Have you recently started planning a new construction project in Tulsa or Oklahoma City? Or maybe you’re remodeling a building to accommodate the new business you plan to open in 2018. There are so many moving parts to a commercial construction project that it can seem overwhelming. One of the most important safety aspects of a project is the fire protection system that will be installed.
So, which type of fire sprinkler system will be best? There are a number of factors that will determine which system will best protect your new business. An experienced fire protection company such as Mac Systems in both Tulsa and OKC can handle all aspects of the design and installation of your system, but it is good to be familiar with some of the fire protection equipment terms that will be discussed. Two of those terms will likely be “standard response” and “quick response” fire sprinklers. Although the difference in those two types of sprinklers may seem obvious, there are some details that will come into play when discussing which sprinkler is best installed. And, of course, these are not the only two types of sprinklers, but they are two that are commonly used with their own distinct differences.
Standard Response Sprinklers – What are they designed to do?
These “standard” sprinklers get their name because of the difference in thermal sensitivity compared to quick response sprinklers. In basic terms, this thermal sensitivity is how fast the liquid inside the glass bulb on sprinkler head will absorb the heat, expand, and then break open. A standard response sprinkler has a glass bulb size of 5MM, whereas quick response sprinklers have a 3MM glass bulb. Thus, the small bulb size will break faster when exposed to heat than the larger standard bulb. But this is not the only difference.
Standard response sprinklers are designed to act differently in response to a fire. These sprinklers are designed to soak material in the area that would serve as fuel for the fire. They activate individually, directly above an active fire, and then soak or “pre-wet” even adjacent materials that the fire has not ignited yet so that the fire doesn’t spread.
These types of sprinklers are most often used in industrial buildings like warehouses and other commercial building applications.
Quick Response Sprinklers – How do they perform differently? Where are they used?
As their name denotes, quick response sprinklers will activate slightly faster than their standard counterparts, but the biggest difference in the two is the manner in which they will control a fire. Quick response sprinklers will spray water higher, toward the walls and ceiling, so that the fire doesn’t reach as high or the temperature doesn’t get as hot and flashover occur. These sprinklers also cool the ceiling temperature and thus slow the fire’s progression. Thus, they are designed to be used in light hazard applications and areas that are more populated such as schools, healthcare facilities, office buildings, etc. These sprinklers are thus designed to be used more for immediate life safety.
However, choosing one sprinkler type over another isn’t just as simple as occupancy type. There are numerous factors as well as fire codes and other regulations that will determine which type is best for your building. Both types of fire sprinklers have lifesaving capabilities and both have their own strengths.
If you have a new construction or remodel project, or you need to replace fire sprinklers already installed, the fire protection specialists at Mac Systems in both Tulsa and OKC can design and install the best fire sprinkler system for your business.
(Sprinkler photo by Viking Group Inc.)