Fire Sprinkler FAQ’s

Fire Sprinkler FAQ’s

How much do sprinklers cost?

The cost of a Fire Sprinkler installation will vary depending on system type, risk category, installation type and number of heads. A small 3-bedroom house (new build) could cost around £2,800 for a mains fed system. Contact us for a free quotation or read more on the cost of a fire sprinkler system.

Are there alternatives to sprinklers?

Yes, there are other suppression systems available or other fire protection measures that can be used in some situations. The final say will be with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) which could be a building control officer or fire officer. A fire strategy may be required also to support the alternatives. For instance, a travel distance issue may be overcome by installing a Dry Riser. Our sister company Dry Risers Direct Ltd will be able to assist with this element. In Wales, Fire sprinklers are mandatory and therefore will need to be installed in any residential or domestic project that requires planning.

Can sprinklers be retrospectively fitted?

Yes, however this does increase installation time and can require other works such as re decoration, plastering or boxings in to mention a few which would not be part of our work.

Will all the sprinkler heads go off if there is a fire?

This is a common question that we have Hollywood to blame for! The heads used for domestic and residential systems are individually heat sensitive using either a bulb or fusible link which will pop or melt when reaching a temperature of 740C, this also answers the other question of ‘will they go off if I burn the toast?’ Only if the toaster is on fire!

If we install sprinklers do we still need smoke detection?

Yes, smoke detection should always be the first line of defence. Good smoke detection systems will go off as an early warning enabling evacuation or potential to preventing ignition.

Do sprinklers need regular maintenance like my boiler?

Yes, it is recommended that sprinklers systems are checked annually. This is to ensure they still perform as designed. Anything installed to BS9251:2014 and 2021 should have a system data label which informs the person testing what the system design flow and pressures are. If these are not met it could affect the operation of the system.

How long will a safety check take?

This depends on the size of the system and number of valves however a small 3-bedroom house would take 45 minutes – 1 hour and would cost around £150.

How long does a system take to fit?

This depends on the size of a system, as a rough guide a small 3-bedroom house (new build) would take 3-4 days. With installation, most of the work is undertaken at what we call ‘first fix’ which is installing the pipe and heads while we have access to the ceiling/floor voids. Once all the pipework and heads are installed we pressure test to ensure the integrity of the pipework. Much later in the project we return for second fix. This is cover plates for the heads (after decoration is finished) and the system delivery equipment (mains connection/ pump and tank). Finally its commission which is testing the water supplies to ensure they meet the system requirements.

Fire Sprinkler FAQ’s

How does a sprinkler work?

Residential and domestic sprinklers systems are permanently charged with water, the sprinkler heads are made up of a plug, a bulb/ fusible link, a deflector plate and a cover plate. As the heat builds near to a sprinkler head it must reach 57oc + before the cover plate falls away revealing the sprinkler head. As the temperature increases further to 68oc + the bubble in the bulb expands breaking the glass or the solder melts on the fusible link (depending on the head type) releasing the plug and allowing the water to flow. Sprinkler for this application are mechanically heat activated only so false alarms do not happen.

If there is a fault will the sprinklers still work?

The system is only as reliable as its supply, if that’s a mains fed system it relies on a mains water supply which can be interrupted. It is an accepted supply type in the British standard because we are fortunate enough in Britain to have reliable water supplies. This does not mean when commissioned the system will always work as designed as things can change. That is why it is best practice to have a system checked at least once a year. With pump and tank systems these are reliant on a power supply again the British standard recognises that we have reliable services. It is the responsibility of the designer to establish the most reliable system and look at safeguarding these with monitoring systems or backup supplies where required.

Fire Sprinkler FAQ’s continued

Will sprinklers effect my insurance?

There is very little if any increase or decrease in premiums for installation of residential sprinklers. This is something that you would have to discuss with your insurer. Domestic and Residential sprinkler systems are designed as life safety systems.

If the sprinklers activate how much damage will they cause?

If sprinklers activate because of a fire they will cause far less damage than an uncontrolled fire and measurably less than the fire brigade. 1 sprinkler head active will use 50 litres of water a minute as a guide. 1 fire hose can use up to 1200 litres of water a minute.

Sprinklers Direct Limited,

Units 2 & 3 Millbank House,
Riverside Business Park,

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