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Common Myths about Fire Sprinkler Systems

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Over the years, the fire sprinkler system has had a pristine record in protecting lives and property by dousing fires effectively. They are commonly used in all types of buildings, be it residential or commercial. It is a proven way to keep fire damage under control. As soon as a fire is detected, sprinklers respond promptly. Additionally, they do not create any collateral damage.

Even with all the effectiveness of fire sprinklers, a number of misunderstandings have mushroomed around those. These have become so common that it has become difficult to distinguish the myths from the facts. In this article, we are going to break those down and end the misconceptions once and for all. Read on to find out more.

Myth 1: When a fire is detected, every sprinkler gets activated, thus damaging everything in the building.


Fact: A sprinkler system is built in a way that as soon as a fire is detected, only the sprinkler heads near the fire will go off to spray water directly into the fire. In other words, sprinkler heads get activated individually by fire. Only one sprinkler gets activated most of the time. Therefore, only the part of the building where the fire started is sprinkled with water and the rest of the building stays dry.

Myth 2:

Fire sprinklers cause more damage than the fire.

Fact: As soon as a sprinkler detects temperature exceeding its trigger point, it will get activated and release enough water to fire extinguisher to protect against fire. In addition, the smoke and heat from the fire are also controlled efficiently by the fire sprinkler systems. This restricts the fire from spreading into other parts of the building. A fire hose emits significantly more water than a fire sprinkler when the fire spreads, which can cause more extensive damage.

Therefore, quite contrary to the myth, fire sprinklers actually control the damage of the fire without causing any hazards.


Myth 3:

Fire sprinkler systems require expensive maintenance.

Fact: This is yet another myth that tries without success to form a blot on the fire sprinkler system’s straight A track record. If you are under a similar notion, then you are highly mistaken. Maintaining fire sprinkler systems is quite easy and involves a do-it-yourself procedure. All you need to do is make sure that nothing is blocking the fire sprinklers and tall furniture is kept away from the sprinklers.

It is always important to find out the details and reasons behind statements regarding fire sprinklers before believing in it because it could turn out to be just another myth. A fire hazard can result from a number of causes. Therefore, it is always recommended to speak with an expert to determine fire origin and cause. Keep in mind to be extremely cautious to prevent any fire hazard.

Also Read: Understanding the Spread of a Fire and Avoiding Dangers

Myth 4: Sprinkler systems are impractical to install, since in winters, the water in the pipes freeze and cause the pipes to burst. This causes water damage.

Fact: Water expands when it freezes. But the pipes containing it have limited space to contain it. Therefore, the pipes show a tendency to break in winter. This can turn out to be a major issue with water-based fire sprinklers. However, there are certain preventive measures that can be undertaken to stop this from happening. Proper installation and insulation are effective ways to keep the water from freezing inside the pipes and prevent them from bursting.

A worthy alternative would be dry pipe sprinklers. For a dry pipe sprinkler, the pipe is filled with air or nitrogen under pressure instead of water. These pipes are connected to a valve. As soon as a fire is detected and the sprinkler goes off, the pressurized air or nitrogen escapes and the valve opens letting in the water through the pipes that shoot out of the sprinkler heads, dousing the fire effectively.

Myth 5:

A smoke detector is enough to provide protection from fire.

Fact: This is a very common misconception. As the name suggests, smoke detectors can only detect a fire and that’s all. They are not equipped with the mechanisms of extinguishing a fire. Most smoke detectors are battery operated. Once the batteries die out, they fail to signal the warning for a fire and end up being useless at the face of imminent danger. So a smoke detector is not enough. This is where a sprinkler system comes in.

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