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 Nfpa Pocket Guide to Sprinkler System..

Most builders and homeowners spend moneyon hardwood floors, triple pane windows and stone work on the front of thehouse,But they don't ever spend money on savinglives. Smoke detectors have been responsible for a sizeable drop in homefires, but they can only warn of a fire when they work, not stop it likesprinklers

<<You Can Fool a Detector but Not That Sprinkler >>

What is a fire sprinkler system?
How does the system work?
Don't sprinkler systems cost a lot?
What about water damage?
Can a sprinkler go off accidentally?
Sprinkler Success Stories
Don't Apply Partially.
Standard for Sprinkler Systems
Fire sprinkler operation film
Books About Sprinkler Systems
What is a fire sprinkler system?
A fire sprinkler system is a network of concealed pipes supplying water to sprinkler heads located at strategic positions within the property, and its associated alarm system. The design of the fire sprinklers allows the system to respond automatically to a growing fire and control it before it can develop to the point at which lives are endangered andserious damage is done to the property.
How does the system work?
A fire sprinkler system comprises a number of sprinkler heads, set either in the ceiling or high on the wall, and attached to pipework usually connected to the domestic mains water supply and an alarm system. Sprinkler heads contains a mechanism which is sensitive to heat and which, at a predetermined temperature (usually 68° C), releases a plug allowing water to escape. The flow of water in the system triggers an audio-visual alarm which can be heard both inside and out. The water is directed onto a diffuser which is designed to not only break up the water into droplets of a specific size, it also directs the spray to cover a specific floor and wall area. Each sprinkler head is individually and directly activated by the heat from the fire. In the majority of fires just one sprinkler head is triggered and that is sufficient to deal with the fire.Residential fire sprinkler heads are rated as quick response heads and it is this speed of reaction that gives the system its ability to deal with fires when they are small and more
easily controllable. When compared to other fire detection equipment the advantage this speed of reaction creates is multiplied by the fact that the sprinkler system is actually starting to control the fire at about the same point in time as a call would normally be made to the Fire Brigade. Time is a vital factor in dealing with fires.

The Fire Brigade do an amazing job of responding to calls, however with the best will in the world it takes 10-15 minutes in town and more like 20-30 minutes in the country for
the first fire engine to arrive at the scene. Even then it takes several minutes to lay out the hoses and get water onto the fire. With a sprinkler system the fire is by now in all probability out. Increased traffic congestion and traffic calming is making it even more difficult for Fire Brigades to reach fires quickly and this reduces their ability to save lives.
After 15 minutes it is unlikely that anyone in a house will still be alive.

There is sometimes confusion as to how much less fire damage is suffered in sprinklered properties. Because sprinklers are so effective at limiting the size of a fire some are
tempted to think that the fire was really "only a small one". It did of course start that way like all fires, but if the sprinklers had not been there it would have grown and very quickly. Another area of confusion is that of water damage. Residential fire sprinklers typically give out 10-15 gallons of water a minute. Compare that to a fireman’s hose at 250 - 350 gallons a minute and you will see that a sprinkler system ( which usually only requires 1 sprinkler to control the fire) is many times more conservative in its use of water. In general sprinklers reduce damage by at least 80%. It for these reasons that we say that fire sprinklers are without doubt the most effective and reliable safety equipment yet invented.

Sprinklers are of especial value in multi-floor properties, where escape routes may involve many flights of stairs. This is because the installation will drastically limit the production of smoke and fumes.

Don't sprinkler systems cost a lot?
Not when compared to the cost of fire. Sprinkler systems in new construction cost between $0.95 and $1.50 per square foot of building floor space. To put a sprinkler system in an existing building can cost a little more depending on building construction, and how many walls and/or ceilings need to be disturbed. A recent survey in the Chicago metropolitan area shows fire sprinkler system installations in existing buildings costing between $0.94 and $2.15 per square foot, with an average of $1.74 per square foot.

