4 Things to Think About Before Having a Sprinkler System Installed

Considering adding an extra layer of protection to your home or business by installing a fire sprinkler system? You’re not alone. More and more residential and commercial buildings are being fitted with fire sprinklers, significantly reducing the extent of damage should a fire break out at the property. 

From single-family homes and high-rise flats to schools, hospitals, office blocks, and warehouses, practically every type of structure can be made safer through the addition of sprinkler systems. 

However, before diving in head-first, there are a few considerations to take into account. Here are 4 essential things to think about before moving forward with your fire sprinkler installation plans:

  1. Type of sprinkler system

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no one single type of sprinkler system. In fact, there are seven different types of system that all fall under the ‘sprinkler’ umbrella, so it’s important to think about what you want. Just as there are both dry & wet risers, for example, there are also dry & wet sprinkler systems, which are some of the most common. A wet pipe system means the pipes remain filled with water at all times, so the system is ready to activate as soon as it’s needed. A dry pipe system, on the other hand, means that the pipes will only fill with water in the event of a fire. 

  1. Water supply

Where will your sprinkler system get its water from? This is another major consideration. The standard practice is to connect the system directly to the mains supply. However, this means that the system relies solely on availability from the mains network. And as we all know, mains supply can be interrupted by faults or planned maintenance. Therefore, you’ll need to consider whether or not you want to use a storage tank. Storage tanks can be designed either to hold enough water to flow for a specific period (eg. 30 minutes), or to hold a smaller amount, which can be supplemented through the mains. 

  1. Water pressure

Every sprinkler system must meet the minimum pressure and flow standards, so ask yourself this: is your water pressure up to the task? Water companies in general state that they ‘do not guarantee to maintain any particular flow or pressure… and do not accept any liability in the event of the water supply to firefighting equipment failing’. Therefore, if your water pressure isn’t great, you may want to look into solutions, such as installing a water tank and pump. It may also be that a different type of sprinkler would be a better option, such as water mist sprinklers designed to work with low pressure. 

  1. Other forms of fire protection

Fire sprinkler systems are powerful ways to minimise damage and facilitate a safe evacuation in the event of a fire. But they’re not a magic solution. Before making any decisions, always consider your level of risk. If your risk of fire is high (for example, if you work with flammable materials), you will definitely need to consider whether your sprinkler system would perform best when used alongside other forms of fire protection. Fire sprinkler systems are often used alongside dry & wet risers, for example, which ensure firefighters have what they need to extinguish flames once they’re on site. 

Need expert guidance?

If you’re not sure about the type of system you need, or the best way to get water to your sprinklers, we’re here to help. Experts in sprinkler design and installation, we can guide you in the right direction, helping you to make the best decisions for your home or business. Just give us a call