Choosing The Best Fire Sprinkler System For Your Unique Business Needs

20 August 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

If your company has expanded to the point where you are building a new office building to house it, then selecting the correct fire sprinkler system is essential. There are four main types of fire sprinkler systems used in commercial environments, including:

  • wet pipe systems
  • dry pipe systems
  • pre-action systems
  • deluge systems

The right fire sprinkler system for your new office building depends upon three different things:

  1. the necessary level of protection
  2. location inside of the structure
  3. the local building codes

While each of the four different fire sprinkler systems will adequately put out a fire, they do vary in cost of installation, future maintenance needs, and time delays for the delivery of water.

Choosing the best first sprinkler system to meet your business's needs is very important, so here is a bit of information on each option you can discuss with your building contractor:

Wet Pipe Fire Sprinkler Systems

When you think about fire sprinkler systems, you probably are thinking of the older-style wet pipe systems. This sprinkler style is commonly used in hotel rooms and older office buildings. Wet pipe sprinkler systems have sprinkler heads installed on the ceiling of each room that are heat sensitive. When the heat sensor senses a rise in temperature at the sprinkler head, then its check valve opens and water immediately flows into the area.

Wet pipe systems deliver water quickly because, as the name implies, the pipes continually have water in them. However, this is not always ideal especially in an office environment where technology products and inventory will be damaged.

Dry Pipe Fire Sprinkler Systems

In areas of the country with sub-zero temperatures in the winter, wet pipe fire sprinkler systems do not work well because the water contained in the pipes freezes. When the water freezes, then the pipes burst. If there is a fire, then the water is unable to flow due to ice blockages.

In this type of environment, dry pipe fire sprinkler systems are installed. As their name implies, a dry pipe system has pipes full of air instead of water. When a sprinkler head senses heat, the air is released from the pipe and replaced by flowing water.  

Pre-Action Fire Sprinkler Systems

Since basic dry and wet pipe fire sprinkler systems don't have any way to determine if the heat they sense is a false alarm for a fire, pre-action systems were manufactured. Pre-action systems require that multiple sensors are tripped before water will be released. This type of system is often used around expensive equipment and inventory that can easily be damaged by water. 

Deluge Fire Sprinkler Systems

The final type of fire sprinkler system is the deluge-style. Deluge systems dump out a lot of water after multiple fire sensors have been activated. Deluge systems are similar to wet pipe systems but will release water from many sprinkler heads all at once if a fire is detected.

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