Do Fire Alarms Set Off a Sprinkler Fire System?
It is important that the responsible person of a building is aware of the correct fire safety procedures; whether this is with a sprinkler fire system or with alarms. In cases where both are present, some might ask whether they will react badly to each other. Or even, cancel each other out.
Here at RAD Fire Sprinklers, we advocate the use of automatic fire sprinklers in buildings across the UK. No matter whether the property is residential or commercial, the installation of a sprinkler fire system can benefit a building in various ways. Find out all you need to know here.
Do Sprinklers Go Off When an Alarm is Activated?
As they are two separate systems that are not connected, a fire alarm will not trigger sprinklers. Sprinklers are not an early warning system, like smoke detectors or fire alarms. Fire sprinklers are designed to respond to an actual fire, not to the warning indicators of an oncoming fire. The fire sprinkler heads are usually activated independently in most systems, which is highly useful for putting out fires just where they start.
The only exception to this is in deluge systems, for which an electronic control valve can be linked to a fire alarm; dispersing the water through the pipe to deal with the situation. These sprinkler fire systems, however, are primarily used in high-risk situations where the flames could easily spread quicker; for example, in warehouses or high-rise buildings. So, in residential homes, deluge automatic fire sprinklers are generally not required.
Consequently, fire alarms are more likely to go off than sprinklers, as they will react to a much lower heat present. For example, using a hob or an oven can occasionally set off an alarming system, however, you can be certain that it will not set off any sprinklers. Not until the temperature is over 56°C and a flame is detected.
Do I Need Both an Alarm and a Sprinkler Fire System?
Like other open questions, the answer depends on the certain circumstances surrounding the incident. Fire alarms are early warning systems; detecting a potential fire risk and give people either time to evacuate or deal with the flames.
Whereas, sprinkler fire systems are designed to respond to an actual fire, not to the warning indicators of an oncoming fire. The fire heads are usually activated independently in most systems, which is highly useful for putting out fires just where they start.
Make sure you consult with an accredited sprinkler company, as well as your insurance company, for the best outcome. Typically, however, there is no need for both prevention systems.
What Else Can Set-Off Fire Sprinklers?
Despite what the movies might tell you, it is actually quite hard to accidentally set off a sprinkler fire system. Only temperature will set off fire sprinkler heads; so you can light your candles in peace.
As previously mentioned, once the temperature in a room is over 56°C, the subsequent sprinkler head will disperse water to suppress the flames. However, in areas such as lofts and extensions, these rooms can quickly overheat and the sprinkler may not be able to tell the difference. Ensure your sprinkler heads are correctly placed in each room and work with professional sprinkler installers to understand any potential risks. For more information on what sets off a sprinkler fire system, read our previous blog.
RAD Fire Sprinklers aim to correctly inform our customers about the current fire regulations and the benefits of a sprinkler fire system. Based in London and the South East area, we offer a range of services that includes designing and installing sprinkler fire systems in buildings such as care homes and high-rise complexes. Find out about the pros and cons of a sprinkler fire system here.
To receive a quote or advice on your new sprinkler system, fill in our online form and a member of our team will be in contact. Or, why not follow us on Twitter? Find the latest safety tips and fire sprinkler types straight to your feed.