Key Components of Fire Protection Systems
A fire prevention system is necessary for the construction of any building. In fact, you can’t construct a building without some form of fire prevention. These systems can come in various forms, such as sprinklers and alarms. At Backflow Direct, we manufacture high-quality backflow preventer devices for fire sprinklers. That’s just one component of fire prevention. To educate our customers, we’ve prepared a list of the key components of fire protection systems.
Understanding Fire Protection Systems
Okay, so there are two types of fire protection systems to get familiar with for your building. They are:
- Active fire protection
- Passive fire protection
Active fire protection systems get their name because they actively try to stop the fire. Examples of active fire systems include fire sprinkler systems and fire alarms. These systems will contain the fire either by dispersing water or alerting others.
Examples of passive fire systems include fire-resistant walls and doors and fire-resistant coatings. Basically, passive fire systems will contain fires without taking action. Any type of fireproof construction falls under passive fire prevention.
To keep your building as safe as possible, you should use a combination of both active and passive fire systems. Below, we’ll talk about a few of the components of fire protection systems.
Fire Sprinkler Systems
These are some of the most effective fire prevention systems on the market. If you want to keep your building safe, installing automatic fire sprinklers is a great idea. There are a lot of components that go into an automatic sprinkler system. Here’s a breakdown of how the process works:
- Once the fire reaches a certain temperature, the head of the sprinkler system will activate. Water will disperse over the entire area, putting out any fires they encounter.
- It’s a misconception that every sprinkler head will activate once one goes off. Instead, most systems will only activate the sprinkler heads around the fire. There’s a good reason for this. If sprinkler heads go off where there is no fire, you could risk damaging your electronics. Most automatic fire sprinkler systems will only activate over the fire to protect the rest of the owner’s property.
There are also quite a few types of fire sprinklers available today. They are:
Wet Pipe Sprinkler Systems
These contain water at all times. That means they’re always ready to go in case of a fire. They’re the most common type of sprinkler system available today. Wet Pipe systems are also low maintenance and affordable. They’re a must-have for any new building that you’re constructing.
Dry Sprinkler Systems
These sprinklers don’t use water at first. Instead, they use pressurized air in the pipe that exits before the water comes out.
Pre-Action Sprinkler Systems
These systems contain air at all times. The water passes through only if the smoke detector goes off. If your business is trying to avoid water damage, then pre-action sprinklers are ideal.
Deluge Sprinkler Systems
A deluge sprinkler system features completely open nozzles. They’re common in industrial parks due to their ability to respond quickly to hazards. For example, a deluge sprinkler system can put a fire out in seconds if a flammable liquid ignites.
Another type of fire protection system is standpipes. They’re built into the construction of a building and provide crucial water flow to hose valves.
Like a fire hydrant, a firefighter can connect a hose to a standpipe for a water source. A standpipe will use the building’s main water source to pump water into the hose. Installing standpipes is a great way to prevent fires in your building since a standpipe on each floor will ensure successful hose hookup.
If you have the room in your budget, try to include as many standpipes as possible in strategic areas. There are three classes of standpipes:
- Class I Systems. These feature 2½" hose connectors. You commonly find Class 1 Systems in high-rise buildings too far up for fire ladders.
- Class II Systems. These have 1½" hose connectors. These are smaller hoses that are for trained building occupants. The idea is for them to hold off the fire until trained firefighters arrive.
- Class III Systems. These contain both 1½" and 2½" hose connectors. The smaller connector is for trained building residents, and the larger is for when the fire department arrives.
Fire Alarm Systems
We all know what fire alarms are—they notify occupants of the building in case of a fire. You must install these in every single room of a building. There are two different kinds:
- Automatic systems will detect smoke or heat and trigger a high-pitched alarm. They contain intelligent sensors that will pick up on higher temperatures and smoke particles.
- Manual systems will require an occupant to pull them. They also emit a high-pitched alarm.
The downside of a manual system is that it requires someone to witness the fire. An automatic system will sound the second that it detects smoke or heat. Automatic systems are convenient for fires that occur in the middle of the night. Manual systems are practical as well, as sometimes automated systems can malfunction. Like standpipes, we recommend installing a mix of the two in your building for optimal protection.
Backflow Prevention Systems
Standpipes and sprinkler systems both need backflow preventers. These are critical components of many fire prevention systems. Without a backflow preventer, you risk contaminating your building’s water source, which can lead to devastating results.
That’s why it’s indispensable to install a backflow preventer for every water pump. If you have hoses, pumps, and pipes in your building, then you need backflow preventers for them all.
Putting It All Together
There you have it—the key components of fire protection systems. It’s vital to install a combination of fire protection systems in your new building. You’ll want a mix of active and passive systems, as well as backflow preventers for your water pumps.
To keep your building safe, follow these essential steps when thinking of fire prevention:
- Pick the right fire sprinkler system for your building. Decide whether you want to use a wet-pipe or pre-action sprinkler system.
- Use a mix of standpipe classes on each floor of your building. You’ll want to include a few more minor nozzle hookups so that trained building residents can use them.
- Install both manual and automatic fire alarm systems. Remember, you need to use both types of fire alarm systems for optimal security. Automatic alarms will notify you of a fire when everyone is asleep. Manual fire alarms can warn everyone when the automatic alarms fail to recognize the threat.
- Use backflow prevention devices on all water pump systems. You don’t want your building residents getting sick from backflow. Your fire sprinklers and standpipes need backflow preventers to keep your water supply clean.
At Backflow Direct, we’re your number one source for high-quality backflow preventer parts. We’ll make sure that all your water pumps only flow in one direction.