Having a robust fire protection and prevention system in place is important for any building, commercial or residential. Fires can do more harm than just to humans and animals; they can destroy personal belongings, damage or destroy buildings, and cost a lot in repairs. That is why automatic fire fighting methods in buildings are designed to put out fires before they have time to cause much damage, often before or immediately after combustion. In this blog, we will be discussing how fire systems and fire sprinklers work together to protect buildings, livelihoods, and all inbetween.
When flames appear during a fire, a situation can move from being minor to detrimental in a matter of minutes. When fighting fires, one of the first steps is always fire detection as we can’t be always be fully cognisant of every area at all times. To fight fires, water is often the best agent because it is often readily available in our piping systems and is an excellent cooling agent that can cut fire heat quickly with high heat absorption. This is where fire sprinklers come in, as they are connected to pipes and can spray water over an affected area, often putting out small fires with a single sprinkler in less than two minutes.
Fire sprinklers are heat activated, and often they will contain glycerin filled bulbs that, when exposed to heat, expand and shatter, activating the sprinkler as water begins spraying. Many sprinklers utilize this mechanical method, rather than an electric one, as it is safer and more reliable. Electronics can be knocked out during an incident, or even be the cause of the fire, thus making them not as dependable for fire systems. When fires break out, there is often only a need for a single sprinkler due to their efficiency. Even if sprinklers are not able to fully put out a flame, they can reduce heat, suppress smoke, and prevent fire spread so that evacuation is easier and the fire department can aid.
It is a common misconception that fire sprinklers are set off by smoke. If this was true, every time someone burnt toast or smoked a cigarette, they would be activated. That is the role of the smoke detector, which will also most often always be present, further warning and aiding in fire suppression. Sometimes, fire sprinklers and smoke detectors will be connected to control panels which may manage alarms, shut down electronics, etc.
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