklers, this glass bulb is more likely to break – and there’s the potential to have a serious water damage situation on your hands if it does. The only time you ever want the sprinklers to go off is if there’s a fire in the building.
  3. It’s against NFPA code: Hanging items from sprinklers or pipe heads is a violation of two National Fire Protection Association codes – and codes are in place for a reason.

The Value of a Fire Sprinkler Shut Off Tool

Whether you’re hanging items from the fire sprinklers or not, there’s always the potential for accidents to happen. And if your fire sprinklers are activated accidentally, there’s the potential for the system to release up to 60 gallons of water per sprinkler every minute. Additionally, another advantage of using the Shutgun over shutting off the valve is that you maintain full fire protection in the rest of the building Most sprinklers can only be turned off by the fire department, and responders may take several minutes to arrive. That’s where a fire sprinkler shut off tool can come in handy, as it enables facility managers to manually turn off the system in the event of an accidental activation within seconds. For more information on our Shutgun shut off tool, contact us today.

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