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FAQs About Fire Protection Systems

Few systems in your building matter quite as much as your 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

How does a quick-response fire sprinkler work?

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

How does a standard-response fire sprinkler work?

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

How do fire sprinkler systems work?

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.

Why do I need a fire sprinkler system in my building?

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.

How can I maintain my sprinkler system?

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

How many fire extinguishers do I need in my building?

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.

How often do I need fire extinguisher inspection?

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.

What kind of fire extinguisher do I need in my commercial kitchen?

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.

Is fire extinguisher training required?

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

What is the best type of fire extinguisher for sensitive electrical equipment?

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

Why is Halon being phased out?

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.

Why does kitchen hood suppression matter?

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.

How does fire suppression work?

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

Why is vehicle fire suppression important?

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.

What does vehicle fire suppression do?

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.

Manufacturers and Certifications