How Do Fire Sprinklers Work?

Published On: February 2, 20220 Comments on How Do Fire Sprinklers Work?Tags: Last Updated: February 3, 20242.8 min read

One of the most effective tools in fighting fires at home or within businesses’ premises is a fire sprinkler system. The installation of these systems has led to a significant reduction in the number of deaths as well as property losses occasioned by fires. Fire sprinklers are, therefore, a vital investment to your property, irrespective of whether or not you think the building will ever catch fire. But, do you understand how fire sprinklers work?

How Do Fire Sprinklers Work

Read below to learn more about the operations of a fire sprinkler.

The Analysis Of a Fire Sprinkler System

Here is a brief overview of the basic parts of a fire sprinkler system. Understanding the various parts of the system is vital in knowing how all the components come together and the role played by each in dousing the fire.

Automatic sprinklers – this is the part of the system that disperses water onto the fire.

Heat Sensitive Element – this is the trigger responsible for activating the sprinkler. Mostly, it features a glass bulb filled with a special liquid that will expand to cause the bulb to shatter if fire-related temperatures are detected.

The cross and the main pipes – these are the main piping works of the system. They feature pipes running in the ceiling and behind the walls that carry pressurized water to be discharged in case of a fire.

Sprinkler system risers – these are the pipes responsible for connecting the sprinkler system to the main pipes of the domestic water supply.

Sprinkler pressure gauge – the gauge is what is used to measure the water pressure to see if it is sufficient to send water through the entire system in case of a fire.

Water flow switch – This is a special type of switch that is activated whenever water runs through the system. Its main function is to send an alarm to the local authorities for an appropriate response.

Water motor gong – this is to sound an alarm whenever water is actively flowing through the system.

How Do Fire Sprinklers Work - fire sprinkler

Activation Of The Fire Sprinklers

In case of a fire, hot air will rise and spread along with the ceiling where the sprinkler heads are installed. When the temperature of the hot air rises to a certain level, the heat-sensitive element in the sprinkler head will get triggered. This element is usually made of a glass filled with glycerin-based liquid which expands and shatters the glass to activate the sprinkler head.

The Sprinkler Douses The Fire

Every sprinkler head is normally connected to a reliable water source either inside or outside the building. When the heat-sensitive element breaks off, a valve will break loose to allow pressurized water from the piping system to flow into the room. Usually, the pressurized water will spray outwards in some kind of an arc to douse the fire to stop it from spreading or reduce its intensity until the firefighters arrive.

How fire sprinklers are turned off

Fire sprinklers will be triggered automatically, but they won’t switch off automatically once the fire is extinguished or put under control. The sprinkler system has to be manually shut off to prevent the further flow of water into the room. You should, therefore, always know where the system risers are so that you can turn the water flow off once the fire is contained.


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