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What Are the Different Types of Fire Sprinklers?

Fire sprinkler components

Properly installed, maintained, and serviced fire sprinkler systems are mandatory in commercial structures. An effective first-line defense against loss of life and property, commercial sprinkler systems provide numerous benefits, including:

  • An over 80% reduction in risk of fire-related deaths.
  • Lower insurance premiums.
  • Increased property value.
  • Proof of a business’s commitment to safety.

Since 1992, Firetech Sprinkler Corp. has provided comprehensive fire protection services throughout Vermont. We install high-quality wet, dry, deluge, pre-action, foam, and special hazard sprinkler systems that ensure your commercial building, complex, or facility complies with local, state, and federal regulations while protecting people, property, and assets against fire.

Does your Vermont business need a commercial fire sprinkler system installed? Contact the pros at Firetech to start the process.

Common Fire Sprinkler System Components

A well-designed commercial fire sprinkler system ensures your Vermont business provides complete coverage that meets your building’s specific needs. A system’s basic components include:

  • Pipes: Piping systems distribute various extinguishing agents from the main supply to the sprinkler heads throughout the building. They are typically made of steel or another durable material to withstand high pressure and prevent corrosion.
  • Sprinkler heads: These devices discharge the extinguishing agent when a fire is detected. They are installed at strategic points in the ceiling or walls and activate when a predetermined temperature is exceeded.
  • Extinguishing agent: Most systems use water, but foam or chemical agents can also be used, depending on specific risks and environments.

Commercial fire extinguishers differ in their method of activation and extinguishing agent distribution:

  1. Wet pipe systems activate individually when heat from a fire melts a fusible link or glass bulb.
  2. Dry pipe systems are filled with pressurized air that’s released when a fire activates a sprinkler head.
  3. Deluge systems have open sprinkler heads, which all open simultaneously when a fire is detected.
  4. Pre-action systems prevent accidental discharge by requiring a preceding fire detection event before releasing the extinguishing agent.

Wet Pipe Sprinkler Systems: The Standard Choice

Wet pipe sprinkler systems are the most common commercial installation. These systems’ pipes are always filled with water under constant pressure. When a fire occurs, the water is immediately released through the sprinkler heads over the hot spot, preventing fire, smoke, and heat damage from spreading.

These systems are ideal for most commercial and residential buildings with controlled temperatures.

Firetech designs and installs all types of wet sprinkler systems for Vermont businesses and industrial complexes. Talk with one of our fire protection specialists today to discuss a system for your facility.

Dry Pipe Sprinklers: Protecting Unheated Spaces

Dry pipe sprinklers operate like wet systems but don’t store water. They are an effective fire protection solution for unheated spaces where temperatures drop below freezing, such as warehouses and garages. Unlike traditional wet pipe systems, dry pipe systems are filled with compressed air or nitrogen that prevents water from freezing inside the pipes, which could otherwise lead to system failure or pipe bursts.

When a fire triggers a sprinkler head, the heat causes the air pressure in the pipes to drop. This drop in pressure releases a valve that allows water to flow into the pipes and out through the activated sprinkler heads to extinguish the fire. Proper maintenance of dry pipe systems is critical to ensure air pressure is correctly maintained and the system responds correctly in an emergency. Regular checks and maintenance help prevent malfunctions and ensure the system’s reliability when needed.

Pre-Action Sprinklers: Added Caution for Sensitive Areas

Pre-action systems work like dry pipe systems in that the pipes do not contain water until the system is triggered. They are a popular choice for computer labs, libraries, data centers, and record storage facilities, where accidental water discharge could cause significant damage. The system uses a two-step activation process that includes a detection signal followed by water release. This means there is little to no chance a faulty alarm will flood an area if it isn’t under threat.

Deluge Sprinklers: Total Flood Protection

Unlike automated sprinkler systems, deluge sprinkler heads or valves are permanently open, and the systems must be manually activated and deactivated. Designed for rapid water discharge, they are a popular choice for high-risk areas where immediate water saturation is needed, such as paint booths, aircraft hangars, and chemical storage facilities.

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Foam Sprinklers: Combating Flammable Liquid Fires

Foam sprinkler systems discharge fire-smothering foam specifically designed to extinguish fires involving flammable liquids. They are essential in areas where such hazards exist, including gas stations and machine shops, as they provide targeted protection by quickly suppressing and preventing fire spread.

Special Hazard Sprinklers: Targeted Fire Protection

Special hazard systems are tailored to address specific fire risks, such as those found in commercial kitchens or clean rooms. As each environment demands unique fire suppression qualities and materials, it’s essential to consult a fire protection expert when selecting a system for your property.

Why Choose Firetech?

Commercial fire sprinkler systems are an integral safety component in any fire protection plan. Choosing the correct system for your building’s specific needs is essential to ensure adequate protection of people, property, and assets.

Firetech’s in-house services include estimating, design, fabrication, installation, and ongoing maintenance services for various industries throughout Vermont. As the region’s foremost specialist in commercial fire protection, we’re proud of our “customer first” reputation for delivering tailored services at reasonable prices.

To learn more about which type of commercial fire sprinkler system is right for your Vermont business, contact Firetech today.