Hotels, motels, and commercial buildings, in general, all have a type of fire suppression system. Fires can cause a significant amount of damage, and each year fires in motels and hotels alone result in $76 million in property loss. Many commercial fire protection services are experts at fire sprinkler installations and can help minimize damages in the event of a fire.
Fire sprinklers don’t actually turn on all at once; it’s usually just a few heads that are triggered. Also contrary to popular belief, smoke doesn’t set the sprinklers off, just maybe the smoke detector. Here are some things besides fire that can set fire sprinklers off:
- Overheating: Fire sprinklers have a temperature sensor of between 155 and 165 degrees; anything over that will set them off. Sprinklers that are near skylights or heaters can be at risk for accidental discharge. For places that are near high-temperature areas, specific sprinklers that have a temperature range from 200 to 300 degrees are required. Any fire sprinkler installations should be reevaluated if additions or changes are made to the building.
- Freezing: Fire sprinkler systems are considered wet-pipe systems, meaning that there’s water in the pipes at any given time. If temperatures get too low, the pipes can freeze and build pressure. If the ice builds to a high enough pressure then valves and fittings can be blown and will begin to leak once the water thaws.
- Mechanical Mishap: Unfortunately not every sprinkler system is installed the correct way, and forced or haphazard installations can cause malfunctions later on. It’s always best to make sure that a professional fire protection company or installation service handles the install.
- Missed Maintenance: After a while, the sprinkler system can become corroded and parts can go bad, which can lead to leaks and accidental discharges. It’s important to have regular fire sprinkler maintenance and repairs.
Instead of waiting to have maintenance done out of necessity, stay ahead of the game with fire sprinkler inspections. Many services can offer a monitoring service that lets technicians know of a problem without calling emergency services. Monitoring is great for fire alarm systems as well.
Fire safety is an important feature, and if you own a commercial property such as a hotel, hospital, or warehouse you should make sure your suppression system is working effectively.