What about water damage?
Fire sprinklers are heat activated devices. Only those closest to a fire will ever open. More than 90% of all fires are controlled by four sprinklers or less, with each sprinkler flowing about 25 gallons per minute. Contrast that with the hundreds and even thousands of gallons per minute which fire fighters would use once they arrive.
Can a sprinkler go off accidentally?
It is possible, but it rarely happens. Unless sprinklers are subjected to freezing, overheating, or mechanical injury, loss records show that only once in every 16 million years of service will a sprinkler accidentally open.
The Pros & Cons of Different Types

Wet Pipe Systems
A wet pipe system is one in which water is constantly maintained within the sprinkler piping. When a sprinkler activates this water is immediately discharged onto the fire. Wet systems are frequently installed in office buildings, hospitals and schools where the potential for freezing does not exist. In many cases, they are the choice for museums, libraries and historic building protection.


System simplicity and reliability. These systems have the least number of components and therefore, the lowest number of items to malfunction. This produces reliability, which is important, since most sprinklers may not be needed for many years. The reliability factor is also important in facilities where system maintenance is lax or not performed with the desired frequency.
Relative low installation and maintenance expense. They require the least amount of installation time and capital due to their overall simplicity. Less service time is required, compared to other system types, which helps maintenance save money.
Ease of modification. Wet pipe systems are advantageous since modifications involve shutting down the water supply, draining pipes, and making alterations. Following the work the system is pressure tested and restored. Additional work for detection and special control equipment is avoided, which again saves time and expense (NFSA, 1999).
Short term down time after a fire. They require the least amount of effort to restore. Generally, replacing the fused sprinklers and turning the water supply back on reinstates sprinkler protection.


· They are not suited for subfreezing environments (NFSA, 1999).

· Piping in warehouses may be subject to sever impact damage.

Dry Pipe Systems
The system operation is similar to a wet-pipe system, except that the system piping is charged with compressed air of nitrogen instead of water. This air holds a remote valve, known as a dry pipe valve, in a closed position. The dry pipe valve is located in a heated area and prevents water from entering the pipe until a fire causes one or more sprinklers to operate. Once this happens, the air escapes and the dry pipe valve releases. Water then enters the pipe, flowing through open sprinklers onto the fire (NFSA, 1999). Dry-pipe systems often are installed in loading docks and unheated storage areas.


Ability to provide automatic protection in spaces where freezing is possible.
Should impact damage happen, there will only be a mild discharge delay, 1 minute, while air in the piping is released before water flow.


· Increased complexity. Without proper maintenance this equipment may be less reliable than a comparable wet pipe system.

· Higher installation and maintenance costs. The complexity of the system impacts the overall dry pipe installation. It also increases maintenance expenditure, primarily due to added service labor costs.

· Lower design flexibility. There are strict requirements regarding the maximum permitted size (typically 750 gallons) of individual dry pipe systems, which could affect the ability of an owner to make system additions.

· Increased fire response time. Up to 60 seconds may pass from the time a sprinkler opens until water is discharged onto the fire. This will delay fire-extinguishing actions, which may increase content damage.

· Increased corrosion potential. After a fire, the systems must be completely drained and dried or the water may cause the pipe to corrode or may even result in premature failure.

The pre-action system requires activation of a detection system before allowing water to flow into the closed sprinkler system piping (EBO, 1999). This helps prevent unwanted water flow, should a pipe or sprinkler be broken accidentally. Activation of both the detection system and a sprinkler are necessary in order for the water to be released and extinguish the fire. Pre-action systems are used to protect against water discharge or to speed the action of large dry-pipe systems. Typical applications include computer rooms, process control rooms, libraries, archival vaults, fine storage art rooms and museums.


Dual action required for water release. The pre-action valve must operate and the sprinkler heads must fuse. This provides an additional level of protection against inadvertent discharge.
Quicker response time than dry pipe systems.


Higher installation and maintenance costs. They are more complex with several additional components, including a fire detection system. This adds to the overall cost of the system.
Modification difficulties. Like dry pipe systems, they have specific size limitations, which may have an affect on future modifications. In addition, in order to function properly system modifications must incorporate changes to the fire detection and control system.
Potential decrease in reliability. Pre-action systems are more complex and there is a greater chance that they might not function properly when needed especially if they are not well maintained.

