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Your Basic Guide to Residential Sprinkler Systems
During 2018-19, 318 fire-related fatalities occurred in the UK. Despite the statistics, home fire sprinklers have yet to become code-mandated in the construction of all new homes (although they are being introduced to properties designed with open plan living), and some homeowners who have the option to choose, prefer to equip their home with this life-saving investment. Let’s answer some common questions regarding residential fire suppression systems.
18 December 2020

Why are sprinkler systems not a part of many homes?

If you’ve ever watched a movie or a show where a sprinkler system has gone off – it brings to mind certain concerns that limit people from purchasing homes with them or installing them in their current home. Many individuals fear that if one is triggered, the whole system will go off, flooding the house and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. Another widespread fear is that they’ll accidentally activate for no reason at all.

What you’re probably unaware of is that these aren’t issues or precise depictions of sprinkler systems. While there’s a chance of a system misfire, its probability one in sixteen million. Nevertheless, the chances of having a home fire are just 1/3000. Those odds certainly seem worth it. While movies show a whole building turning on sprinklers simultaneously, that’s not the case. The sprinkler system activates unit-by-unit, only turning on in rooms that have specifically triggered them.

How many types of residential sprinkler systems are there?

There are many systems out there, but ultimately, they can be split between a Sprinkler and Water Mist System that can be installed in your home – both come with their own benefits. Standalone sprinkler systems do not use a home’s water supply: they have their own backflow valves and pipes. They’re low maintenance, using copper or orange-plastic tubing. However, they require a huge water tank to operate and the unsightly appearance of the sprinkler head nozzle sticking out of the ceiling in a domestic setting is widely regarded as unsuitable for a family home.

The second type is a water mist suppression system, which uses your home’s mains plumbing, a custom-made pump that’s small enough to fit in a kitchen cupboard and a discreet nozzle that sits flush to the ceiling and disperses water mist at 1000 times smaller than a water droplet! Some water mist systems also come with flow alarms that, when activated, save valuable time after calling the fire department. Multi-use units are becoming common in newly constructed open plan houses. While retrofitting them is an option it comes with its own set of challenges.

Water Mist System - ICO Nozzle

What About Installation?

Installation timeframes are wholly dependent on the size of the project. If it is just a single-family home that (for example) has designed an extension with a new open plan kitchen into their living room. You can expect that the 1st fix and 2nd fix installation, including the commissioning of the pump, can be completed in 2 days.

If you’re considering which water mist system to install, turn to IPH Mist Suppression to offer you a free comprehensive quote for your family home.