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Frequently Asked Questions & Safety Tips

Your Guide to Life & Fire Safety Protection

As fire safety protection experts, we know our clients may have a million questions when it comes to the more complicated aspects of protecting against fire or gas leak.

FAQs
Q How do sprinklers work? AFire sprinklers are the most visible part of a fire sprinkler system – an integrated array of pumps, piping and detection devices. Pipes hook into your building’s water supply which is pushed, through pumping or pressurization, to upper floors in multi-level structures. Sprinkler heads are the distribution device that sprays water over a fire. Sprinklers are activated by high heat, usually between 165-175 degrees Fahrenheit. When they sense temperatures in that range, they release water over the hot area, dousing the fire.
Q Are sprinklers activated by smoke? ANo, fire sprinklers are heat, not smoke, activated.
Q Why are fire sprinklers required in so many buildings? ASo many municipalities require fire sprinklers because they are a proven way to limit death and extensive property damage. The key to keeping a fire from reaching potentially dangerous and life-threatening proportions is early detection. Fire sprinklers operate automatically in locations where fires start. By releasing water directly to the source of the heat, fire sprinklers keep fires from growing out of control. One or two sprinkler activations can usually limit or contain an outbreak of fire.
Q Why can’t we just rely on the fire department? AFire departments are an irreplaceable ally in fighting fires, but they depend on on-site alarms to notify them after a fire breaks out. By the time they arrive, fire could have spread and caused considerable damage. With building fires, a bad situation can get worse far more quickly than most people realize. Fire sprinklers should be viewed as an effective first line defense or a “first response’ system.
Q Do sprinklers ever activate accidentally? AIt is extremely rare that sprinklers ever activate by accident. A sprinkler discharge without a fire event is usually the outcome of freezing or structural damage.
Q Will sprinklers make my building look unattractive? AToday, there are a wide variety of sprinkler heads considered aesthetically pleasing. Sprinkler heads are made in numerous shapes, colors and configurations, including some that stay hidden in the ceiling until they are activated.
Q Are there insurance benefits for installing a fire sprinkler system? AYes, there usually are discounts associated with installation of a rated fire sprinkler system. Ask your contractor for the specific description of your system and then call your insurance agent with the information.

Home Safety Tips

The most common security threat to your home is burglary. A burglary happens in the U.S. every 15 seconds according to the FBI. Most home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when residents are at work or school.

Protect Your Property

Use high quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on exterior doors to resist twisting, prying and lock-picking attempts. A high-quality deadbolt lock with a beveled casing will hamper the use of channel-lock pliers that can shear off lock cylinder pins. A quality door knob-in-lock set will have a ”dead latch” mechanism to prevent slipping the lock with a shim or credit card.

Select the following for your home or business:

  • Solid core or metal door for all entrance points.
  • Deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt.
  • Knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism.
  • Four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame.

Make Theft More Difficult

  • Get a monitored alarm system with an exterior siren.
  • Use the window stickers your alarm installer provides you. They will help deter a criminal intrusion into your home or business before it happens.
  • Always lock your doors and windows.
  • Put deadbolt locks on external doors.
  • Change locks when you move.
  • Install keyed window locks.
  • If you must give out an alarm code to a guest or service worker, call your alarm company to set up a special guest code. Ask them if your security system can be set up to only allow one entrance to be used with the guest code. Change the guest code every six months.

Perform Maintenance, Testing & Inspections of Life Safety Systems

  • Fire Sprinkler - Performance Maintenance, Tests & Inspections in accordance with NFPA and AHJ requirements.
  • Fire Alarm - Performance Maintenance, Tests & Inspections in accordance with NFPA and AHJ requirements.
  • Security Alarm - Performance Maintenance, Tests & Inspections as required to insure that it is operating properly.

General Fire Safety Tips

  • Check your fire alarm batteries every six months and test each device.
  • If possible, get a monitored fire alarm system hooked up to your alarm system and use a battery backup power set up.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detection system. Carbon monoxide poisoning is an avoidable household tragedy but you need a detector as carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless.
  • An automatic fire sprinkler system is recommended for protection along with a fire alarm system.
  • Make sure you have fire extinguishers throughout your house.
  • Create and practice a fire evacuation plan for your family. Contact your local fire department for details on how to set up the best plan for your home and geographic location.

Call Williams Fire Sprinkler at (252) 792-8196 today for more information on any of these topics. You can also request a consultation today.