Three Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems | Alpine Fire Engineers


When designing a new building it is imperative to install a sprinkler system, however there are 3 different types so it’s important to understand which best fits your needs.

Pre Action Sprinkler

A pre-action fire sprinkler system is typically fitted in data centres, where accidental activation should be avoided due to high value assets. There are 2 types of pre-action sprinklers, single and double interlock.

A single interlock system operates like a dry pipe sprinkler however the water is preceded by an early warning system such as a fire alarm, when this activated the dry pipe releases the air reducing the delay of water distribution.

A double interlock system works like a deluge system however with automatic sprinklers, it only operates when both a fire detection system goes off and the automatic sprinkler system Is activated, at this point the water comes through the pipes extinguishing the fire.

Wet Pipe Sprinkler System

A wet pipe sprinkler is the most commonly used fire suppression system due to its reliability and the simplistic but effective design. Basically, when a fire occurs the heat on site rises causing the heat detection tubes to break releasing water, typically either from water mains or a standalone water tank.  

This water is pushed through a piping system to the sprinkler heads which in turn either contains the fire long enough for emergency services to arrive or completely extinguishes the fire limiting damage to property. These are most commonly fit in high rise buildings or office, usually site where there are multiple floors that all need protecting in the case of a fire occurring.

Dry Pipe Sprinkler System

Unlike wet sprinkler systems, dry pipe sprinklers aren’t full of water but instead are pressurised with air. The pressure from the air holds a valve closed containing the behind it, when a sprinkler head detects a rise in heat the system activates releasing the air and subsequently the water.

Although, the time it takes the water to leave the open valve and travel down the pipes to the sprinkler heads is about a minute’s delay, however for buildings in colder climates where the water in the piping system would typically freeze, a dry pipe system is ideal.

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