What Causes a Fire Sprinkler to Activate?


what causes a fire sprinkler to activate

You’ve probably seen movies where a small bit of smoke can trigger fire sprinklers, drenching everyone and everything within. Sprinklers aren’t even activated by smoke, and they don’t all go off at the same time.


Most flames only require one or two sprinkler heads to be extinguished, and fire sprinkler heads are heat triggered, one at a time.


A network of tubes filled with water under pressure makes up such a system. In essence, to protect the areas beneath the piping, individual sprinklers are placed along with it.


Furthermore, a sprinklers’ effectiveness is based on its capacity to react rapidly. They lessen the risk of death or injury from fire by extinguishing or controlling it, giving people enough time to evacuate, and preventing fires from reaching dangerous levels while waiting for the fire department to come.


Keep reading to learn more about how fire sprinkler systems work.

What Is a Residential Fire Sprinkler System?

A home fire sprinkler system is made up of several sprinkler heads connected by water pipes and wet pipe systems. Moreover, a reliable water source, such as a cistern or a public water supply, feeds the system.


When the temperature hits between 135 and 165 degrees, a thermally sensitive element in the sprinkler head will activate and release water. These systems are activated one individual sprinkler head at a time.


Some fire protection systems, such as pre-action sprinklers, are equipped with powerful detecting systems that can detect several fire signals. However, heat-sensing is at the heart of most system responses.


When a fire starts, the air just above it heats up quickly. Even smoldering fires generate enough hot air to trigger thermal detectors before they spread out of control.


The nature of the available fuel, how fuel sources are placed in a room, and the area’s airflow all influence how rapidly a fire grows after visible flames appear.


Today’s synthetic construction materials and furnishings cause fires to burn hotter and quicker than ever before. According to the American Red Cross, a building fire can only blaze for two minutes before it’s too late to evacuate.


[Read: 5 Signs You Need A Fire Sprinkler Inspection]

Can fire sprinklers go off accidentally?

It’s nearly impossible for a system to go off at random (unless they’ve been tampered with) due to the general way they’re designed with a glass bulb. Only heat can make fire sprinklers work.

How long does it take for a fire sprinkler to activate?


what causes a fire sprinkler to activate

The active sprinkler head causes water pressure to drop in pipes and opens a dry pipe valve. The water is released from the pipes and pumped through an open sprinkler system. This can take up to 60 seconds.

Why Fire Sprinkler Systems Are Beneficial To Your Home

In the case of a fire, fire sprinkler systems are meant to respond quickly and automatically, regardless of the time of day, without the need for human involvement or the need to manage safety precautions.


Water flow alarms are used in sprinkler systems to inform occupants and outside monitoring services of a growing fire. Sprinklers are meant to put out fires as soon as they start, resulting in substantially less heat and smoke.


A well-designed system ensures that the spread of fire damage is quickly controlled, minimizing, and localizing fire and water damage to property. When a fire is contained by a deluge sprinkler system, the threat to occupants and firefighters is greatly reduced.


If you need more information about these systems, make sure to contact B&W Fire Security Services for any of our inspection, installation, repairs, and maintenance services!

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