Automatic rain or sprinkler systems are the best known and most popular systems for tackling fires. The basic feature of the sprinkler system is the fully automatic mode of operation; the system consists of a supply unit, a control valve and a network of pipes, to which the sprinklers dispensers are connected.
The sprinklers include a thermo-sensitive element, calibrated to a given activation temperature which ensures the water is poured directly over the area to be protected. When the valve or fuse sprinklers reach the pre-set temperature, they deliver a jet of water with pre-set form, density and quantity. The pipe network is fed by a water source that guarantees the necessary water flow to protect the area and the material deposited, flow rate, pressure and the duration of the flow are determined according to the classification of the risk. Sprinkler systems are simple and extremely safe, they function automatically and the valve ensures the system is activated at the time the fire develops.
There are different types of sprinkler systems, systems with a distribution network of constantly pressurised water (wet system) or air (dry system) to which valve or fuse sprinklers are connected. Sprinkler systems can also be the deluge type, consisting of a network of normally empty pipes, supplying open type sprinklers, installed so as to wet and cool the equipment and structures exposed to fire. This type of system is mainly used to cool machinery and demarcate and restrict the fire zone. A pneumatic or electric type activation line connected to a fire panel is required to operate such a system.
ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS:
Sprinkler systems have the ability to contain the fire, safeguard the structure and ensure an effective cooling of the environment in which they operate. They are simple and safe, are activated automatically and can be used in a variety of applications.
The technical design standards of sprinkler systems are the recently published European standard EN12845 and NFPA 13.