Fire sprinkler systems can make all the difference when a fire breaks out in a building. Modern and effective systems react automatically as soon as they detect heat, flooding the building with water to prevent the fire from spreading and causing catastrophic damage.
But many businesses don’t realize this until it’s too late.
They put off installing a sprinkler system, thinking that the worst will never happen to them—and then they wish they had installed one the day a fire one day breaks out.
Here is a guide to the benefits of installing a sprinkler system, and how to go about getting it installed.
Benefits of Fire Sprinkler Systems
Fire sprinkler systems have many benefits. The key benefit of installing a fire sprinkler system is the increased safety they provide for the occupants of the building. A system will detect heat and activate the sprinklers automatically, often before humans would be able to react to it.
This is especially true when a fire breaks out where no one is present. In this case, the system can suppress or extinguish the fire before it causes too much damage.
A sprinkler system also allows the occupants of the building to evacuate the building in good time. By preventing the fire from spreading, the sprinklers give people time to get out safely.
The sprinklers can also reduce the severity of a fire, helping firefighters to put it out quicker, and making their job safer.
Ultimately, sprinklers can also reduce damage caused to the building, so that even if some damage is caused, the building may not be completely destroyed.
Sprinkler systems are also inconspicuous. They are designed to be hidden away so that they do not affect the aesthetics of the building, which may be an important consideration for businesses.
Key Considerations to Keep in Mind
Cost is going to be one of the big considerations for businesses. With all of the benefits that a sprinkler system can provide, cost is often the only thing preventing businesses from installing them.
For a small business, it could cost a few thousand dollars. However, large corporations could spend many times more and even need to consult with one of the fire hose suppliers in their area.
About $1 per square foot is common in a new construction, but this can rise to about $7 a square foot if you are retrofitting your existing building. Installations in historic buildings can cost more.
However, you may be able to get a discounted rate from your insurer for installing a system in your property, so you should consider the cost savings as well.
You may also want to consider the use of a chemical corrosion inhibitor in the system to provide effective corrosion control. This can prevent systems from leaking by reducing water damage, which can improve hydraulic performance.
Tips for Installing a Sprinkler System
When it comes to installing a fire sprinkler system in a commercial property, you will need to hire the services of a specialist contractor for this task.
So how should you go about finding one?
You will want to choose a contractor in your area with a lot of experience. Some installers may have more experience with installing sprinkler systems in older buildings or historic buildings, so this may be what you want to focus on.
Whoever you choose, you will want to ensure they have a good reputation in your area, and you will want to find out about the other systems that they have installed.
Talk to other business owners in your area, perhaps when you meet up a conferences or networking events. Ask them for recommendations, and you are sure to get a few solid leads.
You should also ensure that the contractor you hire meets the standards for commercial sprinkler installation NFPA 13. This is a national standard that they should all meet—and ideally exceed—to ensure they provide a safe and competent service.
Some providers will design the system specifically for your business, so this is worth considering. Find out about the other businesses they have served, and you may even want to take a look at the systems to judge them for yourself.
You should also consult with your fire safety authority and talk to them and get their advice. They may provide you with guidance on the design, as well as advice for maintaining the system.
Protect Your Business with a Fire Sprinkler System
A fire sprinkler system can help to keep your business premises—and the occupants—safer in the event of a fire breaking out. While practicing good fire safety to reduce the risk of fires is always the first line of defense, a fire sprinkler system can help to prevent a fire from turning into a catastrophe.
So consider your options, start looking at the different types of systems, and work out the costs. Then find a specialist sprinkler system provider and get your system installed to reduce the risks of fire.