Did you know that if you install a fire alarm and a suppression system in your property, you could reduce the chances of a fire related death by 80%?
With the interest in the use of water suppression systems for domestic premises growing in the UK, Novus, the property solutions company wanted to provide answers to a few common questions.
The automatic sprinkler systems are the most commonly used fire protection system today. Designed to provide immediate fire defence, they can help to protect lives and minimise material losses.
The alarm system, which is part of any installation, wakes people who are sleeping, whom may otherwise be asphyxiated by smoke, before being able to escape. It would also alert the presence of a developing fire, in any hidden areas, such as boiler rooms, storerooms, cellars and other potentially unoccupied risk areas, before that fire affects the escape route.
With over 167,150 property fires in 2017/18, it’s important that people consider a sprinkler system. After all, it has been proven that most building fires are controlled by no more than four sprinkler heads and most fires are extinguished well in advance of the fire authorities being in attendance.
So, how do sprinkler systems work?
Each sprinkler head is fitted with small thermal elements, that are activated solely by heat. The thermal element is set to operate at a known and specific temperature, no less than 30ºC above ambient temperature. Each sprinkler head will activate individually and only upon exposure to sufficient heat.
Water from the activated sprinkler will cool the atmosphere around the fire, which will slow the rate of burning, by reducing the concentration of oxygen close to the fire, and the production of smoke. It will also protect the surrounding materials, limiting the spread of the fire and interrupts the chain reaction necessary for a fire to establish itself.
Water Mist suppression systems produce a finer spray (or mist) than a standard fire sprinkler head. A fine mist is a very effective way of ensuring that water evaporates more easily and thus slows down the combustion process very effectively, whilst also using less water than a conventional fire sprinkler system.
Unlike conventional sprinklers, some misting systems may also be stopped manually by pressing a button on its control panel. As they use less water than a traditional sprinkler system, they can also cause less water damage.
Why doesn’t everyone own a sprinkler system?
The traditional concerns expressed regarding damage from accidental activation of water suppression systems, can largely be discounted. Additionally, the quantity of water discharged by a sprinkler head when activated, due to a fire, is significantly less than that used in firefighting by the fire and rescue service.
When considering which system is suitable for any building, regard must be paid to the adequacy of the water supply and mains water pressure. If interruptions to supplies are possible, or the water pressure is low or fluctuates, then additional measures such as pump installations and water storage may be required.
The top 5 benefits of a suppression system include:
- Rapid and targeted fire suppression and control
- Smoke damage reduced
- Low maintenance costs
- Easy to retrofit
- Low water consumption
If you want to find out more about suppression systems, check out our blog post on Fire Sprinkler Systems, Misting Systems and Retrofitting into Residential Properties.