With fire sprinkler systems being mandatory in most new construction projects in California and Oregon, it’s important that contractors and business owners understand these vital life safety/building safety systems.
This blog post will explain the common components of a fire sprinkler alarm system.
The main parts of a system include:
Alarm valve – this valve controls the flow of water into the fire sprinkler system when an alarm activates.
Alarm test valve – this valve allows for testing of the fire sprinkler system without flooding your facility.
Sprinkler heads – these are simply valves that open in response to pre-determined conditions (most commonly temperature). These are the parts of a fire sprinkler system you see every day.
Stop valves – this valve stops the flow of water coming into the fire sprinkler system from the municipal water supply when the system is not going off. It’s usually red and should always be locked in an open position.
Motorized alarm bell –when the fire sprinkler system is activated, the fire bell makes loud noises to alert building occupants of the danger.
Fire pump – this is any kind of pump that is part of a fire protection system water supply. It increases the pressure of the water given to it by the pump’s water supply, when the water supply can’t supply enough pressure. Its intake is connected to an external water supply, although it may also be connected to a tank, well, or body of water. There are five different kinds of pumps used for fire services, powered by electric, diesel or steam.
Jockey/Booster pump – this is a secondary pump used to maintain system pressure without starting the main pump. This pump is used during power outages, while the main pump is undergoing maintenance or in conjunction with a Fire Department Connection.
Flow switches – these switches monitor the flow of water through different sections of the system and trigger an alarm if they sense enough water flowing.
Flow meter loop – this is a piping configuration. It allows for system testing without flowing wastewater out of a system.
Pressure gauge – this simply measures the pressure within the sprinkler system.
Pressure switch – this is the switch that triggers notification that your fire sprinkler system has been activated. It also monitors your system for a fall in water pressure.
Fire Department Connection (FDC) – this is a connection on the outside of your building that connects to the discharge side of the pump. It’s used in case the fire pumps do not start and allows the sprinklers to be feed directly from the fire engine’s pump system.
Alarm communicator – this device allows transmission of status updates (including alarm) of the fire sprinkler system to a central monitoring station for response and action.
Contractors and businesses should have this basic understanding of fire sprinkler components to work effectively with sprinkler system contractors and technicians. If you have any of the questions about any of these terms, contact us at 1-800-800-ALARM.
At Hue & Cry, we design, install, monitor, test, maintain and repair code complaint fire sprinkler systems. If you’d like to learn more about our services, contact us.