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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Avoid Accidental Activation of Your Fire Sprinklers

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

Water sprinkler system and removed materials in an apartment in Shoreline, WA. From a minor leak to a natural disaster, SERVPRO of Shoreline/Woodinville is here to help.

Thorough and consistent sprinkler maintenance is essential in Woodinville, WA. Not only is maintenance important to ensure your fire sprinkler system operates properly if a fire starts, it is also a key factor in the prevention of sprinkler system malfunctions, including accidental activation. For as much damage as a fire can cause, accidental activation of fire sprinklers can be costly as well. To help prevent unintentional activation of your sprinkler system, keep these five factors in mind.

1. Perform Regular Maintenance

Routine inspections and maintenance must be performed appropriately. Otherwise, regular wear and tear may not be addressed in a timely manner, which can increase the likelihood of accidental activation. Regular maintenance in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards can help alleviate this risk.

2. Prevent Freezing

If your sprinkler pipes freeze, the ice within them can damage the components of the sprinkler system and trigger accidental discharge of water once the ice melts. Sprinkler pipe routes should be assessed for freeze potential prior to installation. Antifreeze loops can be installed to help prevent freezing.

3. Address High Heat Areas

Identify sprinkler heads located near areas of high heat. Even without a fire, it may be possible for those sprinklers to reach a temperature high enough to unintentionally activate your system. In such locations, you should use sprinklers rated for higher temperatures.

4. Plan Ahead for Aging Parts

As your system ages, corrosion of pipes, fittings, and valves can become a concern. While routine inspections and sprinkler maintenance should identify issues in time to address them, it is important to be aware of these risks and plan for them in advance.

5. Exercise Caution and Care

Treat your sprinkler system with care. Do not hang items from pipes or sprinkler heads, paint over them, or otherwise modify your system without professional support.

Properly installed and maintained sprinkler systems are a key component in mitigating the risk of damage from both water and fire. Every business owner wants to be confident that his or her fire sprinklers will activate only in the event of an actual fire. Regular sprinkler maintenance with careful attention to detail can help prevent accidental activations. 

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