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Fire! How Does a Fire Sprinkler Work?

Sprinkler sprinkling

As a layer of safety, many commercial and residential buildings are outfitted with fire sprinkler systems. These sprinklers are a great way to ensure the safety of a building and its occupants in the event of a fire, but only if they work properly. So, how do they actually work? Here is a brief guide to the workings of a standard fire sprinkler system:

  • Construction
    Fire sprinklers are simple, yet effective, systems. Water is supplied to the systems through a series of pipes, just like in any other basic plumbing system, and diverted to strategically placed sprinkler heads. In some systems, each sprinkler head has a sensor connected to a release valve. In other systems, the sprinklers are triggered by a separate sensor or control unit.
  • Activation
    When a fire occurs in a building with a sprinkler system, there are several methods of sprinkler activation. In many automatic systems, there's a sensor in each sprinkler head that supports a release valve. This sensor is often made of a meltable material or a glass tube with a liquid that will expand when heated. High temperatures cause these valves to break or melt, releasing a localized spray of water. Other systems use a separate sensor to trigger one or more sprinklers simultaneously.
  • Effectiveness
    Fire sprinklers provide a great deal of protection for residential and commercial buildings, often stopping fires before they can damage much of the affected room or area. The NFPA reports that fire sprinklers in a home work effectively 92% of the time, reducing the average amount of property loss by 71%, and the risk of death by 80%.

If you need the sprinkler system in your building maintained, or if you want to install one in your home or office, call All Plumbing, Inc. at (571) 451-2971 and set up an appointment today. We offer various plumbing services, including 24-hour emergency plumbing in Northern Virginia. Contact us online to learn more about our products and services.

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