Sprinkler Suppression Systems
Sprinkler Suppression Systems are an active fire protection measure, consisting of a water supply system, providing adequate pressure and flow rate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers are connected. Although historically only used in factories and large commercial buildings, home and small building systems are now available at a cost-effective price.
Residential and Domestic sprinkler systems are automatic fire suppression systems which are simple in design and have the priority of saving life. The system can be constructed with modern materials and with unobtrusive sprinkler heads mounted in the ceiling or high on the walls of a dwelling. They are generally connected to the town water supply. Once activated, the sprinkler system is designed to control the fire in its initial stages thereby allowing for the safe evacuation of occupants and additionally, to minimise fire damage. Contrary to popular belief, the only sprinkler heads which will operate are the ones which are individually activated by the heat from the fire and usually this is only the one head directly above the fire, thus minimising water damage. There are two separate Australian Standards for Residential and Domestic sprinkler systems.
In Victoria the Metropolitan Fire Brigade responds to approximately 29,000 calls a year. Some of these calls end in human tragedy with most deaths occurring in the home. With this in mind the level of fire safety needs to be further improved. The first major step was the ongoing success of smoke alarm installation, but the next step is the recommendation that Residential and Domestic Sprinklers be installed. The presence of smoke alarms and sprinklers increases the chance of survival by between 74% and 90%. In fact some states in the USA have a mandatory installation of sprinkler systems in all new houses.
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