image

Sprinkler System

A fire sprinkler system is an active fire protection method, consisting of a water supply system, providing adequate pressure and flow rate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers are connected. Although historically only used in factories and large commercial buildings, systems for homes and small buildings are now available at a cost-effective price.[1] Fire sprinkler systems are extensively used worldwide, with over 40 million sprinkler heads fitted each year. In buildings completely protected by fire sprinkler systems, over 96% of fires were controlled by fire sprinklers alone.

Each closed-head sprinkler is held closed by a heat-sensitive glass bulb. A sprinkler activation will do less water damage than a fire department hose stream, which provide approximately 900 liters/min (250 US gallons/min). A typical sprinkler used for industrial manufacturing occupancies discharge about 75-150 liters/min (20-40 US gallons/min). However, a typical Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) sprinkler at a pressure of 50 psi (340 kPa) will discharge approximately 380 liters per minute (100 US gal/min). In addition, a sprinkler will usually activate within one to four minutes of the fire's start, whereas it typically takes at least five minutes for a fire department to register an alarm and drive to the fire site, and an additional ten minutes to set up equipment and apply hose streams to the fire. This additional time can result in a much larger fire, requiring much more water to extinguish.

Types of Sprinklers

Wet Pipe System

service

By a wide margin, wet pipe sprinkler systems are installed more often than all other types of fire sprinkler systems. They also are the most reliable, because they are simple, with the only operating components being the automatic sprinklers and (commonly, but not always) the automatic alarm check valve. An automatic water supply provides water under pressure to the system piping.

Dry Pipe System

service

Dry pipe systems are the second most common sprinkler system type. Dry pipe systems are installed in spaces in which the ambient temperature may be cold enough to freeze the water in a wet pipe system, rendering the system inoperable. Dry pipe systems are most often used in unheated buildings, in parking garages, in outside canopies attached to heated buildings (in which a wet pipe system would be provided), or in refrigerated coolers. In regions using NFPA regulations, wet pipe systems cannot be installed unless the range of ambient temperatures remains above 40 °F (4 °C).

Water is not present in the piping until the system operates; instead, the piping is filled with air at a pressure below the water supply pressure. To prevent the larger water supply pressure from prematurely forcing water into the piping, the design of the dry pipe valve (a specialized type of check valve) results in a greater force on top of the check valve clapper by the use of a larger valve clapper area exposed to the piping air pressure, as compared to the higher water pressure but smaller clapper surface area.

Foam Based System

service

A foam-water system sprinkler system is a special system that is pipe-connected to a source of foam concentrate and to a water supply equipped with appropriate discharge devices for extinguishing agent discharge and for distribution over the area to be protected. The piping system is connected to the water supply through a control valve that is usually actuated by operation of automatic electrical detection equipment or from pneumatically charged sprinkler head detection.

Get a Quote