When most people think about fire sprinklers as a method for fire protection, they imagine the damage that can be caused by the fire as well as the water from the sprinkler. The fear is usually due to two factors. First, there is a belief that once a fire is detected all the sprinklers go off. There is also the assumption that home sprinkler systems use plenty of water to put out fires more in the sense of typical hose pipes used by fire fighters. All the two fears are myths which have prevented many people from enjoying the full fire protection benefits offered by fire sprinklers.
Fire Sprinkler Design
Firstly, the fire sprinklers are designed to each operate separately in the rooms they are located. The fire sprinkler which is nearest to the fire breaking point is the one which goes off. Sprinklers in areas where the fire is yet to get to the hot temperatures are not affected. In most cases only one sprinkler will be needed to control the fire preventing it from getting to other rooms. This also ensures that no property is damaged by water when it was not at risk of catching fire. This way the fear of damage by water is allayed.
Fire Sprinkler Effectiveness
To understand the effectiveness of a fire sprinkler you have to compare it to the amount of water used by fire departments to put out fires. This is because, if one foregoes the installation of fire sprinklers, it means they have to wait for fire fighters to arrive. The earliest they can respond is between 9-12 minutes which usually gives the fire enough time to spread resulting in the need for using lots of water. This leads to widespread damage by fire and water. The fire fighters soak up just about everything as they fight to control the fire. The whole house can easily end up being hosed all over.
Fire Sprinkler Systems Efficiency
Fire sprinklers on the other hand work more efficiently. Only one or two rooms may get soaked up depending on the spread of the fire. A single sprinkler uses a flow of about 15-25 gallons of water a minute. This is a normal count for most domestic fixtures allowing the sprinkler systems to be tied to the existing plumbing system as an extension. In terms of the average amount of water needed to extinguish a fire, the fire sprinkler system uses about 341 gallons while the fire extinguishers have to use about 2, 935 gallons. This is about 8 ½ times more the water needed by fire sprinklers.
Using fire sprinklers also helps conserve the environment. Not only is less water used in the process, but also less water ends up in landfills affecting the alkalinity levels of the soil in the areas it is directed to. Fire sprinklers have also been shown to help reduce greenhouse gases emission.
The use of standalone pumps ensures that you have fire sprinklers which use an independent water source not from the municipal. This is especially useful where one is forbidden by building codes to have fire sprinklers in non-living spaces.