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Three Common Fire Sprinkler Systems for Businesses

Three Common Fire Sprinkler Systems for Businesses
4th October 2013

Whether you have an office building, a retail store, a restaurant or an industrial building, fire sprinkler systems play a vital role in protecting businesses in the unfortunate event that one breaks out in your building.

Today's fire sprinkler systems are more advanced than ever before, and if you're considering upgrading them, it's worth getting to know the basic differences between the most common fire sprinkler systems on the market before you contact an industrial plumber.

The three most common types of fire sprinkler systems include:

1. Wet pipe systems

By far, wet sprinkler systems are the most commonly used type in industrial and commercial plumbing. A wet system gets its name from the fact that every pipe in the system is filled with water. When the sprinkler system is engaged, the water flow can begin very quickly. In some cases, it is necessary to install a fire booster pump to ensure that the system remains at ideal pressure levels to begin the rapid flow of water at any time. The primary drawback of a wet sprinkler system is that it cannot be installed in areas that are prone to freezing temperatures.

fire sprinkler

Image: Brandon Leon

2. Dry pipe systems

When freezing temperature conditions prohibit the use of wet sprinkler systems, industrial plumbers typically install dry sprinkler systems. In these systems, pressurised air or nitrogen is fed through the pipes to help prevent freezing. The dry system includes a check valve that prevents water from flowing into the sprinklers until the system is activated. This results in a slight delay between the engagement of the system and the start of the flow of water. When the system is engaged, the air or nitrogen first exits the effected sprinkler, which causes the check valve to open and the water to rush to the sprinkler head.

3. Preaction systems

A preaction system is the best option to use in an area where there are objects that could be damaged by water, such as a library or a data centre. With this kind of system, a single or double event (like a smoke alarm going off) must be triggered before the check valve in the system releases water. This allows for alternative methods of fire extinguishing to be explored first and decreases the chances of sensitive or valuable items being damaged by false alarms.

A skilled industrial plumber will be able to help you decide which type of fire sprinkler system is best for your commercial or industrial building. At Sydney Emergency Plumbing, we have over 12 years experience servicing industrial and commercial buildings and can help you decide the best way to protect your building with a fire sprinkler system. Contact us today for further information.

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