The 3 Most Common Fire Systems And Their Applications

1 June 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Fire sprinklers have truly revolutionized buildings and homes everywhere. Fire sprinklers enjoy a high rate of success. And best of all, when not in use, they're incredibly inconspicuous! 

According to studies, fire sprinklers are the primary safety measure responsible for extinguishing 99% of all indoor fire outbreaks. They're that effective. Because circumstances and requirements vary, there are a variety of systems in use that cover practically any application imaginable. The most common are wet and dry systems. But there are some more specific applications that require less-common variants. 

That said, the vast majority of applications are covered by the following three types, listed from most common to least common:  

Wet Pipes:

Wet-pipe systems are the most common system by far. This type of system consists of a network of steel pipework that is constantly filled with pressurized water.

Due to their simplicity, these are currently the most reliable and responsive systems on the market. They are also the least expensive.

The drawbacks of the design is that it doesn't cope well with freezing temperatures. It's also a poor choice for moisture-sensitive applications, where leaks could potentially do more damage than the fire itself.

Dry Pipes:

Dry-pipe systems have pipes where constant pressure is maintained. However, the pipes in this system type use pressurized air instead of pressurized water. When triggered, the system vents the pressurized air on activation. The venting air is used to draw water through the sprinklers, and that is what extinguishes flames. Dry pipe systems solve the potential issues with leaks and frozen pipes that are inherent in wet-pipe systems. But they come with the added downside of a longer lag between activation and the start of active extinguishing efforts. The added complexity also makes them more expensive overall.

It's worth noting that some systems have the added capacity to alternate between wet as well as dry systems. These combine the best features of the two most prevalent types, but at the expense of a proportionally higher installation cost.

Pre-Action Pipes:

While technically a variant of dry pipe systems, they're unique enough to merit their own category. To trigger a pre-action system, one must trigger multiple sensors, such as heat and smoke detectors, before the system actually acts. An alarm will activate if one system gets triggered, but at least two systems mush be triggered in order for active fire-suppression measures to be taken. 

This serves as an excellent and reliable fail-safe against misfires, making it an excellent choice for places like archives, museums, or server rooms, where accidental water damage is not an acceptable risk.

To learn more, contact a company like Nor Cal Fire Protection.