Variations of Pre-action:

Deluge System
This style is basically a pre-action system using open sprinklers. Operation of the fire detection system releases a deluge valve, which in turn produces immediate water flow through all sprinklers in a given area (NFSA, 1999). Deluge systems are found in specialized industrial situations including aircraft hangers and chemical plants, where high velocity suppression is necessary to prevent fire.

On/Off System
This type utilizes the basic arrangement of a pre-action system, with the addition of a thermal detector and non-latching alarm panel. In an on/off system, as the fire is extinguished, a thermal device cools to allow the control panel to shut off water flow. If the fire should reignite, the system will turn back on.

NFPA says smoke alarms are just the beginning

Much more can be saved by escape plans and fire sprinklers

Quincy, MA, October 11, 2002 – Smoke alarms have been the leading reason for the dramatic reduction in home-fire deaths over the past few decades – but the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) says that much more can be done to lower fire fatalities and property damage.

It's become traditional to test smoke alarms when you set your clocks back each fall. This year, NFPA is urging people to take the occasion to also devise and practice a home escape plan. NFPA also recommends that homeowners consider installing automatic fire sprinkler systems in all newly built homes.

"The widespread use of home smoke alarms is a public-safety triumph," said John R. Hall, Jr., Ph.D., of NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research Division. "Smoke alarms are the leading reason that fire deaths in the home have been cut in half since the late 1970s. But just think how many more lives could be saved if all homes also had automatic sprinklers, and everyone knew how to get out quickly in a fire?"

The NFPA promotes these safety measures:

Working smoke alarms. Roughly 19 out of 20 (or 95%) of U.S. households have smoke alarms, but one-fifth of those homes remain unprotected – because the alarms aren't working. When fire deaths occur in homes that have smoke alarms, half those deaths are in homes where the alarm did not sound. The most common reason is dead, missing or disconnected batteries. You should change the batteries when the smoke alarm chirps to warn you that power is getting low, when you change your clock from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time, and when you move into a new home. Replace the entire smoke alarm, whether hard-wired or battery-powered, if it is more than 10 years old.

Escape plans. Every household should draw up – and practice – a home fire escape plan that includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside all sleeping areas, two ways out of each room, unobstructed and easy-to-use exits, a meeting place outside, and a posted emergency number for the fire department. Even preschoolers can grasp the basics, and during NFPA's "Great Escape" campaign recently, 10 million households developed and practiced an escape plan for the first time – but that still left three-fourths of households without one.

Automatic fire sprinkler systems. Because they react so quickly, fire sprinklers dramatically reduce heat, flames and smoke. Sprinklers cut the chances of dying in a fire by more than half, and combined with smoke alarms, they cut the chances of dying in a fire by more than 80%, relative to having neither. Sprinklers also cut the average property loss in a fire by one-half to two-thirds.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. Developer of the Building Construction and Safety Code, National Electrical Code®, Life Safety Code®, and 300 other codes and standards, NFPA is also a partner in the development of the Comprehensive Consensus Codes (C3) set for the built environment. The NFPA's Fire Protection Research Foundation is the world's only independent charitable fire research institution. NFPA also produces educational curricula, including the Risk Watch® community-based injury prevention curriculum, the Remembering When® falls and fire prevention program for older adults, and the Learn Not to Burn® fire safety curriculum. NFPA headquarters is in Quincy, MA, USA.

Don't apply sprinkler systems partially.
Fire will always start from unprotected area (Murphy's law).After fire started and spreaded sprinkler system will not make any work.Fire will make damge on sprinkler piping system.Generally I will not explain too much here.Just read below stories
MGM Grand Hotel Fire ,Las Vegas.They didn't apply sprinkler to Casino.(Guess where is fire started from ?)  
Taipei.26-floor office complex .They applied sprinkler after 10th floor . (Guess where is fire started from?)  
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