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How Fire Sprinklers Work

Last updated 5 years ago

We see fire sprinklers in every office building, shopping center, warehouse, or public space that we go to. But have you ever stopped to wonder how exactly fire sprinklers work? Here’s a look at how the most important fire mitigation system around helps to keep your building safe.

Why Sprinkler Systems Work

It is a common misconception that all sprinklers within a system go off at the same time throughout a building. On the contrary, sprinkler systems are primarily designed to put out fires in a specific area and prevent them from spreading. The idea is that if you catch a fire early on in one room, it will most likely stay contained in that room and be put out quickly.

The Sprinkler Head

The key to speedy fire mitigation through use of a sprinkler system lies in the sprinkler head itself. These sprinklers are made with a heat-sensitive liquid housed inside a glass bulb. The bulb clogs the sprinkler head, preventing water from being released. If a fire breaks out beneath a sprinkler, the liquid inside the bulb heats up and causes it to break, releasing pressurized water through the affected sprinkler. The heads are designed to spray water outwards and down, putting out the fire as well as containing it using a ring of moisture.

Fire Sprinkler

There are two main types of sprinkler systems: wet and dry. Wet pipe systems use steel pipes that are filled with pressurized water, ready to be released at a moment’s notice. Dry pipe systems are filled with compressed air that holds back standby water. When the sprinkler heads are activated, the air pressure is released, allowing water to travel through the pipes. This delays fire mitigation, but prevents freezing in extremely cold environments.

Every component of your fire sprinkler system must work in unison to keep your building safe. Having your sprinklers inspected, maintained, and repaired by Capitol Fire Sprinkler will ensure the safety of your staff, customers, family, and building. Call (718) 533-6800 today to learn more about our services.


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