Fire Protection FAQs

Few systems in your building matter quite as much as the fire protection systems that directly affect your property’s safety and well-being and all the people in it. Sprinklers, extinguishers, and other systems can mean the difference between a total loss and minor repairs.

To ensure the safety of you, your building, and everyone and everything else in your building, we’ve put together a brief list of the most common questions we get about each of these systems.

Fire Sprinkler FAQs

Quick-response fire sprinklers work by reacting to lower temperatures than standard-response sprinklers. A 3 mm bulb full of liquid acts as the trigger; when exposed to heat, the liquid expands and breaks the glass.

Standard-response fire sprinklers take longer to react due to the difference in the glass bulbs used; in standard-response sprinklers, the bulbs are 5 mm and take longer to trigger, though only by a few seconds of exposure to fire heat.

Most sprinklers contain a glass bulb filled with liquid that expands to shatter the bulb when exposed to heat. The bulb plugs the water, so when it bursts, the water is released. The liquid is color-coded, so you can tell what temperature will activate the sprinkler, from orange at 135 degrees Fahrenheit to black at 440 degrees Fahrenheit. They don’t react to dust or smoke, only to heat, but they might be accidentally triggered by breaking the bulb with physical tampering or impact.

Average property loss and risk of death per fire are cut by more than half in most buildings with a sprinkler system; civilian deaths drop by as much as 91 in some buildings, such as hotels or motels, which use fire sprinklers.

You should have your system thoroughly inspected by a professional at least once a year, more frequently if recommended for your specific system. You should also test monthly using the test valve, independent of any professional upkeep.

Fire Extinguisher FAQs

Ideally, you want no more than a 75-foot gap between Class A extinguishers and less than a 50-foot gap between Class B extinguishers, though the specifics of your building may suggest adding more or, rarely, fewer.

Extinguishers must be inspected monthly by you or your employees and maintained annually by a professional, with internal maintenance done every six years, and hydro tests required every 12 years.

You should have Class K fire extinguishers, which can effectively extinguish grease fires in your kitchen, not the standard ABC extinguishers you might be accustomed to.

OSHA standards require that any employee-available extinguisher be paired with education on its use and related hazards.

Here are some steps to follow but may vary based on the extinguisher at your facility. It is always best to notify the fire department when a fire is present so they can assist you in what should be done and send help as needed.

  1. Pull the pin to release the lock or seal
  2. Aim the nozzle of the extinguisher low, pointing at the base of the flame
  3. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
  4. Move the nozzle from left to right covering the base of the flames until the fire dies out
  5. Watch the fire to make sure it does not reignite

You want a clean agent fire extinguisher. Speak to our team for a more specific recommendation that is appropriate for your environment.

Fire Suppression FAQs

Halon depletes the ozone layer and can be harmful to humans, so it has been banned from new production by the Clean Air Act of 1994; existing supplies and systems are allowed to continue to exist and be used, but no new ones.

Cooking equipment is one of the leading causes of fires across multiple industries, thanks to the combination of high temperatures, flammable oils, and high potential for human error.

Automatic fire suppression systems are designed to extinguish fires without requiring human intervention using heat detectors, heat-sensitive fusible links, and other detection methods to release appropriate extinguishing agents.

Vehicle Fire Suppression FAQs

Studies show that improvements in fire suppression equipment quality, user training, and upkeep greatly mitigate the risk of fire losses — there has been a steady decline of these events as vehicle fire suppression solutions spread in North America.

More vehicle fires occur when flammable fluids such as hydraulic fluid, oil, or diesel fuel come into contact with a hot surface or electrical discharge. This can occur due to leaks, buildup over time, crashes, or a number of other events. Detection systems are set up to monitor this occurrence and react rapidly to extinguish flames with appropriate agents far faster than human reactions could achieve.