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Does Smoke Set Off Sprinkler Systems?

Having a fire sprinkler system for your commercial property is a must to keep it protected during a fire emergency. However, for restaurants, hotels, and multi-family properties where smokiness in commercial kitchens or tenants’ units can be common, some may worry about the possibility of having their fire sprinklers triggered during non-emergency situations.

In this blog post, the fire safety experts at Firetech Sprinkler Corp. debunk some of the biggest myths related to fire sprinkler systems, including whether they become triggered by smoke. Let’s dive in!

An activated fire sprinkler system releases water

Debunking Myths About Sprinkler Activation

While we can all agree that fire sprinkler systems are important to install in commercial properties, some common misconceptions about these fire safety features might raise concerns for business owners. We’ve debunked a few of the biggest myths about how sprinklers are activated below to help give you some added peace of mind:

Myth 1: Smoke Activates Fire Sprinklers

Contrary to what some may believe, a fire sprinkler system won’t activate when smoke is in the building. The sole purpose of a fire sprinkler is to save lives and property during a fire event. These systems are not designed to behave as an early warning system, meaning they do not provide smoke detection capabilities and will not activate when smoke is present.

Fire sprinklers are heat sensitive, only activating when they detect temperatures between 155º – 165º F, signaling the presence of a fire. Smoke doesn’t reach anywhere near this temperature, so the presence of smoke alone would not be sufficient enough to trigger your sprinkler system.

Myth 2: All Sprinklers Activate Simultaneously

Fire sprinkler systems are sophisticated units that are designed with efficiency in mind. Rather than dousing unaffected areas of your property with fire suppression agents, only the sprinkler heads closest to the fire event will activate during an emergency.

Important Note: One exception to this rule is the deluge system. These fire sprinkler systems are designed to protect an entire structure and are typically used in buildings that contain highly combustible fuels. In this case, all sprinkler heads connected to the system will activate simultaneously to prevent catastrophic damage to your commercial property.

Myth 3: Accidental Activation Is Common

Business owners may have one concern regarding their fire sprinkler systems: the potential for sprinkler heads to activate accidentally. However, the likelihood that your fire sprinkler will activate accidentally is far less common than having your commercial plumbing equipment spring a leak. Not even a small-scale stovetop fire is enough to trigger a sprinkler system, so you can know that your sprinkler heads will only activate during a true emergency.

Maintenance & Inspection of Fire Sprinkler Systems

The best way to ensure your fire sprinkler system operates as expected is to receive ongoing maintenance and professional inspections from a fire safety expert. Maintenance and inspection services help keep your sprinkler system in proper working condition, minimizing your risk of failures during an emergency. Businesses must have their fire sprinkler systems professionally inspected quarterly, annually, every five years, and every 10 years.

At Firetech Sprinkler Corp., our team offers the comprehensive fire sprinkler maintenance and inspection services businesses need to ensure their systems work properly.

Let us help ensure your fire sprinklers are properly working by calling 802-655-1800 to book your fire sprinkler inspection today!