You’re careful about potential threats to your business. You had a proper vetting process during hiring, and all your tools and materials are state of the art. You don’t allow disruptive customers to cause trouble, either.
However, it’s been a while since you’ve checked the fire sprinklers. You may not think about your sprinkler system often, but routine maintenance is necessary.
There’s a problem, though – you’re not entirely sure how to go about checking that your fire sprinklers still work. It’s not all that uncommon for people to not know how their fire systems work, much less how to maintain them.
Granted, knowing all the nuances of your sprinklers isn’t a requirement. It is helpful for you to understand how the system works and how to maintain it.
This article will explain what sets off fire sprinklers and how fire sprinklers work. You’ll also learn three critical tips for how to maintain your sprinkler system.
Basics of How Fire Sprinklers Work
It’s a common myth that smoke sets off fire sprinklers – this isn’t true, as you may have gleaned from this first sentence. What sets off fire sprinklers is heat. Specifically, heated air interacts with glycerin-filled glass bulbs.
These glycerin bulbs shatter and activate the sprinklers once temperatures reach 135 to 156 Fahrenheit (57 to 69 Celcius).
The bulbs go through a few stages depending on how hot the surrounding air is. For example, the liquid inside the glass is orange at 135 F (57 C), and as temperatures rise to 200 F (93 C) turns green.
How to Maintain Fire Sprinklers
In 2019, there was almost a 4% probability for an appliance fire to break out in a nonresidential building. Those odds don’t sound that bad out of 100, but why take the chance; you never know what the future brings.
Keep Sprinkler Heads Clean and Clear
Like everything else, sprinkler heads accumulate dirt and debris. Grime build-up can block temperature sensors and keep fire sprinklers from sensing heat.
Dirt blockage also makes it hard for water to exit the sprinklers and makes putting out fires difficult. Some business owners paint over their sprinklers – don’t do this. The paint would be more difficult for water to get past.
Check Non-electrical Valves
Non-electric valves need to be open at all times in an emergency. Closed-off manual valves are as bad, if not worse, as clogged ones. Water can’t escape the fire sprinklers if the exit is blocked.
You should perform a valve check at least once every week. If you don’t know how to check the manual valves, ask a professional trained to inspect fire sprinkler systems.
Perform A Full Inspection
There is no substitute for performing a complete inspection on your fire sprinklers. Regardless of what kind of system you have, you need to inspect it annually.
While weekly inspects are fine, an annual inspection will go in-depth and reveal any hidden problems your sprinklers may have. Unlike the weekly reviews, you have to have a professional perform the yearly one.
Stay Informed About Fire Safety
You don’t need to know everything about your fire sprinklers, but you need to understand some basic maintenance techniques. Keep your sprinkler heads clean so they can sense heat and distribute water.
And don’t forget always to perform yearly inspections; they’ll let you know if anything is seriously wrong with your sprinkler system.
United Fire is in the business of helping protect your business from harm. If you’ve ever wondered, “where can I find fire sprinklers near me?” ask for a free quote. Helping keep your business safe is the number one priority.