ENGINEERING SAFE, EFFICIENT BUILDINGS

Fire Sprinkler Systems

FireSprinklerSpraying

A fire sprinkler system is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, silently protecting you.

As the ambient temperature rises due to a fire below a specific sprinkler, liquid in a glass vessel within the sprinkler head expands increasing the pressure within the vessel.

At a temperature predetermined during the design process, the vessel bursts, releasing pressurised water from the system which is sprayed at a predetermined rate across a specific area, extinguishing the fire.

office on fire

Fire sprinkler systems protect people, property and product automatically.

 

In buildings fully protected by sprinklers:

  • 99% of fires are controlled by sprinklers alone
  • 60% of fires are controlled by the spray from no more than 4 sprinklers.

There are many different types of sprinkler systems:

the most common type, where the pipes in the system are kept full of water, used when there is no risk of freezing

the pipes are kept full of air under pressure at all times, a control valve holds the water back.  A  drop in air pressure due to a sprinkler valve opening  causes the control valve to open, water  fills the pipe system and is sprayed onto the fire. Used in unheated buildings where there is a risk of freezing.

systems that are kept full of water in summer, then drained and filled with pressurised air in winter.

as in dry systems the pipes are kept full of air, but the valve holding the water from entering the system is controlled by a fire detector such as a smoke detector.

these types discharge a mix of water and low expansion foam concentrate, resulting in a foam spray from the sprinkler. Foam is more effective than water in extinguishing  fires involving  flammable gases or flammable liquids and chemicals.

this type differ in that all the sprinklers within the system are open, so that water is sprayed from all valves when the system is activated.  The water is held back by a deluge valve, activated by a fire detection sensor, which could be smoke, heat or optical flame detector.  Used when there are special hazards, such as where rapid fire spread is a risk.

 

Benefits of an automatic fire sprinkler system:
continuous 24 hours a day, 7 days a week fire protection
early detection of fire with simultaneous, automatic raising of the alarm
rapid local fire suppression
protect people’s lives and health
reduce property damage
reduce product damage
 reduce business continuity risk
increase building design flexibility
 reduce insurance costs
■ low instance of false alarms
 reduce environmental damage compared to the high water volumes used by the fire services