Fire Sprinkler Systems
Fires are no joke. They can virtually happen at any time and the damage to life and property in the instance that they occur and we are not sufficiently prepared can be absolutely devastating. As such, it is imperative that you have all the standard safety and security tools and features in place at your place of business. Doing so protects you the business owner, your employees, and your bottom-line. Such safety and security features include having both working fire extinguishers that are up to code (as outlined in the Australian Standard AS 1851) and working fire sprinkler systems that are up to code (as outlined in Australian Standards AS 2118) in place.
Below, we take a closer look at fire sprinkler systems, how they can affect your business, and what the AS 2118 code requires.
What Are Fire Sprinkler Systems?
A fire sprinkler system is a fire suppression system, common in industrial and commercial buildings, and installed to suppress and combat fires should with water in the eventuality of one.
How Do Fire Sprinkler Systems Work?
A fire sprinkler system works by being automatically activated if, and when, there is an increase in temperature. This is done through a temperature gauge that is constantly working to monitor average temperatures. Whenever the temperature increases, the sprinklers are activated and water is released. The water, as it is released from the sprinklers, drowns out the surrounding fires.
The fire sprinkler systems are effective due in large part to their simple design. The sprinkler system's water attachment is attached to a water pump and piping system. The sprinkler's piping system is installed into the ceiling of the building (the part between the ceiling and roof that is invisible to the naked eye while standing in the room) and the water-spraying fixture being visible from inside the room.
How Can Fire Sprinkler Systems Benefit Your Business?
Fire sprinklers are extremely beneficial to your business in many ways that will save you money over time. Firstly, losing everything in a fire is a devastating blow to a business. Additionally, studies show that 90% of fires that happen in businesses where there is an automatic fire sprinkler system installed and properly maintained, the fires were controlled and caused minimal damage . Sure, there was water damage from the sprinklers. However, the cost pales in comparison to what would happen in the instance of an uncontrolled fire rummaging through your property.
Installing And Maintaining Fire Sprinkler Systems At Your Business
As stated prior, installing, and maintaining your business' fire sprinkler system is of utmost importance. Now that you know what fire sprinkler systems are and how they can affect your business, the next step is having them professionally installed and maintained at your place of business. You can opt to install the most commonly used fire sprinkler system option, known as the wet-fire-water system. It is easy to install, with installation taking only a couple of hours under a registered and highly experienced professional. By utilising this option, you can minimise downtime in your business while making your workplace safer for yourself and your employees.
It is just as important to have your fire sprinkler systems properly maintained as it is to have them properly installed. Again, hiring a trained and certified professional for fire equipment maintenance is the way to go.
Fire Sprinkler Systems Requirements As Outlined In The Australian Standards AS 2118
The Australian Standards AS 2118 outlines exactly what it is businesses must do to meet the safety and security, design, installation, and commission requirements for the fire sprinkler systems they install in the workplace. Fire sprinkler systems should meet basic requirements which include having:
A reliable supply of water
Water is a significant part of a sprinkler system. If there is not sufficient water being supplied from a reliable source, then fires will simply not be contained. This would defeat the purpose of having the sprinkler system.
Control valves are that part of the fire sprinkler system used to control the flow of water in the eventuality of a fire. These valves must work for any of the other parts of the sprinkler to do its work.
In addition to having a sufficient water supply source, it is important that the pumps designed to take water from that water source to the sprinkler head be in good working order. Good working order is providing sufficient pressure to move the water forward to the sprinkler heads if, and when, needed.
Corroded, blocked, or leaking pipes are a no-no. Like pumps with insufficient pressure, damaged pipes will stop water from effectively getting to the sprinkler heads and combating fires in the even that they occur.
Sprinkler heads should be unblocked and responsive so that the water can flow through them if there is a fire. These should regularly be checked for corrosion or calcification, and other signs of damage or blockages.
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