The Thermal Sensitivity Of Fire Sprinkler In Houston
(Continuation)It is widely understood across the fire detection and prevention industry that standard response fire sprinklers are best suited for situations where minimizing damage to property and storage spaces is the main priority. On the other hand, in situations where saving peoples’ lives is the main priority – which applies to both residential and commercial scenarios – quick response fire sprinklers are the best option.
Fusible link sprinklers work almost in the same way as glass bulb fire sprinklers. However, with fusible link sprinklers, the liquid and bulb are replaced by 2 metal plates that are joined together by a solder material with a fixed and established meeting point.
When air below the sprinkler gets hot enough, the solder melts, and the two metal plates that hold the plug in place split apart causing pressurized gas or water to come rushing out.
Temperature Ratings Prevent Accidental Sprinkler Activation
Sprinkler systems have different temperature ratings at which either their glass bulb or fusible link components are expected to break, resulting in water being sprayed onto a fire. Temperature ratings vary from 135° F all the way up to 650° F (57° to 343° C).
Because various industrial, commercial, and residential spaces operate at different temperatures, some sprinklers must be designed to withstand higher temperatures before triggering. It’s important to match the temperature rating of a sprinkler to the normal and highest possible ceiling temperatures in a particular building to prevent accidental sprinkler activation.
For example, if a glass bulb sprinkler that has a rating of between 135° F and 170° F is routinely exposed to ceiling temperatures higher than 170° F, it is liable to break and cause accidental discharges.
A Crucial Safety Precaution For Fire Sprinklers
Because fire sprinklers are triggered by heat, dust, or smoke in the adjacent air cannot accidentally trigger them. However, smoke, dust, or other materials like paint can tamper with the functioning of a glass bulb or fusible link sprinkler and make it less effective.
It’s important to regularly check your sprinkler head for debris and corrosion. If a sprinkler head is heavily “loaded” – meaning covered in dust, dirt, or other materials – it must be replaced. If the head is only covered by a light coat of dust or dirt, NFPA recommends cleaning the sprinkler head while being very careful not to tamper with it. For more information on how to properly clean a fire sprinkler head, click here.
Also, it’s important to note that glass bulbs are very fragile and any unnecessary pressure – like a person accidentally knocking the head or hanging items on the sprinkler head – can cause accidental discharge resulting in costly water damage repair. Luckily, you can quickly stop an accidentally activated sprinkler to prevent extensive water damage to a room if you have the right tools.
Automatic sprinkler systems are the best and most effective fire detection and prevention systems you can use in a building. They have been reported to contain fires to the rooms where they began almost 97% of the time as well as reduce deaths caused by building fire by over 87%.