Fire Sprinkler Innovation: 5 Things You Might Not Know

  • December 20, 2022
Fire Sprinkler Heads

Fire sprinkler systems have long been a vital component in fire prevention systems, providing an automatic and instant response to fires in many facilities. These systems are constantly evolving, so we’ve compiled five of the most innovative ways they can provide enhanced fire protection that you may not know about:

1. Visual Flame Detectors

Most sprinkler systems respond directly to heat. They have a glass vial that holds a liquid that expands as the temperature rises. At high temperatures, this breaks the glass, which releases the plug from the sprinkler and allows water to flow freely.

Modern sprinkler systems offer enhanced controls in addition to this traditional option. Visual flame detectors are some of the latest innovations. They detect fires through graphic imaging, identifying the strong and unique light emitted from open flames. 

Because they identify fires immediately, visual detectors offer faster response times than other systems. Fire takes a long time to heat the air before sprinklers go off. Optical flame detectors add triggers that can activate far more quickly, saving you and your property from a raging fire.

2. Mist Systems

Conventional sprinkler systems disperse large droplets of water throughout the area and help dowse flames, absorbing heat and reducing the temperature to prevent further combustion. But new systems provide an innovative, alternative method:

Instead of large droplets, mist systems disperse water through a fine mist, which can smother fires before they grow out of control. The same volume of water has a higher surface area in the form of droplets, allowing it to absorb heat quickly.

That absorption also lets the mist rapidly turn to steam upon contact with the fire and hot surfaces. The steam will continue to absorb high amounts of heat, further accelerating the dowsing process.

3. Early Suppression Fast Response Sprinklers

Early suppression fast response (ESFR) sprinkler systems are relatively new and provide speedier fire suppression in certain situations. These systems are ideal for storage facilities where fires can spread very quickly.

These systems also use higher water pressure than conventional sprinklers and provide a higher flow rate, which can dowse fires where hazardous and flammable materials are at risk of igniting. Another benefit of ESFR fire sprinkler systems is easier installation. Fewer headers are required and don’t need to be spread out, which can be crucial in warehouses where layouts change.

4. Smart Fire Sprinkler Monitoring

Most people don’t pay much attention to their fire sprinkler systems until they’re needed. The rest of the time, issues may go unnoticed and important maintenance might be overlooked. Smart monitoring helps ensure your fire sprinkler system stays functional (without manual inspection).

Smart sensors can be distributed throughout the system to provide steady data on water pressure and other factors, letting building owners know if certain elements require repair.

With advancements in Internet of things (IoT) technologies, these sensors have become smaller and more affordable. Wireless connectivity makes them easier to install into existing systems to provide another layer of protection.

5. Foam Fire Sprinkler Systems

Water is undeniably an excellent fire suppressant, and most modern buildings already have reliable access to the water supply. However, foam fire suppression systems can achieve even better results.

These systems use a mixture of water and foam rather than just water alone. Foam rapidly expands, providing improved coverage and smothering flames more efficiently and effectively.

Foam fire sprinkler systems are helpful in power plants, chemical storage, and other regions where fires pose significant threats—but that doesn’t mean they can’t work in commercial spaces.

Take Advantage of the Latest in Fire Safety

A&A Fire Protection provides businesses and homes with fire protection installations and services, including fire sprinkler systems. Our professionals can evaluate your facility and find the right solution to protect it while meeting safety standards. 

From there, we will design your fire sprinkler system, perform a quality installation, and manage permits and other vital details. Reach out today to talk with an expert about your fire safety needs.