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Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Sprinkler Systems

Last Updated: August 7, 2013

For over a century, automatic fire sprinkler systems have been saving lives and protecting property. Fire sprinklers are the most widely used fire protection system today—and many businesses throughout the Mid-South have already installed fire sprinkler systems to protect their employees, office space, and valuable company assets.

First, here are some quick facts to answer any immediate questions you may have about fire sprinklers:

  • Accidental activation of a fire sprinkler is very rare.
  • Only heat can activate the fire sprinkler system—smoke will not cause water to release from the sprinkler nozzles.
  • Not all fire sprinkler nozzles will go off at once—only those located near the source of the fire.
  • Discounts on insurance premiums may be available with a professionally installed fire sprinkler system.

Although a sprinkler nozzle may protect the very room you are reading this from, you may have further questions about fire sprinkler systems.  At State Systems, we try to provide the most accurate and relevant information to our customers when it comes to their fire protection choices—if you have any more questions about fire sprinklers, please contact us online.  Below, we’ve provided in-depth answers to the top-three frequently asked questions about fire sprinkler systems.

Are Fire Sprinkler Systems Effective as a Form of Fire Protection?

Yes. Fire sprinkler systems are a very effective form of fire protection and are actually the most widely used fire protection system today due to the benefits of minimized damage, saved lives, and customizable installation designs.

The goal of a fire sprinkler system is to use the right amount of water (as little as possible) in the right location (at the fire emergency) at the right time (as fast as possible). Because of this, fires are usually diffused at the scene of the breakout, rather than growing throughout an office space to a dangerous size. Usually, only one or two sprinkler heads are needed to handle a fire.

Fire sprinkler systems are also very effective at saving lives, as the fire is usually put out before it has time to spread and cause severe injury or death. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has no record of a fire killing more than two people in a building with complete fire sprinkler installation where the system was properly operating (except in the instance of an explosion or flash fire).

How Often Should I Get My Fire Sprinkler System Inspected?

The NFPA recommends that your fire sprinkler system be tested by professional fire protection technicians at least four times per year. Since only the sprinkler nozzles are visible in most rooms, the only way to ensure that your fire sprinkler system is ready to quickly and effectively put out a fire emergency is through regular inspection.

During a typical, quarterly fire sprinkler inspection, experienced and licensed fire protection experts will check that the entire system (including the meters, valves, sprinkler heads, pressure, and piping) is operating correctly and free of physical damage or obstructions.

It is also important that any time there is a change to the building or office space’s environment, the fire sprinkler system is inspected again—this includes changes in occupancy, use, remodeling, water supply, and more. Passing and recording this inspection will ensure that despite any change, your company’s area still meets state-mandated fire codes but also protected in the case of an actual fire emergency.

Don’t Fire Sprinklers Cause Extensive Water Damage?

It is a common misconception that fire sprinklers will cause more damage due to the water that comes out of the sprinkler heads once they are activated. While water is used to diffuse a fire, the main design of a fire sprinkler system is to use as little water as possible in as little of space as possible—controlling a fire in its early stages when less water is needed.

In assessing the damage after a fire sprinkler system successfully diffuses a fire, it is important to remember the damage that could have happened had the sprinklers not prevented the fire from growing and destroying your entire office space. A few damp carpet areas seem much preferable to expensive office equipment charred beyond repair. The damage will also be less severe than the damage caused by water from hoses used by fire-fighters to control large fires—the amount of water used then can be tens to hundreds of times more than that used by the fire sprinkler system.

Fire Sprinkler Installation, Repair & Inspection Services

Looking to install a fire sprinkler system in your office or building in the Mid-South? Our experienced fire protection experts will help you design and install the optimal fire protection system for your building or office space.  Call State Systems today to schedule an appointment for a free estimate on installing a new fire sprinkler system for full fire protection!

Once your fire sprinkler system is installed, State Systems offers 24-hour emergency fire protection services, seven days a week, to ensure our customers have access to a licensed professional when they need it most. Our technicians are there to handle any emergency, including fire sprinkler system repair and maintenance, to protect your property around-the-clock. Don’t wait until after a fire emergency before you call a trusted fire protection company serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

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