Sprinkler systems are an essential part of protection from fires. A fire sprinkler system can prevent property damage and reduce the risk of injury to workers, customers, or tenants. But how exactly does a fire sprinkler system work? Understanding how a fire sprinkler system works can help you determine the right kind of design for your property.
There is a common misconception that sprinklers are triggered by smoke. Fire sprinkler systems have strategically placed sprinkler heads with glass bulbs containing a glycerin-based liquid. Sprinkler systems detect a fire through rising temperatures. As the temperature at the sprinkler head increases to between 135 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the liquid inside the glass bulb expands and breaks the glass, thus activating the sprinkler head. There are various fluid colours in these glass components, each indicating a different threshold of heat required to break the glass.
Depending on the type of sprinkler system, the method of sprinkler activation can vary. Once the glass bulb breaks, the sprinkler head releases water. However, the way water is stored and is delivered through pipes depends on the type of fire sprinkler system. Wet pipe systems keep water in the lines and release it immediately when the trigger breaks.
Dry pipe systems store water behind a valve that needs to be released before the water can flow through the pipes and out of the sprinkler head. A pre-action sprinkler is like a dry pipe system, except for the valve is controlled by an electronic device. The only exception is the deluge sprinkler system that is not activated by heat at all. Instead, a fire alarm releases the water, and a valve must be manually closed to stop the water flow.
Wet pipe, dry pipe, and pre-action sprinklers all use pressurized air. In wet pipe sprinklers, pressure in the pipes ensures the water is delivered quickly. In dry line and pre-action sprinkler systems, pressurized air is used to fill the pipes instead of water filling the pipes. Once the air is released due to a fire being detected, the water flows through the pipes.
It is a myth that once a fire is detected, all fire sprinklers go off. The fire sprinkler system detects rising temperatures at each sprinkler head and goes off only when the fire reaches that sprinkler. If you require a sprinkler system where all the sprinkler heads go off simultaneously, you need a deluge sprinkler system. Deluge sprinkler systems release water from every sprinkler head once a fire alarm goes off and are used in facilities with flammable or combustible liquids where the threat of fire is too high. Hegel Engineering Sdn Bhd offers a foam sprinkler system for these high-risk environments, which smothers, cools, and extinguishes fires. Other fire sprinkler systems have minimal clean-up and cause little damage due to the localized response, such as the Hi-Fog Water Mist system offered by Hegel Engineering Sdn Bhd.
FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM MAINTENANCE, TESTING, AND INSPECTION
Fire sprinkler systems should be inspected and tested according to NFPA 25. On a weekly or monthly basis, gauges should be checked. Every quarter, alarm devices and control valves should be inspected. Bracings, pipes, fittings, and signings should be inspected annually. Every five years, an internal inspection is required. Tests of mechanical devices should happen quarterly. Switch type devices should be tested every six months. Full testing and tagging should include water flow, fire pump, and alarm tests every year. Not only will Hegel Engineering Sdn Bhd install the correct sprinkler system for your property, but we will also perform regular inspections, testing, and maintenance as needed. For you to be fully protected, your fire sprinkler system must be working correctly. Contact Hegel Engineering Sdn Bhd today for a quote or questions related to fire sprinkler system inspections, testing, or maintenance.