Installing a fire suppression system in your new commercial structure is essential, and it can help cut the cost of fire damage by helping to keep the flames at bay. If you're still working on the planning stages of a build-to-suit commercial property, the choice of sprinkler systems is essential. Here's a look at the three primary types of sprinkler systems you should be considering.
A wet sprinkler system is the type that you typically see in commercial buildings. These units have an elaborate network of water pipes above the ceiling, and each one feeds a sprinkler head. The sprinklers are activated by fire, and the head distributes water from the lines in the ceiling.
Wet sprinkler systems require routine inspection and maintenance to ensure that they are functioning as intended and prepared to respond when necessary. As a building owner, it is important to understand that a broken water line in a system like this can lead to serious water damage, so don't overlook the importance of proper installation or routine inspections.
A dry sprinkler system isn't common in all regions, but can often be found in areas where the temperatures can reach below freezing for an extended period of time. They are an alternative in these climates because water in the pipes would be prone to freezing. If your commercial building is going to have a lot of open space, poor insulation or no climate control, you'll want to consider dry suppression instead of a wet sprinkler system.
Dry suppression systems don't keep the water in the lines behind the sprinkler heads. Instead, the water is stored in a reservoir connected to the main line. The rest of the pipe network is charged with pressurized gas or air. When the sprinkler is activated, it releases the gas or air, creating a suction in the lines to draw the water to the pipes.
If you have a server room with a lot of equipment, you'll want to be sure that your sprinkler system can't accidentally be activated. In those situations, you'll want to look at a preaction sprinkler system instead of traditional designs. These sprinkler systems include a series of safety features that prevent the sprinkler from being accidentally activated. For example, the system may have a valve that's dependent on smoke detection as well as a sprinkler head that only activates at a certain temperature. That way, neither heat nor errant smoke clouds can accidentally trigger the system.
Talk to a service provider like Alexander Gow Fire Equipment Company for more guidance.