Fire Protection in Hamilton: Sprinkler Heads

In a commercial property, a good fire sprinkler system is the first and absolute best defense against fire. These systems are designed to activate only when needed, reacting to extreme heat (rather than smoke, as many people mistakenly assume). When they do activate, they work extremely well at tamping down and even putting out the fire before the fire department arrives. Fire sprinkler systems are credited with reducing the amount of property damage resulting from a fire, as well as saving lives.

In most situations, a single sprinkler head has enough output to extinguish a fire. They’re small, but they are very powerful little devices. In addition to their fire-battling abilities, you may not realize that sprinkler heads come in different categories and have varying characteristics. When it comes to sprinkler heads, there really is more than meets the eye. Let’s look at the two main categories of sprinkler heads and what they mean for your fire protection system.

Standard Response

If you own a higher-risk commercial property such as a factory or a warehouse, experts will likely recommend a system equipped with standard response sprinkler heads. Because these kinds of properties often contain flammable materials, lots of dust, as well as possible ignition sources, when fires break out, they tend to grow fast and burn hot. The purpose of a standard response sprinkler head system is to stop the fire from spreading by removing viable fuel sources in its vicinity. Standard response heads spray in a pattern that’s designed to wet the area around the fire, stopping it in its tracks.

Quick Response

In lower-fire risk properties such as offices and school buildings, quick response sprinkler heads are usually sufficient to extinguish the kinds of fires that break out. In these types of buildings, the concern is fire spreading up the walls, moving across ceilings, and spreading from room to room. Quick response sprinkler heads work similarly to standard response heads, but feature a focus on hosing down walls and reducing the temperature along the ceilings.

What Does “Response” in the Names Mean?

Fire Sprinkler System RepairYou may be wondering why the two different types of sprinkler heads are labeled “standard response” and “quick response.” Standard response sprinkler heads are made to withstand extreme, high temperatures, while quick response sprinkler heads activate at lower temperatures. They’re customized in this way via the size and thickness of the glass bulbs that plug the orifices. Standard response heads feature a 5mm bulb, while the bulbs in quick response heads are only 3mm.

Common knowledge suggests that quick response bulbs are best. After all, you want sprinklers to activate right away when there is a fire, right? However, fire protection experts will be able to look at the area in question and determine which kind of heads are ideal. There are many things they’ll take into consideration, the most important being how hot the building gets near the ceiling. In warehouses and processing plants where equipment and activity generates a lot of heat, typical temperatures could get high enough to unnecessarily activate quick response sprinkler heads. For that reason, standard response heads are often the ideal choice for these environments. Professional fire experts will also consider room size and ceiling height when determining the ideal sprinkler system for your property.

From planning out your commercial fire sprinkler system to installing and maintaining it, working with a well-established company that consists of knowledgeable experts is important. At Lumar Fire Protection Hamilton and the surrounding areas, we’ve been keeping people and their property safe for over 20 years.

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