The theatre Royal initiated the use of the fire sprinkler system in 1812. Sir Congreve invented the apparatus. The apparatus used were perforated pipes instead of the later designed sprinkler heads. The system was used in textile mills in New England for fire protection.
These systems did not use an automatic mechanism. They had to be manually adjusted in case of fires. Pratt, in 1872, invented the first automated sprinkler system. His piano company was installed with the first automated fire sprinkler system. The glass disc sprinkler came about in the year 1890 and is in use until today.
In the early 1940’s, only commercial buildings utilized the fire sprinkler system. The system managed to become a mandatory feature in modern North American buildings as a requisition by the building codes with their enforcement. Outside North America, sprinklers are not a mandatory feature in occupancies that have few occupants.
The fire sprinkler system is an active mechanism used to extinguish fires. It comprises of a network of piping used to distribute extinguishing agents to sprinklers. An extinguishing agent’s supply unit provides extinguishing agents at high pressure to the pipes. The sprinkles have valves that retain the water at high pressure within the system. When a fire erupts, a sensor triggered which activates the release of the valves. The system then, not so randomly sprays extinguishing agents at high pressure putting out the fire.
Wet pipe systems
Wet pipe system is the most commonly used fire sprinkler system. Their simplicity has optimized its use amongst the users of the systems. This makes it most reliable, with automated operating components that control the automated sprinklers and an automated check valve with an alarm. Finally, the high-pressured water is supplied into the piping system using an automated sequence.
Dry pipe systems
Dry pipe system is used in extremely cold atmosphere. The cold conditions may freeze the water in the pipeline system and makes the system malfunction.
The main areas that use this system include; parking buildings, unheated buildings and canopies. Coolers utilize this mechanism too. The system can boast being the second used fire sprinkler system. Air pressure keeps water away from the piping system. The air pressure in the pipes keeps the water away as it maintains below the water pressure. This means that when the pressure is decreased the valve open up and the water flows.
When a fire erupts, that hold air in the pipes triggers, and the air expelled forcing the water into the pipeline system and out of the sprinklers. The system portrays a slight delay in the release of water during an emergency. Some individuals claim that the dry systems conserves water as it prevents water linkages. Its disadvantages include complexity, expensive, low flexibility to designs, higher corrosion and higher response time due to lack of a smoke detector (Hayden 71).
Deluge system has open sprinklers connected to the piping system. The term open means the heat-sensing element of operation is unavailable. The special hazards prompt the use of this design. These special hazards include concerns of rapid-fire spread such as fuel fire.
It provides simultaneous water application over the hazard. Most common places for the installation of the deluge include egress paths for personnel to slow the spread of fire. Having open sprinkler orifices means, that water waits for the operation of the systems to occupy the system by use of a deluge valve. Alarm systems make the systems operate by triggering the deluge valve as the system lacks closed sprinklers head.
Pre-Action System works in areas where stakeholders do not desire accidental triggering of the system. Places with rare material, large databases and electronic conduits, use this system the most. The system consists of the dry, wet and deluge systems combined to suite their required anticipated response.
Single interlock utilizes the dry system coupled with a preceding fire detection unit. The early detection unit triggers the valves turning the dry system to wet instantly. The double interlock uses the deluge system that is fitted with automatic sprinklers.
Foam water sprinkler systems
Foam water sprinkler system is used in areas with highly flammable agents. Foam water sprinkler system works in airplane hangers and highly flammable industries. Water spray It is similar to the deluge system with a three dimensional nozzle designed for horizontal surfaces.
The trend of using the fire sprinkler system exclusively for commercial buildings is dying off. A system for homes and small occupancies is now cheaply available. The building codes initiated a wave of incentives that saw the fire suppression systems installed for additional protection. Homeowners could now take longer vacations away from home and chose different options for their household interior without fear of immense damage.
The role of fire sprinklers has become a necessity to most Americans. Homes constructed using the building codes as the NFPA 5000 and IRC 2009 have utilized the fire sprinkler as a necessity. Integration of existing systems to the fire sprinkler system is necessary for the growth of the safety system.
Annually, more fire sprinkler systems placed in units in the United States of America. This number is greater than in any other place in the world. Its origin of reducing insurance premiums for properties forgotten, and today it is a basic for safety in the requirement for all constructions in the United States of America. Many buildings retrofitted with the system have increased the safety of the tenants (Ruegg and Fuller 67).
Ascertain the history of fire sprinkler system
Portray the role of fire sprinkler system
Establish the recommendations for improvement of fire sprinkler system
Significance of Study
This study is significant in identifying the growth and spread of fire sprinkler systems in North America and specifically the United States. The priority is the establishment and expansion of the system in the local authority codes and building codes of different states. The importance of the fire sprinkler system cannot be ignored. The study aims to elaborate its function and portray its importance in the life and asset saving perspective.
