We asked a random sample of people what they thought about fire sprinkler systems for home use, and here are some of their responses:
1. Don't They All Go Off at the Same Time and Flood the Property?
This is an understandable mistake. Each sprinkler head contains a heat-sensitive element
that activates the device nearest to the heat, extinguishing the fire in 80% of situations. If one head does not accomplish this, an additional head or two will in almost all circumstances.
2. Do They Go Off by Mistake?
Each sprinkler head is independently activated and only turns on when the temperature below it reaches a predetermined level - approximately 68 degrees Centigrade.
3. If I Want to Test My Smoke Detector I Press a Button but How Do I Test a Fire Sprinkler?
Individual sprinkler heads cannot be tested after placing them for obvious reasons, but all heads are individually tested during manufacture. The system's water pressure and flow requirements are computed during installation and can then be confirmed by 'equivalence testing' from a test point in the system.
4. How Can You Prevent False Triggers?
People believe that because smoke alarms frequently sound, fire sprinkler heads will do the same. Sprinkler heads do not accidentally activate since only direct heat from a fire can activate a sprinkler head. This happens at roughly 68 degrees Celsius.
5. Are Fire Sprinklers More Effective than Smoke Alarms?
According to statistics, if your home contains smoke detectors, you have a 60% probability of surviving a house fire. If the property has a domestic fire sprinkler system, this figure jumps to roughly 95%.
6. Are They Used in Other Countries?
They are popular in North America, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe.
7. Don’t Fire Sprinklers Do a lot of Damage to Furniture and Fixtures?
They obviously cause far less harm than fire if left unattended. Even if the Fire and Rescue department arrived before the property was destroyed, the large amount of water necessary at that phase of the fire would cause significantly more water damage.
8. I'd be concerned about Accidental Activation when Smoke/Heat Drifts from the Cooking Process.
Once again, this person is confusing smoke sensors with heat sensors used in sprinkler systems. The heat created by cooking and open flames will not activate a sprinkler head since they are positioned to take heat sources into account. These heat sensors have a 1 in 16 million probability of falsely activating.
9. Aren’t Most People Killed by Smoke Rather than Fire?
This is correct, although, in most circumstances, the fire would be suppressed early on, resulting in less combustion. Furthermore, the water droplets significantly limit the amount of smoke emitted.
10. Isn't Water Damage as Bad as Fire Damage?
There are numerous statistics available to demonstrate that water damage is significantly less than fire damage, and that water damage caused by a sprinkler system is far less than that caused by arriving Fire & Rescue services.
11. If Water Goes on a Fat Fire, Won’t it Make the Fire Worse?
The last thing anyone should do to a raging fire is to add water to it. The deluge of water given by a sprinkler head, on the other hand, can create a little rise in combustion at first, followed by the full extinction of the fire when the flames are starved of oxygen by the quantity of water.
12. If a High Pressure Mist System Were to Go Off While I was on Holiday, How Long Would it Go on For?
This is an excellent question because a mains fed sprinkler system will run indefinitely until it has been isolated. All residential and domestic fire sprinkler systems include a control circuit that triggers sounders throughout the property itself. The original version of BS 9251 required a sounder and strobe to be installed on the outside of the structure labelled fire which would notify every one of the fact that there is, or has been, a fire in the property. However, this requirement was removed from the subsequent versions unfortunately and we recommend that if anyone is concerned by this, they instruct their installation company to mount a sounder on the outside wall.
Our high pressure mist system is designed to run for only for 30 minutes. This, combined with the fact that a mist system uses considerably less water (12 litres per minute) than a conventional sprinkler system means that there will be less water damage. It should be emphasised that this is a non-compliance to BS8458 and will need to be agreed to by Building Control.