Fire sprinkler systems have helped save property and lives for more than 120 years. The first fire sprinkler system design was invented in 1812 by William Congreve. However, the modern sprinkler head was not invented until 1895, as explained by Stuart Lloyd’s video. Fire sprinkler systems are required in many new large buildings today.
How Sprinkler Systems Work
Sprinkler heads are located on the ceiling with connecting water pipes. These heads include small glass containers filled with a liquid which expands in heat. Heat rises, so fire anywhere in the area will put off enough heat to make the liquid in the glass containers expand to open a valve in a sprinkler head. Pressurized water is sprayed in an arc to help douse the fire. Not all of the heads will activate at once. Each head will release its water valve one at a time. This helps keep water damage to a minimum. Some fire sprinkler systems will also alert the fire department.
Do You Still Need Smoke Detectors?
Sprinkler systems are not set off by smoke. Smoke detectors should still be used along with sprinkler systems. Very small fires can be detected and put out this way before enough heat rises to set off the sprinkler system. This can help prevent water damage.