How Fire Sprinkler System Works

Everyone has experienced a case where smoke triggers off the fire fighting sprinklers in movies to extinguish fires. Its a fact that Fire sprinklers are not triggered off by smoke but by they are heat activated. When activated the sprinklers are set off one after the other in regard to the origin of the fire. All the sprinklers do not go off at one. Only the sprinklers close to the fire emit water. These are just two of the many myths people hold about fire sprinklers. In this article we are going to discuss the pros and cons of fire sprinkler system and the other myths.

By choosing a water fire fighting system, it means that any smoke trigger would set off the system. Smoke from cigarettes or a burned up toast would trigger the alarm and the sprinkler system would start putting out the fire. By this the sprinkler system would be doing more harm than good since it would cause more damage to your belongings despite the fact that there was no imminent danger. It’s a good thing that the engineers who developed the system designed it to minimise the damage caused by smoke, fire and water.

fire sprinklers photoThe fire fighting sprinkler has been in use for more than two centuries around the world and has undergone tremendous advancements over the number of year. The earliest versions were not very reliable and always caused large damage on assets. Today’s fire fighting sprinkler is known to reduce the amount of deaths and property damage by 65% through the advancement in technology.

Each sprinkler is triggered off by a preset degree of temperature of 57 to 74 degrees Celsius and one or two sprinklers can put off a fire in a room and yet cause minimal damage. Sprinklers are made of small nooses which sprinkle an average of six times less water than a water hose and will often cause less damage than one done by the fire fighters.

Most sprinkler heads have a glass casing filled with glycerine that activates on heating to crack the glass and activate the water system. The sprinklers are connected to a water system that is kept under pressure for the supply of water .The time required for this depends on the sprinkler system.


The pipes that supply the sprinkler with water are made of steel or fire resistant plastic. The most common mode is the use of wet pipe system. These are steel pipes that are always filled with water which is under constant pressure. The system is cheap and easy to maintain but it is not recommended in areas prone to freezing.

Fire sprinkler extinguish fireIn a dry pipe system, the pipes are filled with compressed air; once the system is activated the air is let out releasing the pressure allowing water to be released into the pipes. These systems are expensive to install and maintain. The system also has a higher delay period than wet systems.

In the dry fire sprinkler system the system must be triggered twice before any water is released. The first trigger is from the smoke detector and the second is from individual sprinkler head. This system offers the best protection since false alarms cannot trigger off the system. The second alarm must always go off for the system to go off.