If you own a commercial property or are in charge of choosing a fire sprinkler system for a new building, the different choices available to you can be confusing. Various systems may seem extremely similar, but installing the wrong type may result in millions of dollars worth of damage that could have otherwise been prevented. So continue reading below to find out exactly what you should know about the different kinds of fire sprinkler systems.
Wet pipes are by far the most common type of sprinkler system, especially in high rise buildings, which are in many states required by law to have wet pipes. The primary advantage of wet pipes is that -- true to their name -- they always have water inside. That means that
Despite being the most popular type of sprinkler system, wet pipes are far from perfect for every situation. In fact, installing wet pipes in extremely cold climates can be a huge mistake -- more often than the not, the water will freeze and expand inside the pipes, causing them to break or simply become useless in the event of a fire. This is where dry pipes come in. Rather than being filled with water at all times, dry pipes hold water back by means of a control valve. When water is needed to put out a fire, the air pressure inside the pipes decrease, the control valve is lifted, and water is released. If you're in a cold climate, dry pipes are the best option.
Sometimes, whatever is inside a building is too valuable to risk having a sprinkler system release water at any given time. So if you have a space that contains rare or antique items, pre-action sprinklers might be the best choice. These systems won't release any water unless alerted by an external device, such as a smoke detector. This ensures that something as minor as somebody smoking a cigarette where they're not supposed to won't result in the destruction of invaluable property.
If your building houses material that is highly flammable, you might also want to consider systems that are able to dispense foam in addition to water. Only foam is capable of preventing fires that might otherwise be unstoppable using just water. To learn more, visit a website like http://www.nwfireinc.com.