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Understanding Why Your Fire Sprinkler Activated

Understanding Why Your Fire Sprinkler Activated

Sometimes fire sprinkler bulbs can overheat without the smoke and flames associated with a fire emergency.

When it comes to fire safety, fire sprinkler systems are a great option. While smoke detectors are the most widely used form of fire detection in residential and commercial buildings, fire sprinklers provide protection that can reduce damage to your property and help keep people safe during an emergency. But when you use a fire sprinkler system, it’s important to know how they work to ensure they’re well-maintained in case of emergency. Here is a helpful guide to understanding how fire sprinklers are activated.

How Sprinklers Work

Fire sprinklers, which are attached to a network of pipes, will typically be installed in ceiling corners or along walls in order to blend into the room. These systems will be connected to a water main in order to release water quickly during an emergency situation. There are glass bulbs fitted in the fire sprinklers that are filled with a gas or liquid that expands in heat. When these bulbs are heated up, the substance inside will expand and cause the bulb to break, releasing a valve that will trigger the sprinkler system to release water, suppressing smoke to allow people to escape and helping to reduce damage to the property. So what can cause these bulbs to overheat and break when there’s no fire?


Sometimes fire sprinkler bulbs can overheat without the smoke and flames associated with a fire emergency. There are a few activities that can inadvertently activate your sprinklers. Devices that emit a lot of heat, such as construction lighting rigs or film cameras can cause overheating. When placed too close to a fire sprinkler, these devices can overheat the bulb and cause the system to go off, potentially causing water damage to the equipment and the property. Sometimes, even a skylight in the hot sun too close to a fire sprinkler can cause it to overheat and activate.

Purposeful Activation

Lastly, fire sprinklers can be manually set off. When there’s no actual fire or heat emission near the sprinkler, a person may sabotage the sprinkler system by heating the bulb and forcing the fire sprinkler to activate. Occasionally someone will sabotage a fire sprinkler system in their home or place of business in order to recoup insurance money from the damages. This is illegal, so an unexplained fire sprinkler activation would be investigated.

Commercial and Residential Fire Protection from Biles Fire Protection

Biles Fire Protection can help with all of your residential or commercial fire safety needs. We have the equipment and expertise to install wet sprinkler systems or dry sprinkler systems at affordable prices. We are well known for our top-notch customer service, quick response times, and reliable support and maintenance. To get a quote for your sprinkler system, fill out our online request form. For more information and to chat about how we can help meet your fire safety needs, visit us online or give us a call at (443) 701-8330. To get more fire safety tips and information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2019 at 4:14 pm . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.