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Fire Sprinklers: Myths & Solutions

The fire sprinkler — a ceiling-adorned gadget used by countless comedians to douse an entire room of unsuspecting men and women with water. In use since 1974, a fire sprinkler is also considered the most effective solution for combating fires during their initial stages, i.e., before they trigger life-threatening conditions and severe property damage.

Here’s the thing — some people suspect that the water damage caused by fire sprinklers is (or can be) worse than not only other firefighting methods (think fire hoses), but also the fire damage itself. This, we assure you, is anything but true.

NFPA 13D Standard

Standards matter, especially when it comes to firefighting. Take into consideration National Fire Protection Association 13D (NFPA 13D), a standard that applies to residential sprinkler systems. It basically denotes the precise requirements for any such system:

  • How It Should Be Designed
  • How It Should Be Installed
  • How It Should Be Tested
  • How It Should Be Rated
  • How It Should Be Maintained

The primary goal of NFPA 13 is to ensure that fire sprinklers function more safely by preventing a condition known as flashover. Another goal is to reduce the wastage of water and also the quantity of fire damage. According to an investigation conducted by officials in Scottsdale, Arizona, for instance, a fire sprinkler uses only about 341 gallons of water to douse a fire. Firefighters, on the other hand, use close to 3000 gallons.

Also, the most advanced fire sprinklers function independently of one another. If a fire breaks out in the kitchen, for instance, only the sprinkler(s) in that room start spraying water everywhere. This too helps lower the quantity of water damage that ends up resulting.

The point is simply that it is economical and wise to invest in a fire sprinkler for your home. It’s certainly better than relying on firefighters. With that said, it too causes problems, namely water damage.

Water Damage Caused By Fire Sprinklers

Because fire sprinklers use so much less water, they inevitably create less damage. Plus, they spring into action the moment a fire erupts, meaning you also wind up with less fire damage. Our goal today is to look at how to deal with the former.

Hire A Professional

The first thing you ought to do is contact a water restoration company. These businesses possess the training and tools to effectively deal with any and all water damage. We realize however that this might not be optimal, especially if the damage is very limited. We also understand the expenses associated with seeking the assistance of a professional.

In case you want to attempt to perform the cleanup yourself, the steps you will need to take include extracting the water, drying out the home (or office) and then salvaging any repairable items.

Extracting The Water

Extracting the water can involve something as simple as just placing towels all over the place. However, in more severe cases, you will need to take advantage of either a dehumidifier or water pump. These are expensive but invaluable tools that permit you to quickly and effectively remove boatloads of water from a home.

Drying Out The Home

This step coincides a bit with the previous one, in that the dehumidifier is useful for both extracting water and drying out the home. However, at some point in time, you’ll want to turn off the dehumidifier and open all the windows in the home. This will let fresh air do it natural job of not only drying things, but also removing bad odors.

Salvaging Personal Items

This could be the easiest or hardest step, depending on the extent of the damage. In less severe situations, you can usually get away with just wiping down objects, running rugs/tapestries through the dryer and letting air do the rest of the work. More severe situations, however, require the tools available only to restoration specialists.

Final Considerations

Ideally, you should always speak with water restoration experts after any sort of flood. The free assessment can provide you with valuable insight pertaining to the scope of the damage. Furthermore, the company might be able to offer you an affordable quote that fits your budget. Last but not least, these companies possess the equipment needed to get the job done correctly.

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