Fire Sprinkler Systems

A Fire Sprinkler System can provide an effective method of dealing with a fire by using water to suppress the flames.

The film-makers of Hollywood would have us believe that all the sprinkler heads discharge in a building in the event of a fire. The reality is that only the sprinkler head, or heads closest to the fire is activated.

A Sprinkler System is formed from a network of pipework usually charged full with water which is why it is important to make sure that they are serviced correctly and on a regular basis in accordance with the relevant legislative standards.

At Firecom Systems Ltd all our engineers are fully trained, and industry accredited give you peace of mind that following each service (subject to remedial or correction works), that your premises are fully protected and compliant.

Some Sprinkler systems are fed their water from the towns main (from the mains in the street) whilst other systems may be fed their water supply by a tank and pump arrangement. Sprinkler tanks also need inspecting on a regular basis to ensure conformity and the integrity of the tank hasn’t been breached with leaks or failing joints.
Commercial, Residential & Domestic Fire Sprinkler systems Nottingham, Derby & Leicester
There are a number of different designs of fire sprinkler system. A wet pipe system is designed to be permanently charged with water whereas a subsidiary alternate system is designed to be capable of being charged with air or water.
There are a number of different types of sprinklers including:
  • Fusible link - an element melts opening the sprinkler head
  • Glass bulb - a liquid filled glass bulb bursts opening the sprinkler
  • Pendent - water discharged downwards by a nozzle
  • Quick response – quick response temperature sensing element
  • Recessed – heat sensing element is above lower plane of the ceiling
  • Residential pattern – water discharged outward and downward
  • Sidewall pattern – discharge of water outward in a paraboloid pattern
  • Upright – water discharged upwards
Whichever Fire Sprinkler system you require our qualified Design Team can offer a fully compliant service in accordance with legislative standards.

Ten things you should know about Fire Sprinklers

  1. Fire Sprinklers are far and away the most efficient and effective safety devices known, having a better than 99% success rate in service worldwide.
  2. Fire alarms by themselves can only warn of fire and depend on someone calling the Fire Brigade. Fire Sprinklers not only warn of fire they also act immediately to extinguish the fire, even if no one is present.
  3. Over 50% of all fire casualties are either young or old, or physically incapacitated and cannot help themselves. Fire Sprinklers, even if they do not put out the fire, will at the very least raise the alarm and extend the time available for escape or rescue.
  4. Fire in the home is responsible for most fire deaths and injuries in the UK. Your chance of experiencing a serious fire in the home in your lifetime is around 1 in 5.
  5. Residential Fire Sprinkler systems inexpensive, costing typically less than 2% of the cost of an average new house, or about the cost of carpeting a house but, unlike carpets, they are designed to last at least 50 years.
  6. Fire Sprinklers are very reliable. Statistics show the chance of finding a defective sprinkler head is 1: 16,000,000 (one in sixteen million).
  7. Houses which suffer major fires are seldom able to be lived in afterwards and are often demolished. Rooms protected by fire sprinklers can usually be back in use within a few hours, and the rest of the house is usually unaffected.
  8. Each sprinkler is individually triggered directly by the heat of a fire and will have reacted long before the Fire Brigade is even called. Only the sprinkler directly affected by the fire goes off, using typically 10 gal/min of water to control the fire.
  9. Sprinklers use between 1/25th and 1/100th of the water used by each Fire Brigade hose – so in the event of a fire water damage is minimised. In fact, sprinklers use even less water than this because they tackle the fire immediately, when it is still small. Smaller fires need much less water to control them.
  10. Modern Residential Sprinklers are small, neat and unobtrusive and visitors are seldom able to spot them. They are available in a variety of finishes and colours to suit any decor and are even available in concealed versions.

Residential & Domestic Fire Sprinkler Systems

  1. There are many different ways of categorising domestic and residential accommodation. Domestic and residential sprinkler systems installations should however conform to BS 9251: 2021 and DD252: 2002 standardsBS 9251:2021 guidelines cover two occupancy types:

    Residential: multiple occupation include apartments, residential homes, HMO’s, blocks of flats, boarding houses, aged persons homes, nursing homes, residential rehabilitation accommodation, dormitories.

    Domestic: individual dwelling houses, individual flats, maisonettes, and transportable homes.

    Hospitals, detention centres, schools and hotels are not covered by BS 9251:2021

    The types of property covered vary on size and type of resident and therefore are split into risk categories. These categories range from 1-3.

    • Category 1 covers individual dwellings to small blocks of flats (less than 18M high).
    • Category 2 covers large blocks of flats (over 18M high) and small residential care homes (10 residents or less).
    • Category 3 covers large residential care homes (more than 10 residents) to hostels.

    There has also been a significant change in the legislation requiring automatic fire sprinklers to be installed in all new built flats over 11 metres. This will increase the use of domestic and residential sprinklers in this sector and Firecom Systems Ltd are happy to discuss your requirements with our qualified Design Team.

Commercial Sprinkler Systems

  1. The most widely used standard is the LPC Rules for Automatic Sprinkler Installations incorporating BS EN 12845 in the UK.

    It is important that you choose a company with the correct accreditations and qualified engineers to service you Fire Sprinkler system.

    Sprinkler systems contain either a glass bulb filled with a liquid that expands with heat, or a solder fusible link that will melt when it reaches a certain temperature. When hot air rises as the result of a fire, the glass bulb shatters or the solder melts, thus activating the sprinkler head.

Fire sprinkler commercial valve set

A typical Fire Sprinkler Commercial Valve Set

Flow Switch Testing

  1. Flow switch testing is an important part of testing a commercial Sprinkler System and proving that the water inside the sprinkler pipework is correctly flowing as well as sending a signal to the fire alarm or monitored panel.

    Flow switches are usually found in shopping centres that have Sprinkler systems installed throughout and in accordance with BS EN 12845 guidelines should be tested on a quarterly basis.

    At Firecom Systems Ltd we can offer you competitive prices in testing your flow switch as we cluster our visits especially at shopping centres located near together. Following each visit our engineer completes on site certification demonstrating to the shopping centre that your system is working correctly, and sending a signal back to centre management.

Retail Fire sprinklers - flow switch

A typical Flow Switch Unit in a Shopping Centre

Pump Testing

  1. Fire pumps that are used to pump the water through the Sprinkler System in large commercial systems should be started and run on a regular basis to ensure they are working correctly and therefore able to successfully pump water throughout the Sprinkler pipework network should they be called upon.

Commercial fire sprinkler systems - fire pump

A typical Fire Pump linked to a Sprinkler System

Fire Pump Servicing

  1. During an inspection, a professional will assess the overall condition of the fire pump to verify that it remains in good operating condition. This checklist includes:
    • Performing a visual inspection of system components in the pump room to make sure that mechanical components haven’t degraded over time.
    • Performing a flow test of the pump at rated and peak flow volumes.
    • Comparing results of the tests to previous tests and the original design criteria
    • Ensuring that pump components are properly lubricated.
    A fire pump that is powered by a diesel engine requires regular maintenance and its engine, servicing; this includes replacement of the oil, oil filter, air filter, and fuel filter. This engine maintenance is very similar to the service you perform on your car to ensure it has a healthy life span.

    Neglecting a fire pump can be expensive

    Failure to maintain a fire pump will shorten its useful life; the typical lifespan of the equipment is about 20 years, and replacing a fire pump costs a lot of money, as it’s the single-most expensive component of any life safety fire protection system.

Please feel free to contact our team for a Free Site Survey or No Obligation Quotation on 0115 822 2000 or at contactus@firecomsystems.co.uk

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