Fire sprinklers are vital for your household’s safety. Case in point: over five years, they successfully controlled 96 percent of home fires when activated. Fire sprinklers also contributed to an 89 percent decrease in civilian fatalities, a 27 percent decrease in civilian injuries, and a 60 percent decrease in firefighter injuries.
That’s an excellent track record, so if your home doesn’t have a fire sprinkler system, now is the time to invest. Here’s what you need to know, from installation to updates and all things fire sprinklers in Greenville, SC.
Fire Sprinkler Models
All three fire sprinkler models perform the same function but have an individual look. And if you want your system to match the aesthetic of your home, it’s essential to look at all the options. Here’s a rundown of what’s available to you:
- Pendent Sprinkler: This model attaches to plumbing systems and fixtures above the ceiling and sprays water in a cone-shaped formation. This sprinkler head is visible because it protrudes from the ceiling, but you can paint it with a white coating to blend in. This coating can also protect the metal from corrosion, which extends the overall lifespan of your home fire sprinklers.
- Sidewall Sprinkler: This model looks and functions much the same way as a pendent sprinkler. The only difference is that sidewall sprinklers don’t hang from the ceiling—they attach along wall cornices or under beams, so the water flows horizontally. Usually, these sprinkler heads are best for small rooms, closets, hallways, or other areas where they won’t need to cover a considerable distance.
- Concealed Sprinkler: This model can attach to a wall or ceiling, but unlike the other two options, these sprinklers recess, so you won’t notice them. Each sprinkler head has a heat-sensitive plate that automatically detaches when the system activates. Just be careful not to paint or decorate over the plate, as this will damage the heat sensor and obstruct water flow.
Home Fire Sprinklers vs. Commercial Fire Sprinklers
The goal of home and commercial fire sprinklers is the same: to minimize the risk of harm to both the occupants and the structure in a fire. However, since most home fire sprinkler systems have much less square footage to protect than their commercial counterparts, they require less water flow and fewer sprinkler heads.
A residential fire sprinkler system’s average water flow rate is 20–26 gallons per minute, whereas commercial or industrial systems can release up to 40–100 gallons per minute. Because residential sprinklers have a lower flow rate, they activate earlier in the fire than commercial sprinklers.
Spacing is another clear difference between home and commercial fire sprinkler systems. The National Fire Protection Association requires that sprinkler heads be at least 15 feet apart in interiors with a small amount of coverage area (i.e., homes) and at least 12 feet apart in interiors with a large amount of coverage area (i.e., businesses).
Home Fire Sprinklers and Insurance Premiums
Most homeowners insurance policies mandate the installation of fire sprinklers in Greenville, SC, so it’s crucial to ensure your house meets local fire codes. The bare minimum aside, taking extra precautions to maintain the sprinkler’s functionality and longevity could result in lower monthly premiums. Contact your insurance provider to see if they offer discounts for implementing any of these additional safety measures:
- Install fire sprinklers in auxiliary spaces (i.e., sheds, garages, etc.) that aren’t legally required to contain a fire sprinkler system.
- Schedule routine inspections with a certified professional service to ensure all fire sprinkler maintenance is fully up-to-date.
- Retrofit new hardware accessories onto your current fire sprinkler heads, such as smart monitoring sensors or other technology.
Also, remember that if the sprinkler system is not up to code, your insurance provider will refuse to cover any claims if a fire occurs. While scoring a discount on premiums never hurts, the real incentive is to manage risk and establish a safety net if needed.
Investing in Home Fire Sprinklers
Residential fire sprinkler maintenance is something you should prioritize on your home safety checklist. And although these systems can last upwards of 30 years, you must be diligent with regular inspections. You can always manually check the motion sensors, but professionals must do most inspections.
At least once a year (twice if possible), you need to invest in a thorough inspection with a certified technician. This process will reveal any hazards or malfunctions in the system’s plumbing and electrical wiring, such as water leaks, valve obstructions, short circuits, and metal corrosion.
If you are looking for a reliable and trustworthy service to perform routine maintenance on your fire sprinklers in Greenville, SC, contact our team of experts at A&A Fire Protection. From the first installation to every crucial inspection, we’re here to safeguard your home as much as possible—no matter what flames might spark.