In virtually any building, having an automatic fire sprinkler system offers a high level of protection. But to ensure that your building’s system does not fail and lead to significant water damage, it must be maintained through regular inspections, testing, and maintenance as well as having a fire sprinkler shut-off tool available in case of emergency. Since over 25% of all property damage claims are due to water damage, you can see the importance of maintaining your sprinkler system. To reduce the risk of water damage, follow these tips.
Which Sprinkler System Meets My Needs?
To begin with, deciding which sprinkler system would work best for your building is a crucial step in reducing the risk of water damage. While you may have thought there was only one type of sprinkler system, there are actually several that are used based on the environment where they will be installed. The most common is a wet pipe system, which has pipes filled with water and only one or two sprinklers open. Should a fire occur, the fire’s heat opens the sprinklers closest to the fire. Other systems include dry pipe, deluge, and pre-action. Dry pipe systems are used in areas where temperatures go below freezing, use pressurized air or gas to hold water back in a heated space, and rely on a dry pipe valve opening to release water on a fire.
In areas where fast-spreading fires are considered a major threat, a deluge system works best. Since all sprinklers are open with this system, its pipes are not filled with water or gas. Instead, when the deluge valve is opened by a fire detection device signal, all sprinklers will have water flowing from them. Finally, pre-action systems are similar to wet pipe systems. However, they differ in that they are “double interlock” systems, meaning water delivery is delayed so that more sprinklers can be opened quickly to fight a fire.
How Does Water Escape from a Sprinkler System?
Unfortunately, there are many ways water can mistakenly escape from a fire sprinkler system. The most common are when pipes filled with water freeze, or when the system has mechanical damage. Other ways of water escape include poor installation, sabotage, corrosion of sprinklers and fittings, stress cracks in pipes and fittings, and overheating due to excessive temperatures near the sprinkler system. Also, there are times when a sprinkler system may be subject to a manufacturer recall due to various defects. Should a recall ever apply to your sprinkler system, don’t ignore it. If you do, you are almost guaranteeing water damage will occur to your building.
Reduce the Risk of Water Damage With a Fire Sprinkler Shut Off Tool
Needless to say, the last thing you want is water damage in your building due to a malfunctioning sprinkler system. To reduce the risk of this happening, you can do several things. First, choose the right system for your environment. Next, have systems maintained regularly to industry standards. This should include knowing where the fire sprinkler shut off tool is and how to use it. When maintenance or installations are needed, have all the work done by contractors who are licensed and experienced. Finally, take appropriate actions to help reduce any chances your building will have fire sprinkler system freeze-ups.
As a crucial part of your building’s fire safety plan, your sprinkler system should always be a top priority regarding proper maintenance and repair. By taking all factors into account, you can make the chances of water damage from your sprinkler system extremely rare.