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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Different Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

If you own or manage a commercial property you should be familiar with the fire suppression systems that are in place in that building. Part of your building’s regular maintenance should be inspecting your system and making sure that everything is functional. The last thing you need is for a fire to break out only to find out your sprinklers have malfunctioned. In addition, without proper inspection and maintenance, sprinklers can malfunction and go off when they are not supposed to causing large amounts of water damage. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of sprinkler systems that are used in buildings and how they work!

Wet Pipe Sprinkler System – These are the standard sprinkler systems in most buildings and have the fastest action time as the water is already in the pipes (hence the name). These systems are ideal in buildings with fewer contents that may be highly susceptible to water damage, as they are more likely to leak or have a pipe break and cause water damage.

Dry Pipe Sprinkler System – These systems use pressurized air to fill the pipes until water is needed. Once the sprinkler head is triggered the air is released allowing water to flow into the pipes and be distributed to the activated heads. These systems are ideal for areas of colder climates where the possibility of the pipes freezing with water in them is higher. The main disadvantage of these systems is a delay between sprinkler activation and when the water is dispersed.

Deluge Sprinkler Systems – These are also considered dry systems as the pipes do not contain water until the alarm is triggered. The most significant difference in deluge systems is that the nozzles are open. Meaning when activated the deluge valve opens and water is sent to ALL of the nozzles at once quickly flooding an area with water. For that reason, these systems are primarily used in buildings containing materials that are highly flammable.

Pre-Action Systems – These are perhaps the most complicated systems of the four. These systems are dry systems and require additional specific events to activate fully unlike a traditional dry pipe system where the activation of the automatic sprinkler heads is all that is needed for the pipes to fill with water. In addition to the automatic sprinkler heads activating, a fire detection device must be activated before the water fills the pipes. This makes them ideal for buildings that contain things like electronics or other items that are easily damaged by water because, in the event of an accidental sprinkler head activation, the pipes will still not fill with water.

Hopefully, you will never have to use the sprinkler systems in your building, but it is still a good idea to make sure that you are familiar with how they work and what maintenance is to be done. If you do however find that your system has been activated whether accidentally or from a fire, SERVPRO of Norfolk West can help with all of your building’s restoration needs. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services, so give us a call and let us help make it “Like it never even happened.”

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