Fire Safety 101: Winterizing Sprinkler Systems
The winter months create an increased fire hazard due to several factors. Fireplaces, portable heaters, and electrical wiring are only a few examples as to how fires can start in a home or business. In the winter, you want to ensure your sprinkler system is in proper working order. During this season, as fires can be more rampant, your sprinkler system may not work properly due to frozen pipes. For proper Chicago fire safety, ensure that your system is operating effectively with regular maintenance and winterization measures.
Winterizing Your Fire Sprinkler System
By taking the time to winterize your fire sprinkler system, you can prevent freezing which will help to stop any pipes from potentially busting. With burst pipes, your sprinkler system will be unable to operate effectively in the event of a fire.
If you have wet sprinkler systems installed, the water held in the pipes can freeze at just 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is recommended that such systems maintain a 40-degree temperature. Insulation is a must to help the pipes maintain proper temperature control.
Another type of sprinkler system is a dry one. This is when pressurized air is used in the pipes instead of water. This type of system is better capable of withstanding freezing cold temperatures, but they must still be maintained if the temperatures drop below 32 degrees.
What Are Your Options?
So, how do you keep your pipes from freezing? To begin, you must ensure that your building is properly heated. Have a back-up heating option in place if the power were to go out. Use insulation measures to protect the pipes from cold temperatures. This applies to a wet sprinkler system.
If you have a dry system, then take time to visually inspect the pipes as well as drain them every few days at low points where moisture or condensation can collect. This simple move will help to protect this type of system from freezing issues. Dry systems are at a lower risk but still have the potential to be damaged and not function during winter.
Protecting Your Property
Fires can take place year-round, but in the winter, buildings are more at risk due to heating needs. If you have a sprinkling system in your home or business, apartment building or other type of facility, be sure to inspect the system and have it repaired if needed as well as insulated and warmed as needed.
When temperatures drop below freezing, sprinkler pipes can easily freeze and will not work if a fire takes place. This leaves the building as well as those inside vulnerable to injury or even death during a fire. With fire sprinkler systems in proper working order, the facility and those inside are better protected.
Chicago fire safety codes require that fire sprinkler systems be in proper working order. In the winter, more maintenance is needed for protecting the pipes from freezing so they will work in the event of a fire. Take time to plan maintenance checks to better protect your facility from fire during the colder winter months.