Who Needs Domestic Fire Sprinklers?
Domestic sprinklers are installed at home – commercial systems are very different, and here at RAD Fire Sprinklers, we only install systems for private dwellings and residential properties such as care homes and student accommodation.
What is a fire sprinkler system?
It is a system that is installed into your home which utilises nozzles that individually heat sensitive and activate in the event of a fire.
There are two types of sprinkler system:
Sprinkler: This can either be connected directly to the mains water supply or can utilise a pump and water storage tank. This can be situated on the ground floor or installed in the eaves of a loft. The water is drawn from the tank if the system is activated.
Mist: This system is connected directly to the mains water supply and converts it into water vapour in the event of activation.
Why do people have them?
Each home is different and we will talk with you, your architect or the developer to advise which is best.
There are a few reasons why our customers ask us to install domestic sprinklers for them, and often it is to be able to proceed with building remodelling of their home which could compromise the fire separation. Domestic sprinklers or mist systems will often satisfy building fire regulations. Of course, it could be simply to provide peace of mind for the inhabitants.
Open Plan Living
Open plan designs are sometimes tricky to get through planning, as walls create a natural fire barrier to stop a fire from engulfing a building.
A homeowner who is planning to create a loft room is someone who needs a fire sprinkler system will realise that open plan designs don’t have very good fire separation, but domestic sprinklers can provide the required fire safety to pass building regulations. It’s important to note that a sprinkler system is not a bypass of fire regulations – it is an alternative to ensure that your home meets compliance. Safety is always the key aim in every installation.
Other people have them as peace of mind – to know that in the event of a fire, their sprinkler system will be activated and putting out the fire ahead of the fire service being called, reducing damage to personal belongings.
How does the system work?
The domestic sprinklers are heat activated. In the ceiling, you will see a flat disc, similar in size to a downlight but above that, is the sprinkler head which contains a glass element. Once it gets to a certain temperature, it will activate that sprinkler head, then if the fire is spreading, other sprinkler heads will activate as they too, get too hot.
It’s not true that every sprinkler will activate at the same time – that’s only in the films! They are independent of each other, only activating when they are required.
Is the system guaranteed to work?
We also offer a monitoring service for multiple installations. With a ‘Flow Watch’ monitor connected to your system valves you have added safety. Unfortunately, around 8% of sprinkler systems fail – due to valves being isolated, faulty parts or blockages.
When the system is fitted, it is all tested and in working order but sometimes, things outside of our control after that can have an impact on the system being functional – our monitoring means that the second there is a compromise, you are alerted and can take remedial action.
We can give a demonstration on how it works for you, so you have peace of mind that it will keep you safe.
Does the water cause damage?
Anyone who needs domestic sprinklers in their home may worry about the water damage that the house will sustain. However, if there is no sprinkler system within the property, the water damage will be far greater when the fire and rescue services arrive and pump the property full of water! Mist systems use marginally less water however, these are generally used in favour of a sprinkler system because they can be connected to a smaller mains water supply.
Can you domestic sprinklers into an older house?
New builds are much easier to incorporate fire sprinkler systems into. We can work before the ceilings are fitted, but we can also fit retrospectively too.
We always do a site visit, maybe even a couple, before we fit and if you are the owner of a new build, we will work with the other contractors to arrange the best time to fit plus the best place to fit it around other utilities such as pipes and electrics.
In older homes, we look at what’s needed to be able to install the system. The main thing you need is a reasonable water pressure. If you not we can help you to solve that problem too.
I’m interested in finding out more about our domestic sprinklers– what shall I do next?
Get in touch and book a call with us – we can then see what you need. We’ll talk about your requirements for domestic sprinklers and review your drawings. We’ll follow up with a site visit if required.