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How Fire Sprinklers Work

Fire sprinklers are simple, reliable and proven. So how do they work?

Fire Sprinklers are Simple, Reliable and Proven

  • Fire sprinklers are very simple.
  • The sprinkler is just a plug that holds back the water inside a pipe, similar to your other plumbing pipes.
  • Heat from a fire will break a glass tube or melt a solder plug, which then releases the water.
  • The water sprays out, covering the area immediately around the sprinkler, putting out the fire.
  • Only the one sprinkler closest to the fire opens. All the other sprinklers remain sealed so the water is confined to just the area of the fire
Residential Fire Sprinkler Head

Buy, Build or Retrofit

  • If you are buying an existing home, talk to your real estate agency about finding homes with fire sprinklers already installed.
  • The best time to get fire sprinklers is when you are building. That is when they are the most affordable and the easiest to install. 
  • You can retrofit sprinklers in existing homes but it is a little more complicated. If you are planning a major renovation, make sprinklers part of the plan.

Living with Sprinklers is Easy

  • Fire sprinklers require almost no maintenance and only work when you need them.
  • Occasionally do a visual inspection of the controls and sprinklers.
  • Teach your children that sprinklers are not toys and should not be played with.
  • NEVER hang anything on the sprinklers, even temporarily.
  • Do not paint the sprinklers. And if you hire painters, make sure they know not to paint them.
  • Don’t block the sprinklers with furniture or fabrics. If the spray is blocked the sprinkler cannot put out a fire.
  • Most important, DON’T WORRY. Sprinklers are not complicated.

Click here for more on living with Sprinklers