Cold Weather + Fire Sprinklers: 8 Questions and Answers

  • January 10, 2023
Residential fire sprinkler company Greenville, SC

You likely already know that fire sprinklers are an essential safety feature in any building. But did you know that cold weather can affect their performance? That’s why it’s necessary for home and business owners in South and North Carolina to properly maintain their sprinkler systems to ensure that their properties are winter-ready.

To help you feel confident going into this year’s cold weather, our experts answered eight common questions about how freezing temperatures can impact your fire sprinkler system:

1. Does the Cold Weather Pose Any Threats?

Freezing weather, while annoying, can also be a serious threat to your fire sprinkler system. When temperatures dip below freezing, the water inside pipes may freeze. If that happens, it can cause severe damage to your property or cause your sprinkler system to malfunction in the event of a fire.

2. Can Cold Weather Break Fire Sprinklers? 

You may be surprised to learn that cold weather can break your automatic fire sprinklers. When the water in your pipes freezes, pressure builds up inside your pipes, causing them to swell. But that pressure has to release somehow! Often, it happens due to a rupture, crack, leak, or burst. And once the water thaws, you’re left with a huge mess.

3. How Do I Prevent a Burst Pipe? 

One way to prevent burst pipes is to properly insulate your pipes before the first freeze of the year. If you need help protecting your pipes, it’s best to leave it to professionals. Professional fire protection specialists can also inspect your sprinkler system and take steps to prepare it for the winter months. 

4. What Should I Do if My Fire Sprinklers Freeze? 

If you suspect your fire sprinklers have frozen, contact a professional to thaw out the system and check for potential hazards. Don’t attempt to thaw the system yourself, as you could cause further damage.

5. Can I Turn Off My Fire Sprinklers in the Winter? 

It may sound like a good idea to turn off your automatic fire sprinklers in the winter to prevent water from sitting in the pipes, but this isn’t ideal or recommended. Fire sprinklers are a capstone safety feature in modern businesses and homes. As such, keep them turned on all year long to guarantee you’re protected if a fire breaks out.

6. Can I Cover My Fire Sprinklers in the Winter?

You should never fire sprinklers, no matter the weather. Covering the sprinklers can prevent them from functioning correctly. This reason, among others, is why it’s crucial to rely on fire safety professionals to bring the right tools to prepare for freezing temperatures.

7. Should I Winterize My System? 

Whether you have a wet or dry fire sprinkler system, it’s a good idea to winterize your system to ensure adequate protection all year long. You have no way of knowing when a cold snap may hit your area, so it’s crucial to always be prepared. Luckily, it’s easy to winterize your system with a little bit of professional help.

8. How Often Should I Test My Fire Sprinkler System in the Winter?

It’s essential to regularly test your automatic fire sprinkler system to confirm that it’s functioning correctly. During the winter, you should perform a cursory check every 90 days (about once a season). You should also have a thorough professional inspection done at least once a year.

Make Sure Your Fire Sprinklers Are Ready for Anything 

Whether you’re looking to protect your home, business, or both, turn to A&A Fire Protection to get the job done. With comprehensive professional services and top-tier customer care, you can rest easy knowing your system is in good hands. Call us today to learn more about our maintenance and winterization services.