Home Safety and Maintenance

Guide to Sprinkler Systems

a fire sprinkler system

Sprinkler systems or fire sprinkler systems are active fire protection methods that consist of a water supply system that provides enough pressure and flowrate to a water distribution piping system where fire sprinklers are connected. Before, sprinkle systems are only used in factories and large commercial buildings. But today, you can now install sprinkler systems in your homes at a cost-effective price. In fact, they are extensively used worldwide.

These can save lives in the event of a fire. A well-maintained sprinkler system, along with other active and passive fire protection measures, can help suppress smoke and flames, and as well as lessen the spread of the fire and reduce damage. This gives people time to exit the building or their home safely while fire services arrive.

If you are looking into installing a sprinkler system in your home, but you want to know more about it first, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you a guide to sprinkler systems.

Common Types of Sprinkler Systems

If you are looking into investing in a fire protection system, fire sprinklers are indeed a great choice for most buildings and as well as homes. They have come a long way, and today, you can find many types of sprinkler systems depending on where you will install them. Here are the common types of sprinkler systems:

Wet Pipe Sprinkler Systems

This type of sprinkler system contains pipes that are filled with water and sprinkler heads. In case whena fire starts, the heat will cause the core of the sprinkler head to burst and discharge water. The sprinkler heads will not be activated all at once because each one of them is independent. Their activation depends on whether they are exposed to heat.

The advantage of this type of sprinkler system is that it can help reduce damage significantly in the event of a false alarm. It’s because only one sprinkler head will be activated. Because of this, the wet pipe sprinkler system is the most commonly used sprinkler system in the market.

Dry Pipe Sprinkler Systems

For places that experience cold climates, wet pipe sprinkler systems are not the best choice because these may be at risk of freezing and becoming inefficient. What suits these places best is a dry pipe sprinkler system. This type of sprinkler system is filled with air as opposed to water in the pipe system. These are designed to discharge water to the pipes only when the sprinkler heads are activated. They are more complex compared to wet pipe sprinklersand more expensive to install.

Also, since water is not supplied to the pipe, it has an increased fire response time. If you live in a place that has cold climates and the risk of freezing is high, then a dry pipe sprinkler system is perfect for you.

Foam Sprinkler Systems

This type of sprinkler system is designed to discharge water and foam to put off a fire. It is commonly used in buildings that handle hazardous componentsand as well as flammable liquids, such as aircraft hangers, industries, and workplaces.

Pre-Action Sprinkler Systems

This type of sprinkler system is designed to take advantage of the flexibility of wet pipe systems, and as well as the complexity of dry pipe sprinklers. However, pre-action sprinkler systems are expensive and are usually installed in commercial properties like museums, libraries, and data centers where if there is an accidental discharge, it can lead to significant losses.

Deluge Sprinkler Systems

This type of sprinkler system is designed without heat sensing elements that are found in both wet and dry pipe systems. This one has a common trigger that causes the valves to open. Once these open, the water is discharged to the piping system and sprays on all the heads at once, covering the whole area. This type of sprinkler system is not used at homes but mainly found in industries with flammable liquids.

What are the Sprinkler Systems Used for Homes?

There are two main types of residential sprinkler systems, which are stand-alone and multi-use. Both of these systems rely on the water supply at home. However, a stand-alone system uses its own piping, and it may also need a back-flow device. Stand-alone systems also use flexible plastic or copper tubing. If, for example, your home relies on a well for water, a storage tank and pump will be needed to make sure you will have enough water supply for the system in case of fire.

The size of the storage tank depends on the system size. There are also some codes that require a minimum-sized tank. For example, some require a 550-gallon minimum storage tank for residential sprinkler systems running off a well. Also, the water in stand-alone systems does not circulate. With this, it is susceptible to stagnation, depending on the piping used.

A multi-sprinkler system, on the other hand, shares the plumbing pipes at home. Every time water runs anywhere at home, freshwater also moves through the pipes. This way, in the event of a fire, non-stagnant water will be released. These are installed during new-home construction and are made specifically for the home. If you are looking into remodeling your home and expand upon a multi-use sprinkler system, it may be difficult to do so.

Residential sprinkler systems also have a flow alarm that will alert you when the system has been activated. It also includes an alarm bell installed outside the house to alert your neighbors if ever you are not at home. There are also some systems that can alert the local fire department in case of its activation.

Sprinkler heads used in homes also vary by manufacturer, but most are heat activated. There are also some that feature a bulb full of liquid that expands at a consistent rate once exposed to heat. For larger rooms, two sprinkler heads might be required. Also, residential sprinkler heads come in different designs, ranging from commercial-looking ones to sleek and décor-friendly discs.

Conclusion

Sprinkler systems are indeed great to have at home as they can increase your home’s safety. Most people think they are very expensive, but the installation of a home fire sprinkler system is very affordable at the present time. Aside from that, it can also decrease your insurance premium, helping you save more money instead. As sprinkler systems become more common, they will continue to become more cost-effective, too. And don’t be surprised if one day you will be required to install a sprinkler system in your home.

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