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What types of sprinklers are there?

By November 29, 2016Fire Safety News

As of 2014 new regulations were brought into play for retirement homes, and long term residential facilities, in Ontario to have sprinkler systems, and owners have until the 1st day of 2019 to ensure they are compliant. So you want to comply, but you aren’t sure what sprinkler is the most appropriate for you. There are a number of different options, of course, from wet pipe to dry pipe, to pre-action, foam sprinklers and deluge. We have broken down the main types and the purpose they serve below so that you can make an informed decision.

Wet Pipe Sprinkler System

The most common variety of an automatic sprinkler system on the market. The pipes are filled with water and when exposed to a high level of heat the sprinkler head’s core bursts to enable the water to flow. Only one head will go off, unless the fire has spread quickly and set off another. Generally, one sprinkler head is sufficient to prevent the spread of a fire.

Dry Pipe Sprinkler System

This is commonly used in areas that experience severe weather that could lead to water freezing, which would make the wet pipe unusable in a situation like this. No water will enter the pipes until the sprinklers have been triggered. There are risks to this type of system: it is more complex and there are higher costs, and it takes longer for it to put the fire out.

Pre-action Sprinkler System

This offers a costly hybrid of the wet, dry and deluge type systems. The pipes are dry; the core is heat sensitive so once the system has identified a fire it will activate. There is additional maintenance involved with this system, and due to the many functions could decrease its reliability. However, it is commonly used in libraries and museums, buildings that would suffer from major financial repercussions in the case of an accidental discharge.

Foam Sprinkler System

This system is generally used in workplaces that handle or store highly flammable liquids, and aircraft hangars. The system relies on a mixture of foam and water to smother the fire.


Deluge Sprinkler System

This is another system that is frequently used in buildings that handle and store highly flammable liquids, as well as aircraft hangars. It is triggered by a signal from the alarm system, which can be prompted by heat, smoke or optical flame detectors. They do not offer the same heat sensing elements that are found in wet and dry pipe systems, so it is not heat alone that will activate them. Once the deluge valves open water will enter the pipes, which will trigger every head of the sprinkler system to cover a wide area.

Other Types of Sprinkler Systems

There are antifreeze loops, water mist systems and water spray systems, too. Steadfast Safety Services is standing by to serve all of your needs in fire protection in Toronto. There are plenty of benefits to having your own automatic sprinkler system installed, with the reduction of damage due to a fire’s inability to spread being a big one; a bigger benefit being that it gives the residents more time to evacuate the building safely.

“So, whether you are looking to get your care home up to code, or you are a homeowner wishing to be proactive about fire safety and fire prevention, we are available to offer advice about what sprinkler system is right for you. Additionally, we offer services in training, first aid, emergency lighting, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and inspection services. Steadfast Safety Services can provide all of your needs in fire protection, Toronto.”