Fire Sprinkler Systems

Fire sprinkler systems are the core of our business, making up approximately 80% of our workload and installations come in several types; wet, dry and pre-action.

Wet Sprinkler Systems

Wet sprinkler systems are the most common system and are charged with pressurised water which is released from activated sprinkler heads once a certain local temperature is reached.

Benefits: immediate water dispersal on activation.

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Dry sprinkler systems

Dry sprinkler systems are used in unheated environments (to prevent freezing of water charged pipework) and are filled with pressurised air, rather than water. Sprinkler heads activate in the same way as a wet system (local heat) but water is not immediately delivered to the fire. The drop in air pressure (due to air escaping from activated sprinklers), opens the installation control valve and introduces water into the pipework array, eventually reaching the activated sprinkler heads.

Benefits: safeguards against freezing in unheated environments.

Disadvantage: slower to deliver water than a wet system.

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Pre-Action sprinkler systems

Pre-Action sprinkler systems are for specific applications where it is required to minimise (to almost zero chance) accidental water discharge.

Like in a dry system, there is no water in the piping arrays in normal circumstances. But dry pipework alone does not eliminate the risk of accidental discharge. With a pre-action system, there is a second trigger, which can be mechanical or electronic. What this means is that two events are required to activate the system. The first event is the normal operating of the sprinkler head under heat. The second action could be a flame detector, smoke/heat detector, linear heat detection cable or a pneumatic pilot line.

Benefits: reduces risk of accidental/unwanted discharge to almost zero.

Disadvantages: costs are higher than either a wet or a dry system.

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Sprinkler Myths

Sprinklers may go off accidentally

Unless they are physically struck or freeze, unwanted sprinkler head activations are incredibly rare, circa 1 in 16,000,000.

Sprinklers will flood the whole building

Only the sprinklers above and around a fire will operate. This can be as few as one sprinkler in an installation with tens of thousands. The water damage costs will be less than 1% of the fire damage costs had there been no sprinklers.

Sprinklers systems will leak

Sometimes, but very rarely. We test pipework after installation well beyond its normal requirements. Major leaks after commissioning occur on less than 1% of sprinkler installations.