The United States leads the world in deaths and losses due to fires. Switzerland has the lowest fire rates five times less than the United States. This has left the United States among the countries with high death rate associated with fires. The rate of deaths in the U.S., though high compared to Switzerland, has reduced drastically over the years. This reduction is associated with the use of smoke detectors in the households. The evolution of this device has also helped other nations in the world control fires (Mahoney 56).
The safety commission on consumer products gave disquieting statistics about the use of smoke detectors. It states that 90% of American homes have smoke detectors installed. Technological advancement has made the devices affordable, reliable and easily available. Maintenance is essential in proper function ability of any device.
The report states that 15% of fatal household fires had failing smoke detectors due to poor maintenance. Simple maintenance as change of batteries caused deaths due to fires in America (Mahoney 56). Worse still, in 20% of the fires the apparatus worked. In these cases, the victims died due to the slow response time, low alarm sound or late triggering of the device.
A baffling revelation on the fire sprinkler system has gotten the fire services mystified. The 82% decrease in fire deaths can be achieved by installing residential fire sprinkler systems together with the smoke detectors. According to past statistics, household fires annual kill an average of around 5,800 Americans.
The 82% reduction means that the figure reduces to 1000 yearly, saving around 4,800 individuals yearly. Many fatal fires in the United States occur in residential occupancies that would require the fire sprinkler system. Commercial structures fitted with the fire sprinkler system mainly because they want to save on insurance, which is purely monetary.
The residential units require the systems mainly as a life saving apparatus as that is 71% of fire deaths occur. Cost is the major reason hindering homeowners install the device in the residence. Homebuilders claim that inflated housing cost chases away potential buyers; therefore, they opt to reduce on construction costs. The price reduction entails forgoing of certain features as the fire sprinkler system.
The government offers incentives to homebuilders through national building code models. The building codes makes construction of housing with fire sprinkler systems installed incur construction tradeoffs. These tradeoffs provide monetary savings to the constructor when building units with fire sprinkler systems.
States like Florida came up with legislation in 1993 that required all new buildings be raised three storey and above to be built with fire sprinkler systems installed. Developers took some time to adjust construction plans. They made their specifications to include fire sprinklers so that they could take full advantage of the building codes, and get tradeoffs (Jones 54).
In recent days, new statistics reveal that the death rate due to fires has reduced in the fire sprinkler fitted buildings. Hotels and motels fitted with fire sprinkler systems experienced 1.6 deaths per 1000 fires, while those without the fire sprinkler system experienced 9.1 deaths per 1000 fires (Mahoney 56).
The legislation has reduced fire deaths in three storey buildings and above and now the focus target is single and double family dwellings. The fire service aims at retrofitting fire sprinkler systems in homes. The increased cost of retrofitting compared to construction of new units with fitted systems makes this option unviable.
Statistics show that averages of 1.1 million homes are built every year. This means that if the government makes fire sprinkler systems affordable, over one million families will receive superior life-safety fire sprinkler systems each year (Jones 54). The fire sprinkler system manufacturers have utilized a large amount of money on new innovative, inventions of technological advances to make the installations of the fire sprinkler systems in one family residence affordable.
The new inventions led to quick response residential fire sprinkler systems that utilize minimum volume water; this is due to high pressure and small pipes. The small pipes reduce the cost of the system drastically. In some states, fire sprinkler system installers have reduced their cost of installation to about 0.85 dollars per square foot. This is about 1 percent increase to the total cost of construction of the units (Jones 48).
Other states offer an even better deal of less than one percentile of the cost of construction. This is witnessed in Altamonte Springs in Florida. The cost of installation of the fire sprinkler system is about $ 0.38 per square foot. These prices are considered the optimum pricing because of the residential fire sprinkler market maximum development.
The realistic price of $1.00 per square foot is now realized in residential fire sprinkler market. These prices take in the fact that no government imposed taxes and impact fees are applicable to drive up the cost of installing the residential fire sprinkler system. This is a 2% increase in the total cost of construction appearing appropriate on the impact of residential installation of fire sprinklers in new residence (Mahoney 52).
Externalities that act as barriers in the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems includes; developer reliance on subcontractors for timely completion of new homes and reluctance in adding subcontractor to list of persons coordinated. They claim to add subcontractors exacerbate the gross situation in building (Jones 44).
The production of this study required an elaborate evidence base. The material acquired from numerous sources. This ensures proper and correct supporting information to the research carried out. The collection of information interlinks for efficiency. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods assist in the generation of information.
Qualitative methods: These include literature reviews of documents with information that affects variety qualitative angles. Quantitative methods: These includes desk sorting of necessary reports and data acquired for a variety of aspects analyzed.
These methods limit unnecessary material to be used on the production of the final document in the study. It brings out a comprehensive and in-depth appeal to the document. The table below highlights the key analytical methods for each objective. The process requires careful consideration of data available.
1Carry out a comprehensive and critical analysis of the fire sprinkler systemsReview and analysis data.
2Develop key conclusions on issues of implementing fire sprinkler systemsLiterature reviews.