Having the means to ensure that your home isn’t broken into or damaged from any external forces is great, but what about the inside? One of the most commonly reported incidents of internal home damage is accidents involving fire and these occurrences can cause incredible amounts of loss and damage that the unfortunate people involved have to deal with. It’s not at all difficult for a fire to get out of control; there could be a short circuit somewhere within the house or gas leaking from the stove. Maybe there has been some sort of malfunction with some electrical equipment or there was candle that had been carelessly lit; regardless of which of these it happens to be, they can transform into a raging inferno incredibly quick.
One good way to avoid your home being damaged or possibly even destroyed from a fire is to have a residential fire sprinkler installed. In both the United States and Canada, it is common practice to have fire sprinklers installed in homes as well as commercial buildings. As a matter of fact, because fire sprinklers are both convenient and lifesaving, some communities with in the US have even made it mandatory to have them installed within homes to insure the safety of their residents.
Why Should You Bother Installing a Fire Sprinkler?
The most obvious answer would be that your life and the lives of those that you care for are important, but if you are looking for a more nuanced answer, then think of if as a good defense against any kind of fire related accidents that could potentially break out in your home and endanger your life. The sprinklers are able to quickly respond and let the people living inside of the home that there is a fire hazard. Once that has been done, the system is capable of beating the response time of the fire fighters with how quickly it is able to put out the fire.
Not only is having a fire sprinkler system installed a great way to protect you, they also make a great investment as they can increase the value of your home and are honestly much more reliable than just using a fire alarm by itself. Do not take this as saying you shouldn’t use fire alarms, this article is definitely not saying that. Think of it like this way, a fire alarm can’t actually extinguish a fire and you may not always be aware of when the battery has run out. This can be a complete disaster if there is ever a situation where a fire that has broken out in your home and you are otherwise unaware of it. The best thing to do is to keep on the lookout of whenever you need to replace your fire alarm’s batteries, but if for some reason you are unable to or you forget, you’ll have the added protection of the sprinklers.
How Do Fire Sprinklers Work?
The fire sprinklers are installed on either the ceiling or high up on the walls so that they are able to properly cover the entire room. Sprinkler systems can either be “wet”, meaning that they are always filled with pressurized water or “dry”, meaning that they operate by using pressurized air or nitrogen that fills the pipe. This air (or nitrogen) holds a remote valve that is released along with the air which then allows the pipes to fill with water.
The wet sprinklers are much more common as water is able to react faster that dry agents. Unfortunately, this does mean that in very cold weather, wet systems can encounter problems due to the connected water lines becoming frozen. To make up for this, they are the less costly option and have a very rapid response time. Dry systems, of course, have a distinct advantage due to the air that they contain not freezing in colder temperatures. They do have a longer response time (up to 60 seconds), however, because the water has to actually travel from it’s source to the activated sprinkler.
Regardless of with version of the fire sprinkler system you use, it is able to deliver water throughout the home once they are connected to the main water line or water storage tank and are then regulated through the water pump or valves which absolutely need to stay on in order for the system to continue working. The sprinkler pipes themselves (for both dry and wet systems) are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or cross-linked polyethylene due to the fact that both are lightweight and inexpensive materials. Because the water that sprays from the sprinklers won’t be evaporated by any fire that happens, they are able to put it out before it spreads across the home.
Debunking Fire Sprinkler Myths
Because of the myths that surround how fire sprinkle myths and their cost, it makes sense that there are still plenty of people that aren’t too crazy about having them installed in their homes. The first of the myths that this article will debunk here and now is that they use a huge amount of water. This is totally untrue. Any of these systems that you install in your home is only going to use the amount of water needed to penetrate the fire to control it which is a much smaller amount than what a firefighting crew would use.
The myth about the cost of these systems isn’t entirely unfounded, the dry systems, for all of their perks—like being able to withstand temperatures below 40° F—can be rather costly due how much more complex the installation process is. But don’t worry, the wet systems actually are rather inexpensive and are pretty easy to maintain on top of that. One other myth that should be addressed is that some people think that the dry systems offer an advantage over wet systems due to them being better to have around water sensitive objects and areas. This is because they feel that the wet systems will leak if damaged while the dry ones won’t. In reality though, there really isn’t any advantage in an instance like this. In the event of impact damage, there will just be a slight discharge delay while the air is let out before the water can be released.
While it is true that both systems have their pros and cons, a residential fire sprinkler system is something that people should consider getting installed in their homes. Between the protection that having one can offer and the added value that it can provide your home with, there are very good reasons why having one added to your home can only be beneficial to you should you decide to have the system installed in your home.