While just about all U.S. hotels and other commercial buildings are required to have functional fire sprinklers, the vast majority of sprinkler activations don’t have anything to do with fire. Modern sprinklers have a glass vial that acts as a plug to block the flow of water, and this vial can be bumped (and broken) during repairs, renovations, or even rough horseplay.
Learn about some of the financial consequences of an activated fire sprinkler head and how having a fire sprinkler shut off tool handy on each floor can save you time, money, and headaches.
What Happens When Fire Sprinklers Are Activated
The glass plug in most fire sprinklers is filled with glycerine mixture. When this water is exposed to a heat source like fire, smoke, or steam, it expands, eventually shattering the glass. But this glass can also be shattered if someone tries to use the sprinkler head as a clothes hanger or bumps against the sprinkler while attempting to paint or perform repairs around it.
Without this plug, water will flow through a gravity-fed sprinkler until it is shut off. These quick-response sprinklers can release between 60 gallons of water per minute, quickly flooding even large rooms. And if the sprinkler is activated while no one is around (or if those responsible for activating it don’t immediately call for help), this can mean an outflow of thousands of gallons of water.
Unless you contact a water and mold remediation company immediately for cleanup, you could be facing tens of thousands of dollars in damage to carpets, flooring panels, drywall, and joists that must be replaced. The restoration process can mean more lost revenue as parts of your building are out of commission.
And the cost of these restoration services isn’t cheap either. Hidden water damage can lead to mold growth, posing health and safety issues for your customers and employees; so even if the water damage initially appears to be limited, without extensive restoration services, it may be all but impossible to determine the extent of the damage.
Stem Water Damage With a Fire Sprinkler Shut Off Tool
Although most companies with fire sprinklers have a fire sprinkler shut off tool on site, if this tool isn’t centrally located (or isn’t where it should be), costly water damage may be unavoidable. For every additional five minutes, it takes someone to find and use a sprinkler shut off tool, this can mean an extra 40 to 125 gallons of water per minute flowing through the room.
Instead, keep a fire sprinkler shut off tool with every fire extinguisher in your building, where it’s easily accessible in an emergency. Shutgun’s fire sprinkler tools quickly shut off just about every type of fire sprinkler head, can be operated with a single hand, and are highly affordable. Visit our website to browse our fire sprinkler products and learn how they can save your company money.