Fire Protection Sprinklers Systems – FAQ
Q1. Do all sprinkler heads operate at the same time?
A. No, only the sprinkler head activated by the heat from a fire will operate. If the fire overtaxes the first sprinkler then the second will operate and so on. The number of fire sprinklers activated depends on the classification and in a typical retail shop unit, the maximum fire area is 216 sq m.
Q2. Can a fire sprinkler head go off accidentally?
A. Sprinkler heads are factory tested and the chance of a spurious activation is less than 1 in 100,000.
Choosing & Maintaining a Fire Sprinkler System
Q3. How do I know which fire sprinkler system is best for me?
A. Consult with your insurance company regarding sprinkler selection, or call Fire Logistics Ltd on 0191 230 3647. We will ask you to describe the risk, for example, do you have a retail, manufacturing or storage facility. We will take some further details from you and from our experience and the appropriate data sheets we can issue a specification / quotation for review by your insurance company or broker.
Q4. What tests must I undertake on my fire sprinkler system?
A. The sprinkler system should be maintained at least annually to verify the correct operation of the alarms and to exercise the main sprinkler control valve. Anti fire pumps should be maintained annually. Typical cost for a fire sprinkler control valve service at 25m from an office is around £120 – £150. A fire pump service costs in the region of £400.
Sprinkler System Surveys & Price Quotes
Q5. Do I need to change the fire sprinkler system if I make changes to my building?
A. Sprinklers are positioned relevant to the building structure. So when making changes to walls, ceilings and plant items, the fire sprinkler system should be reviewed for compliance. Fire Logistics Ltd will be pleased to carry out such a survey and issue a quotation. If no corrections are required then there will be no charge for the survey.
Q6. Can you give me an approximate cost for fire sprinkler protection?
A. If you e-mail us, giving the footprint and a description of the risk, we can give a budget cost for fire sprinkler protection, with a separate cost for water supplies.
Domestic Fire Sprinkler System Requirements
Q7. Can I supply sprinklers to my property via the domestic incoming water main?
A. If your water supply is metered, the answer is NO – the fire sprinkler supply must be unmetered. A domestic water meter passes 12 Litres / minute. The minimum flow for a domestic sprinkler is 60 Litres / minute.
The Solution? You should approach your Water Authority to bring in a 28 or 35 mm unmetered supply and in 90% cases this is adequate for domestic sprinklers. This is a statutory requirement for the Water Authority and should cost in the region of £300 plus the civil works.
Fire Protection Systems Certified Installer
Q8. What is Fire Logistics qualified to do?
A. Fire Logistics Ltd is a Certified Installer and approved by LPCB. We are approved to undertake the following categories of work:
A – Pre-calculated ordinary hazard systems, installations, extensions & alterations (excluding water supplies).
B – Pre-calculated high hazard systems, installations, extensions & alterations (excluding water supplies).
C – Town’s main water supplies.
D – Pumped water supplies.
E – Base build contracts (pre-calculated design principles).
F – Systems, installations, extensions & alterations involving FHC design principles.
Durable Fire Sprinkler Systems
Q9. If I enhance my fire sprinkler protection will it reduced my insurance costs.
A. It should do but you will need to confirm this with your insurance company.
Q10. What is the typical life span of a fire sprinkler system?
A. The fire sprinkler system will probably outlast the actual occupancy of the building.
For example we still maintain sprinkler systems installed in the 1930’s. That said, some of the products we attend to that were installed in the 1970’s ‘leave something to be desired’.
Q11. Regarding domestic sprinkler protection to loft spaces, can a sprinkler system be installed where there is no heat?
A. The general consensus is that as long as the sprinkler pipework feeding the bedroom area is installed between the joists and the insulation and the temp is maintained at 40degrees F, then this is acceptable. BS9251 advises the loft space should be sprinklered, whereas NFPA 13D allows you to deviate, providing the attic is not used for occupancy or storage.
Q12. Can a sprinkler system be retrofitted in a factory?
A. Within the production and warehouse area it is relatively straight forward provided we can gain access to the main ceiling level. Office areas can be fitted with sprinkler systems but we need access above the suspended ceiling. Installation can be phased to suit holiday or shut down requirements.
Q13. Can you explain how fire sprinklers work?
A. For a brief, informative summary of how fire sprinklers work, please see this explanation video.