“Do Fire Sprinklers Really Save Lives and Property?” An Educational Program to Increase Your Safety

Fire sprinklers save lives and property

Do fire sprinklers really save lives and property?  Of course they do.  They work just as well as any modern automatic mechanical system that is properly installed by qualified personnel, following the manufacturer’s specifications for the application and installation of components, which have been tested, approved,  and are currently listed for the specified installation application by a national testing laboratory, when the specific design and installation is reviewed. approved. and inspected by the local authority having jurisdiction over construction of such systems and facilities, which insures that the system complies with all of the adopted codes and standards for the construction and operation of such systems.   In other words, they absolutely do work perfectly and do the job they are intended to do 99% of the time,  during the first month that they are brand new and freshly approved.

Two or three months past the  date the systems was approved and put into service, that question is a little harder to answer.  Five, ten , or twenty years later,  these automatic systems that we place so much faith and trust in may not work anything like they were designed to, or as we expect them to.  Why not?  Well there are many things that can go wrong.  There are human factors and natural forces that work against these systems in the short and long term.   When these are all sorted out and categorized, what we find is the same familiar groups of culprits that cause all the other mechanical breakdowns in our world.  The list includes operator error, inadequate,  non-existing,  improper maintenance,  unauthorized modifications to the system or the building it protects,  errors made by improperly trained or supervised workers on other at nearby projects or facilities that share the same water mains, experts at other building trades trying to save money by working without a building permit and who are completely uninformed about how fire sprinkler systems are designed, who make blunders and create fire hazards neither they or you ever recognize until the place burns down, and finally our old friend, the man in the mirror, AKA Mr. Do It Yourself who makes these same mistakes.  Add to this mix,  cutbacks in government spending that may have might have thinned the ranks of your local fire inspectors to the point that they don’t pay you a visit as often as they used to.  All these factors create completely avoidable, but extremely serious challenges to the proper functioning of an automatic fire sprinkler system.  When a fire breaks out unexpectedly in your building threatening your  life and livelihood or home, you  depend on that fire sprinkler system doing the job it was designed to do.  As professional Fire Sprinkler Contractors, we want to make sure that your system does work, but we can’t do it without some help from you, the building owners and occupants.  To help our customers and the public understand these enemies of a properly working fire sprinkler system, we are going to show you what these gremlins are, where they come from, and what you need to do to avoid letting them damage or undermine the effectiveness of your fire sprinkler system.

Over the next two months we will take one of these categories each week and look at it in depth, take it apart, understand it, and learn how to avoid it at work or at home.  Then we will go back and look at our own systems to make sure these problems have not taken root in our building.   If they have, we’ll show you how to get rid of them and make sure your system is in top condition and ready for anything.   We believe the best way to keep you safe is through education and training.

Remember our motto:  “Preventing A Fire Cost A Lot Less Than Fighting One.”

Neville Throckmorton, President

Firecode Safety Equipment, Inc.

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