Pre-Action Sprinklers
Pre-action sprinklers are one of the key sprinkler systems in use today at commercial properties. Pre-action systems employ concepts similar to dry pipe systems in that the pipes do not contain water until the system is triggered. The big difference is that in some pre-action systems, the pipes are filled with pressurized air (often nitrogen, which is used to help fire protection professionals to detect leaks). A detection system will trigger a pre-action valve to open, which creates a wet pipe environment. But the water will only flow out of individual sprinklers as needed.

Pre-action sprinkler systems for commercial properties

A pre-action system is a common system used in commercial properties where the contents are of high value such as computer rooms, museums, data centers, and libraries.

Design and build of pre-action fire sprinkler systems

No two businesses are alike, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all pre-action sprinkler system. Whether it’s new construction or retrofitting an older system, commercial properties need to be able to count on their fire protection contractor to design and build a pre-action system that will be a perfect match for their needs. Valley Fire Protection has many years of experience designing and building complete systems, including the highly complex pre-action systems, which require the highest level of skill to design and build.

Pre-action sprinkler system installation in water-sensitive areas

Water is the most often used combatant against fire. However, there are situations where introducing water to an environment can almost cause as much danger to the contents of a building as fire. For example, an art museum filled with important historic works that are centuries old cannot be put into a situation where a false alarm douses them in water. Therefore, the pre-action system is a perfect option because it has checks and balances that other systems lack.

Pre-action sprinkler repair and maintenance for a variety of industries

Because pre-action sprinkler systems are so complex, they require more maintenance than other types of systems. Regardless of what industry you’re in, keeping a regular maintenance schedule is important so that when the system is called upon, it will work flawlessly. Your fire protection contractor should have the necessary skills to spot a trouble spot before it becomes an issue with your business. Furthermore, when any part of the system requires repair, your contractor needs to have the tools and skills to quickly and efficiently make them so that you can go on with business as usual.

Single interlock and double interlock pre-action systems

Pre-action sprinklers come in two different varieties: single interlock and double interlock. Your fire protection contractor will determine which is the best option for your commercial property. A single interlock system operates quite similarly to a dry pipe system in that it only requires a single event,  which is the detection of a fire, heat or smoke to start the release of water.

A double interlock system requires that two events occur before the valve releases water. First, a fire, heat or smoke is detected. Second, the automatic sprinklers detect heat or fire, which will initiate the opening of the valve that allows water to fill the pipes and release from the sprinklers.

Advantages and disadvantages to using a pre-action fire sprinkler system

The biggest advantage to using a pre-action system is that it requires two things to happen for the water to be released, which means there is little to no chance that a faulty alarm will flood a commercial property that is not under threat. Water-sensitive environments are therefore big proponents of this type of system.

The disadvantages include the complexity of this type of system, which means higher installation and maintenance costs. They are also difficult to modify. Given that they are such complex systems, they must be regularly inspected.

Finding the right pre-action fire suppression system for your business

At Valley Fire Protection, we have extensive experience designing, building, installing and retrofitting pre-action systems. Furthermore, we offer preventive maintenance and repair services to our clients. Whether you’re retrofitting a building or establishing a system in a new building, we have the experience to do the job right. A complex system deserves a team that knows those complexities inside and out. Contact us today to talk about the best system for your commercial property.

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