Although sprinkler systems are not a requirement per the Canadian fire safety guidelines, it is crucial to have one or several in place as part of your fire safety strategy. They serve as the first line of defense during a fire incident. They can be fitted in commercial buildings, multi-family homes, warehouses, commercial kitchens, and restaurants. However, for them to be effective, they have to be well maintained.
Below are 4 reasons why you should install a sprinkler system on your property and properly maintain it.
A fire sprinkler system can significantly reduce the number of casualties or deaths that may result from a fire. Since they get activated as soon the fire starts, they catch it in the early stages allowing the building’s occupants ample time to exit.
By reducing the fire progression, they also minimize the amount of smoke produced. Smoke is one of the deadliest elements when there is a fire. In some instances, it causes more fatalities than the heat.
Smoke carries toxic fumes and tiny particles, which, when inhaled, can penetrate the lungs causing severe breathing difficulties. They also aggravate chronic cardio-respiratory illnesses such as asthma, angina, lung disease, and heart disease.
An uncontained fire can ravage the property within a few minutes, damaging it. The sprinkler curbs the flames preventing them from rising too high. Low flames cause minimal damage to the items inside the property. They also cause minimal damage to the building’s structure. While the floors and concrete may not be combustible, prolonged exposure to high heat may compromise its structure, causing it to collapse. Extensive damage to the building’s structure could lead to its demolition.
Keep in mind that even though water sprinklers use a minimal amount of water to contain the fire, they might cause some level of water damage on the property and the items therein. However, compared to the extent of damage the fire would have caused, the water damage will be easier and less costly to repair. Besides, the water damage will be less than that caused by firefighters’ 2 1/2-inch hose lines.
The sprinkler systems are designed to contain the fire long enough for the firefighters to arrive and extinguish the fire fully. In some cases, the sprinklers extinguish fire such that the firefighters only need to vent out any fumes and check for hot spots.
Well-maintained and regularly inspected automatic sprinkler systems are almost fail-proof. In the case of a fire, the high heat triggers and activates the fire sprinkler system, which discharges water or other fire suppression elements.
Automatic sprinkler systems play a crucial role in fire suppression. Therefore, as you assess your fire risk and develop a fire safety plan, determine how to incorporate sprinkler systems. It is best to have them installed and maintained by a professional.