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Facts about fire sprinkler sytem

"Fire Sprinkler Systems Are Being Made Mandatory In Many Parts Of
The World. Discover Why!"
 

Fire sprinklers have an interesting history. There are also many myths and misconceptions out there about fire sprinklers that, tragically, prevent many people from having them installed.

Never fear-we'll tackle those myths head-on. In this article you'll find out what's true and what's not among popular fire sprinkler wisdom; how fire sprinklers came to be; and some new and interesting facts you may not know about sprinklers. We'll even tell you why sprinkler systems sometimes fail-and what you can do about it.

The History Of The Fire Sprinkler System

The name most often associated with the invention of the fire sprinkler system is that of George F. Parmelee, an American who owned a piano factory in Manchester. In fact, Mr. Parmelee did not invent the fire sprinkler system-the first automatic fire sprinkler system was patented by a man named Philip W. Pratt in 1872, and manually-activated systems had been in use for years earlier.

However, Mr. Parmelee usually gets the credit for being the first to apply practical use to the patent by installing a fire sprinkler system in his factory-as well as making significant improvements to the design. According to the story, he lit a fire in a shed with large amounts of wood shavings and flammable paraffin on the floor-and within minutes, the fire sprinkler system extinguished the fire.

Frederick Grinnell was the next innovator to improve upon the fire sprinkler system, and in 1890 he invented sprinkler heads fitted with glass bulbs that broke under heat exposure-essentially the same technology we use today.

Traditionally, fire sprinklers were used only in commercial buildings-and were thought of mainly as a loss-prevention device to protect business owners from losing valuable property and equipment to fire. It wasn't until the 1940's that the fire sprinkler system began to be seen as a life-protection device as well, and people started installing them in their homes.

The Truth About Fire Sprinklers: Common Myths Debunked

Many people don't install fire sprinkler systems because of some common misunderstandings about them. We're here to set the record straight. Here are some of the myths about fire sprinkler systems-and the truth behind them.

  • A fire in a single room will set off the whole system
  • Actually, today's fire sprinkler systems are designed so that each head operates individually. Most fires can be controlled with only one or two sprinkler heads.

  • The system can go off accidentally and
    cause water damage
  • Fire sprinkler systems are almost impossible to set off accidentally, and only about one in sixteen million fire sprinkler systems is sold with manufacturing defects.

  • Fire sprinkler systems are too expensive
  • Fire sprinkler systems typically costs about as much as it would to install new carpeting.

  • Fire sprinkler systems use enormous amounts of water
  • Actually, fire sprinkler systems need only about a hundredth of the water firefighters do to control a fire.

  • Smoke alarms are enough protection from fire
  • It can take only two minutes for a spark to become an out-of-control fire-and it can take over five minutes for most people to awaken from a deep sleep and get out of the house.

  • Sprinkler heads won't look good on my ceilings
  • Many residential fire sprinkler systems are designed to be undetectable-unless there's a fire.

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Why Fire Sprinkler Systems Fail: Causes And Corrections For Sprinkler Malfunction

No fire protection method is completely failsafe. While it is rare, fire sprinkler systems sometimes fail to go off. In almost all of these instances, human error is to blame. Here are the most common reasons why fire sprinkler systems fail, and what you can do about it.

The system was turned off

About 65% of the time, fire sprinkler systems don't go off because the system was shut off for regular maintenance-and not turned back on.

Manual interruption

People sometimes shut off fire sprinkler systems because they think the fire was suppressed-but it wasn't. Ashes can smoulder for hours before roaring back to life, if not thoroughly extinguished.

Poor maintenance

If it isn't maintained properly, your system can become less effective. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for regular maintenance.

The wrong system for the building

If you change the use of your building, you may have to change the type of system. If your building's usage has changed since the sprinklers were installed, schedule a review to check that they're still appropriate for your building.

With the right training, maintenance, and design for the building, fire sprinkler systems almost always work right. The chance of failure due to manufacturing defects is around one in sixteen million. Fire sprinkler systems are still the most effective means available for protecting your building from fire.

The Trouble With Smoke Alarms- And
Why This Traditional Method Of
Fire Protection Isn't Enough

There's no question that smoke alarms save lives. But they aren't as successful as they could be, especially when they're the main method of fire protection. Here are a few reasons why your smoke alarm might not be enough to save you from a serious fire.

  • Smoke alarms rely on batteries
  • And if they run out before you change them, you could have no warning of a serious fire in your home.

  • Smoke alarms malfunction more often than fire sprinklers
  • Data shows that as many as one in seven smoke alarms fail to detect a fire when they need to-even though they have working batteries and are properly installed. Compare that to fire sprinklers-which have a malfunction rate of one in sixteen million.

  • Smoke alarms can't wake you instantly
  • No matter how loud they are, it can still take you several minutes to fully awaken from a sound sleep, understand the danger, and get out of the house in time. By then, it may already be too late to escape.

  • Smoke alarms can't extinguish a fire
  • Smoke alarms provide a warning-that's it. They can't stop the fire from spreading, or even slow it down.

The truth is that only fire sprinklers can stop a fire in its tracks. They provide round-the-clock protection, whether you're awake or asleep. That's why so many families and business owners find them essential for their safety and peace of mind.

Ten Little-Known Facts About Fire Sprinklers

Did you know that there's never been a fire fatality reported in a U.K. building with fire sprinklers installed? How about that fire sprinklers use about one-hundredth of the water firefighters use to extinguish a fire? Read on for some more interesting and little-known facts about fire and fire sprinklers.

  • Fire sprinklers control 99% of all fires.


  • In almost all cases, four or fewer sprinkler heads are all it takes to control a fire.


  • It costs about as much to install fire sprinklers in a building as it would to install carpeting.


  • Only one in sixteen million fire sprinklers discharge accidentally.


  • In the U.K. each year there are around 45,000 home fires. About 500 people die each year in fires. Only about 30 per year are saved by smoke alarms alone.


  • Your chances of experiencing a serious fire in your lifetime are about one in five.


  • Yearly maintenance for fire sprinklers usually costs only about £50 per year.


  • Fires in commercial buildings with fire sprinklers installed typically cause only 10% of the damage that would occur in a non-sprinklered building.


  • Fire sprinklers are triggered only by temperatures reaching above a certain heat threshold. They are practically impossible to trigger accidentally.


  • Nearly two-thirds of all fire deaths occur in the home.

Fire sprinkler systems make your home or commercial building safe and secure-and almost completely protected from fire. No other fire prevention or warning method can do that-not even the fire brigade. Fire sprinkler systems may cost a bit more than a smoke alarm-but when it comes to peace of mind, they're priceless.

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