If you own a company that assembles products for the market, you probably have a lot of boxes of parts in a storeroom or work area. If a fire were to break out, you could be put out of business due to a loss of inventory. Plus, if the fire occurred during work hours, an employee could be harmed. When a building is filled with supplies, parts, and goods, it's worth having fire sprinklers installed, even if they aren't mandatory. Your goods and employees will be safer and you won't have to rely on someone grabbing a fire extinguisher to put out flames early. Here's a look at having fire sprinklers in your building.
The Water Spray Is Limited
A fire sprinkler system is activated when one of the spray heads detects heat from a fire. Only the heads right above the fire are affected by the heat so they are the only ones that turn on. This limits the amount of water damage to your building and reduces the amount of lost inventory. However, if the fire spreads, it will activate more sprinklers as it goes.
The goal of a fire sprinkler system is to put out a fire quickly or at least contain the fire until a fire truck can respond. Without a sprinkler system, a fire could grow quite large by the time the fire department arrived and that means they may need to use a lot of water to put it out. That greatly increases both the fire and water damage to your building.
You Still Need Fire Extinguishers
Local fire codes may not require fire sprinklers, but they might require fire extinguishers. Even if they don't, you'll probably want fire extinguishers for quick emergencies such as a wastebasket fire that an employee can put out before the sprinklers are activated. Having a fire extinguisher in your building could eliminate any water damage at all if the fire is put out as soon as it starts.
You'll also still want a fire escape plan for your employees. Sprinklers might prolong the escape period so that employees can get out safely, but they shouldn't be relied on to put out the fire. Instead, employees should always evacuate according to your fire plan when the fire alarm sounds, even it if turns out the evacuation was unnecessary.
The Sprinkler System Needs Regular Maintenance
When you have your fire sprinkler system installed, ask about the maintenance requirements. The company may come out a few times a year to give the system a visual check to make sure it is okay and will work when needed. This doesn't require the release of water from a spray head, so you don't have to worry about any water damage from a simple inspection. Instead, the inspectors check that the heads aren't damaged or blocked and that the pipes are still in good condition. A valve is usually opened, too, just to check water pressure and flow rate.
A fire sprinkler system can be retrofit into an old building, and the expense could be worth it when your building contains a lot of expensive inventory that could be destroyed by fire. You'll have peace of mind when you're away from the building at night that your products are protected as best possible. Contact a team like Pyro Fire Protection to learn more about fire sprinkler systems.