Installation errors can lead to poor performance in any building system, but with fire sprinklers, a mistake could be fatal. Sprinkler system repairs are also very expensive.
Hiring expert services right from the project design stage is the best way to avoid installation mistakes and mitigate future expenses. This will ensure your system is designed and installed properly, with supervision services guaranteeing everything is in place following the approved design papers.
How Fire Sprinkler Systems Work
Fire Protection Sprinkler systems, which can be opened or closed and connected, are an active fire suppression technique. Heat is the activator for sprinkler systems. Air rises and swiftly warms when a fire begins. With an alcohol-based liquid that swells when heated, each sprinkler head includes a bulb. The bulb is broken, which causes the water to be released to put out the fire. Only the sprinkler heads heated by the fire will activate to reduce water damage to unaffected regions. Install the sprinkler system correctly to operate properly, and avoid frequent mistakes as much as possible.
Below are common errors made when installing fire protection sprinkler systems, identified by identified by certified fire protection specialists. Whether your system is installed by a contractor, builder or group of skilled specialists, this list will help ensure your protect your business and your bottom line.
- Piping with the wrong diameter
The pressure and flow rate of your fire sprinkler system must meet the manufacturer’s specifications and any relevant fire protection rules for it to function properly. Oversized piping produces excessive pressure, whereas undersized piping produces insufficient flow. A thorough calculation technique performed by an experienced design specialist is vital.
For this reason, self-installation is not an option commercially, and not advised for residential properties. Ensure your fire protection sprinkler systems meet regulatory requirements and will protect your assets by hiring a qualified specialist.
- A small distance from the ceiling When installing Wall Sprinklers.
Wall sprinklers are intended to be mounted at a certain height for maximum protection and projection. The idea that wall sprinklers work best when installed as high as possible in a wall is a common misunderstanding. Mounting wall sprinklers too high interferes with their spray pattern and reduces their effectiveness.
- Sprinkler Installation Above Obstacles.
Sprinkler systems are frequently built using an empty blueprint of the space they are intended to protect. Furniture or decorations, however, can obstruct the resulting spray pattern. For instance, if a tall filing cabinet is placed directly beneath a sprinkler, a lot of water will be sprayed but will hit the top of the cabinet rather than the desired area. Sprinkler spray patterns can be affected similarly by vertical office partitioning.
To ensure spray patterns are not obstructed later in the building process, facilitate communication between sprinkler system designers, architects, and interior designers. By doing so, it is feasible to maximize coverage using the fewest sprinkler heads possible while also considering potential obstructions that might not have been visible during the design stage.
- Do not add valves
If unmarked, exposed valves may be confused for a safe piece of machinery and accidently shut off. If the valve is closed unintentionally, the issue will be obvious right away as water supply to all plumbing fixtures downstream will stop. However, sprinkler systems provide even great risks:
- Because sprinklers only operate in an emergency, closed valves are not visible.
- It might be too late to open the valve once a fire has started.
Building codes forbid the arbitrary use of valves that completely or partially shut off the water supply to sprinkler systems for this reason.
Fire can spread out of control if this happens unintentionally via a valve that shouldn’t have been installed in the first place.
- Do not change the sprinkler model in design documents.
Sprinkler models do not allow unlimited brand switching as light bulb models do. Each sprinkler model has operational parameters considered while calculating pipework, pressure, and flow rate; if the sprinkler model is changed, the installation will not function as intended.
For contractors, switching sprinklers might be highly alluring if a comparable model costs less. Include specific clauses requiring the contractor to employ the precise sprinkler model specified in the design papers before the final project contract.
Fire Protection Sprinkler systems are highly complex and highly regulated to ensure the safety of building occupants and surrounding areas. A certified fire protection specialist will ensure your building is designed from the ground up with safety and compliance in mind, will save you a fortune, and may save lives.