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Answers to Some Commonly Asked Questions about Sprinkler Systems

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Installing a sprinkler system in your building is one of the best things you can do for effective fire protection. A sprinkler system can easily extinguish a blaze and keep it from smoldering or spreading, and it may help to dissipate smoke that has been created by a fire. You may be hesitant to add a sprinkler system to your building if you've never had one installed before, and you may not realize how they work overall. Note a few questions many building owners or business owners have about these systems so you can discuss this option with a fire safety company.

1. How do sprinkler systems work?

Sprinkler systems usually have a small ball of colored liquid in the sprinkler head which blocks the flow of water from the sprinkler. When the temperature rises, this ball eventually melts so that the water can then gush out of the sprinkler head.

When shopping for sprinkler systems, you may note that there are different colors to these balls and this usually signifies the temperature at which they melt. This can be important to know for a commercial setting, because a refinery or area that uses welding equipment may get much hotter every day than an office. You don't want your sprinkler system to engage when the temperature rises because you've fired up the welding equipment, but in an office, this same rise in temperature may signal a fire. Ask a fire protection sales representative for the best liquid color and type of protection for your facility.

2. How are sprinkler systems tested?

Sprinkler systems are usually tested at least annually, but you may want to do the testing once per month. This doesn't mean that your facility will be flooded with water every month. Instead, the test involves opening a valve and listening to an alarm bell that signals that pressure is being released. If there is no pressure behind the sprinkler head, then this alarm won't sound and a technician will know that there is a problem with the sprinkler system.

3. Are sprinkler systems difficult to maintain?

You typically don't need to do anything to maintain a sprinkler system other than to avoid damaging it. Remember that sprinkler heads are not hooks to be used for hanging plants or anything else, and you don't want to paint over them as this can interfere with the melting point of that colored ball. You also don't want to obstruct them in any way or move them without the assistance of a technician who can ensure the pipes behind the sprinkler heads are not damaged and are connected properly if they're relocated.

Click here for more information about fire protection and indoor sprinkler systems to protect your assets.