Fire protection is one of the most important factors in an overall system dedicated to keeping people safe in commercial buildings. Here are the different types of commercial fire sprinkler systems.
Wet Pipe Sprinklers
The first and most commonly known type of fire sprinkler is the wet pipe system. It gets its name from the way that it functions – by using water that flows through the pipes and into the sprinkler heads. When enough heat reaches the center of the sprinkler head, it will burst and discharge water. In a fire, the response from this type is immediate. The sprinkler heads themselves are activated independently, allowing the water to discharge in concentrated areas of the space. Because of the speed at which this system works, it can greatly reduce damage to property and allow people enough time to safely escape.
Dry Pipe Sprinklers
Although wet pipe sprinklers are the most common, they are not appropriate for every setting and situation. In commercial buildings that consistently experience cold climates, the dry pipe system is a better choice. This system is at a much lower risk of freezing because the pipes are filled with air instead of water. Once the sprinkler heads are activated, water is then discharged through the pipes and then out through the heads. This system is more complex than the wet pipe and, therefore, more expensive to install.
Foam Fire Sprinklers
The foam fire sprinkler system combines the powers of water and foam. It’s an appropriate choice for settings that store and deal with hazardous materials and flammable liquids. It works by discharging the foam and water at the same time when the sprinkler heads are activated.
Pre-action Fire Sprinklers
The pre-action fire sprinkler system combines the best of both worlds from the wet and dry pipe systems. It’s a complex system that helps protect buildings that with high-maintenance demands. For example, buildings where important and historical documents are housed would use a pre-action system to protect the building and preserve the documents. You’ll likely see this system being used in libraries, museums, and other data centers.
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