Some buildings in the United Stats may face natural disaster threats based on their area. Homes or buildings in the Midwest may be struck by fling debris from a tornado, and of course buildings on the Florida coast have to endure the rains, floods, and powerful winds of hurricanes every year. Buildings in California, meanwhile, have to contend with earthquakes from the San Andreas Fault. But no matter where a building may be found, fire is always a possibility, and many modern codes and regulations have been written and enforced to keep fire protection services up to date. Along with fire alarms that warn building occupants of a fire and contact local fire departments, good fire sprinkler system design will ensure that flames are douses as soon as they are detected. Professional fire sprinkler designers and other engineers are hard at work today innovating new fire sprinkler system designs, and automatic fire sprinkler design has come a long way since its introduction in 1874. Fire sprinkler contractors may be hired to install new sprinklers or replace older ones, and regular inspections may be done to check fire sprinklers for any problems or defects.
Why Fire Happens
Fire may occur for any number of reasons. In decades past, lit cigarettes and cigars were often dropped by accident and could start a fire, but for this reason and others, lit tobacco products are no longer allowed inside most public buildings. “No smoking” signs are now a common sight, and for good reason. However, other hazards such as frayed electric cords or dropped matches or lighters are still a concern, and these items may set any flammable material ablaze. Frayed electric cords have suffered damage to their plastic sheath, exposing the hot metal wires inside. If these wires come into contact with carpets, drapes, papers, or other items, they may start a fire. In homes, dropped matches or lighters may set similar surface on fire, and stray sparks or embers from a fire in the fireplace may also start a fire. Most often, it is hospitals, hotels and motels, apartment buildings, and offices that catch fire, and a handful of people are injured or even killed from fire. Most often, injury or death occurs not from exposure to heat but a lack of oxygen and inhaling harmful smoke. Warehouses may catch on fire and cause a lot of property damage, but fortunately, rates of warehouse fires have been steadily dropping since 1980. And finally, arson is a threat, when a person sets an intentional fire that causes property damage. Not only fire sprinklers, but security may keep away arsonists and prevent deliberate fires.
Fire Sprinkler System Design
In the modern age, all buildings must have effective fire sprinkler hardware present to contain a fire and douse it as soon as it appears, and engineers are hard at work to update fire sprinkler system design and make these systems ever more effective. The general idea is to have one or more fire sprinkler heads in each room or hallway of a building, and cover all areas where a fire might happen. These heads are connected to a series of pipes that carry their water supply, and these systems may be set off when smoke detectors have found a fire. It may be noted that advanced fire sprinklers will only activate the sprinkler heads in the area where the fire is found, to prevent avoidable water damage to the rest of the building (and also save water in the process). There is no need to soak the entire building to contain a fire in jut one room.
Building managers may have routine fire sprinkler and alarm inspections done by certified professionals, who will ensure that the building’s fire prevention systems are up to modern codes and standards of fire prevention and suppression. If the system is outdated or hardware is malfunctioning, contractors may be hired to repair, replace, or update anything that is not up to code. And when an older building is purchases for use, these inspectors will look it over to find any missing or defective fire protection hardware inside. Some of these old buildings might need a total overhaul of their fire sprinkler system design to meet modern codes.