If you want to protect your business from fire hazards and lower your insurance costs at the same time, then it is wise to invest in a fire protection system. The best system will be one that includes fire sprinklers. Fire sprinkler systems can vary greatly with many different options to choose from. To get the most out of your system, consider the following options.
A Dry System For Cold Areas
If you want to protect the entirety of your business, then it is wise to have sprinklers placed in basement, warehouse, and garage areas, even if these spaces are rarely visited or used by you or your employees. If you do decide to protect these areas, then make sure to have your fire protection specialist install a dry system. A dry fire sprinkler system is fitted with pipes containing pressurized air. When the heat sensors on the sprinklers detect a fire, the air is discharged from the system as water starts to work through the pipes. The main benefit of this system is that water will not freeze and cause the pipes to burst, so it is best for unheated areas. However, you should know that there will typically be a 60 second delay between the time that the sprinklers detect a fire and start to release water. A fire can grow larger during this time. Also, the system can only be a maximum size of 750 gallons due to fire safety regulations. This may mean that a large warehouse may not be fully protected by the dry sprinklers.
If you feel that a dry fire sprinkler system is not sufficient enough to protect your business, then expand your heating system to basements, warehouses, and other unheated spaces. Keep the temperature at or above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce freezing concerns, and schedule the installation of a wet sprinkler system. The system will retain water within the sprinkler pipes and release it immediately when a fire is detected.
Concealed Sprinkler Heads
Many business owners want to retain the aesthetics of their building interiors when sprinkler systems are installed. If you have finished ceilings, then this is possible with the placement of concealed pendant sprinkler heads. These heads are recessed in the ceiling and are covered by a small metal cap. This cap is meant to cover the head and add a decorative element to the system. When the temperature rises near the head and a fire is detected, the cap will fall off. The head of the sprinkler will then lower and a circular spray of water will be released.
Keep in mind that this system will require a variety of moving parts, so you should be diligent about system inspections to make sure the sprinklers will work properly in the event of a fire. Systems should be inspected once a year unless a pressure reducing valve or a backflow prevention device is installed on the system. In this case, inspections every three months are best. If you are unsure about the water supply, ask your installation expert about inspection intervals.
If you do not have finished ceilings, then opt for general pendant sprinkler heads that hang down from the ceilings, and choose upright heads in obstructed areas around beams and ducts. If for some reason a sprinkler cannot be placed on the ceiling, then pick side wall sprinklers that come out from the walls.
Fire sprinkler systems are a great investment to protect your business from serious fire damage, but you need to make sure that you choose the right features and options when picking out the best system for your facility. Dry systems in unheated areas as well as concealed heads along finished ceilings are two good choices. Ask your installation expert about other options you have so you know that your business is as safe as possible.
For more information, contact a company like Nor Cal Fire Protection.