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Q.    When one sprinkler activates, do they all activate?
A.    No.
Each sprinkler head works independently from the others and is activated by a heat sensitive mechanism. Only the sprinkler over the fire will activate. Should the fire continue to spread, then and only then will another sprinkler activate. In most fires, only one or two sprinklers are actually triggered. Burnt popcorn or smoke will not activate a sprinkler, only heat in excess of approximately 155°F at the ceiling level will.

Q.    Can the sprinklers go off by accident?
A.    The odds are 1 in 16 million.
According to the factory Mutual Research Corporation the odds of a sprinkler going off accidentally are 1 in 16 million. You have better odds of getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery than having a sprinkler activate accidentally. All new sprinkler systems use sprinklers and piping that are rated for normal system pressures to 175 psi. These components can withstand pressure far in excess of that for short periods of time. All systems are pressure tested at the time of installation to 200 psi for two (2) hours as is required by state law.

Q.    Will there be excessive water damage from the sprinklers going off in the event of a fire?
A.    Consider the alternative:
A fire sprinkler puts out roughly 15-30 gallons of water per minute while a fire hose sprays about 150 gallons of water per minute. In comparison, water damage would be far less than the alternatives. Also, smoke, which can spread beyond the fire event area, can cause additional damage.

Q.    Will my insurance go up?
A.    No.
In fact you should receive a discount for having a fire sprinkler system. For many occupancies, sprinkler systems are required and is not an option.

Q.    What is special hazards fire protection?
A.    Special hazards are defined by the critical nature of an operation or how easily the protected items or functions can be replaced. To determine if you need a special hazards fire suppression system, start by asking these questions:

  •         •    Can the items be replaced?
  •         •    Can you afford down time caused by fire damage or clean-up?
  •         •    Are there redundant systems? Can you still operate if this system goes down?

If you answer no to these questions, then you need to look at fire protection not only for the structure of the building, but for the assets it contains. That is special hazards fire protection.

The special hazards family consists of five types of suppression systems. They include:

  •         •    clean agent
  •         •    foam
  •         •    dry chemical
  •         •    carbon dioxide
  •         •    water mist systems

Q.    My business inspection report indicated that I must have my automatic fire sprinkler system inspected each year. Why is that required?
A.    All fire sprinkler systems are required by the State Fire Code to be inspected annually. Some fire sprinkler systems, such as those protecting high hazard occupancies must be inspected more frequently. The inspection is designed to make sure that the system is in service and that it will provide adequate coverage. Common problems found during these inspections include obstructed sprinklers, painted sprinklers and faulty alarm devices which detect water flow.

Q.    When my fire alarm goes off, how is the fire department summoned?
A.    If your fire alarm is monitored, the fire department and a key holder is automatically notified. If however the system is not monitored, it is considered a “Local Alarm” and someone must call the fire department manually.

Q.    If my fire alarm goes off, What should I do?
A.    Each facility with a fire alarm should have the occupants trained in the proper response to a fire alarm which should be to GET OUT OF THE BUILDING!. Occupants of the building do not generally have the proper training or the protective equipment to fight a fire. Some smoke that could be encountered during a fire could be toxic and could render a person unconscious.

Q.    Why is my fire alarm panel beeping?
A.    If your fire alarm panel is beeping, it generally indicates that there is a problem somewhere in the system. You should contact a certified fire alarm company immediately if this is the case, as some trouble conditions could render the system inoperable.

Q.    I want to open a new business, am I required to have a fire alarm?
A.    Possibly. It depends on several factors concerning the type of business, number of occupants, size of the building etc. Call us with your specifics and we can tell you if you are required to have an alarm installed.

Q.    Can I install my own fire alarm?
A.    No. Only trained and certified state licensed installers can properly design and install fire alarm systems.

Q.    What is a Clean Agent.
A.    A clean agent is a type of suppression system, which can put out a fire without damage caused by the suppression agent itself. Usually the suppression agent is a gas, that after discharge will dissipate and not require cleanup.

Fire Sprinkler System Industry Facts and Figures

Properly installed and maintained automatic fire sprinkler systems help save lives. Because fire sprinkler systems react so quickly, they can dramatically reduce the heat, flames and smoke produced in a fire.

  • •   Sprinklers typically reduce chances of dying in a fire and the average property loss by one-half to two-thirds compared to where sprinklers are not present.

  • •   NFPA has no record of a fire killing more than two people in a completely sprinklered public assembly, educational, institutional or residential building where the system was working properly.

  • •   In 2008, there were 1,451,500 fires reported in the United States (down 7% from 2007). These fires caused 3,320 civilian deaths, 16,705 civilian injuries, and $15.5 billion in property damage. (Property damage includes the California wildfires in 2008 with an estimated property loss of $1.4 billion).

  • •   In 2008, A fire department responded to a fire every 22 seconds.

  • •   One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 38 minutes in 2008.

*From NFPA Fire Research Statistics, The US Fire Problem