Fire Sprinkler Systems in the US

Integrated Fire SystemsFire Sprinkler News

Why is it Important that Your Building Has Fire Sprinklers?

Fire sprinklers are a very important system when it comes to fire and life safety. They help extinguish fires so they do not spread to other areas of the building. NFPA states, “Automatic extinguishing systems (AES) are designed to control fires until the department arrives. Sprinklers are a type of AES that uses water to control fires”.

Fire Sprinkler Facts

The top places to have fire sprinkler systems are nursing homes/hospitals, prisons/jails, manufacturing facilities, schools, warehouses, public assembly buildings, stores and offices, and residential homes.

NFPA reports that, “most structure fires and fire deaths occurred in residential properties, particularly homes, but only 8% of the reported residential fires were in properties with fire sprinklers”. This statistic proves that having fire sprinklers in your home could save your life.

According to NFPA, fire sprinklers operated effectively in 88% of the fires that they were present in. But, they operated ineffectively in 4% and failed to operate in 8% of those fires. NFPA also reports that, “sprinklers were effective at controlling the fire in 96% of fires in which they operated”.

Fire sprinkler systems worked ineffectively in the following ways:

  • Water did not reach the fire – 51%
  • Not enough water discharged – 30%
  • Damaged system components – 7%
  • The building had the inappropriate system for the type of fire – 6%
  • System had lack of maintenance – 7%
  • Manual intervention – 3%

Fire sprinkler systems failed in the following ways:

  • System was shut-off – 59%
  • Manual intervention – 17%
  • System had lack of maintenance – 10%
  • Damaged system components – 7%
  • The building had the inappropriate system for the type of fire – 7%
Fire Sprinkler Systems

There are many different kinds of fire sprinkler systems. Look at the list below and click on the links to learn more about each of these specific systems:

Out of these 7 different types of fire sprinkler systems NFPA says, “wet pipe sprinklers account for 87% of the sprinklers in reported structure fires, dry pipe systems account for 10%, and other types of sprinklers account for 3%”.

Fire Sprinklers Save Lives

It has been proven that fire sprinklers help save lives when they are in proper working order. Not only is it important for your building to have a fire sprinkler system, but it is also important for that system to have regular inspections to ensure that it is always in proper working order.

Standard fire sprinkler systems are inspected quarterly. During the first quarterly inspection an annual inspection will also occur. This is allows the inspectors to take a closer look at your system each year.

Fire sprinkler systems are also required to have a 5-Year certification. This 5-Year certification happens when you have a licensed fire sprinkler company perform a 5-Year inspection. During this inspection your system will have an internal piping investigation, in-depth visual inspection in the attic space, and a back flush of your Fire Department Connection (FDC). Read this blog post if you would like more information about the importance of 5-Year Inspection.

If you have any questions about the fire sprinkler system in your building, give us a call at 888-987-5322.

-The IFS Team