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Can fire sprinklers go off accidentally?

The most common way for sprinklers to go off is by accident. According to the National Fire Safety Protection Organization, firefighters were called to the scene of incorrect sprinkler deactivation more than 33,000 times in the US in 2014. In these circumstances, having an emergency fire sprinkler shut-off tool available can reduce the amount of water damage. You can easily use one of these tools to turn fire sprinklers off, so they won’t ruin carpeting and floors, furniture, equipment, and other items in your building.

Top activation reasons: 

Accidental activation can happen, especially in traffic or rowdy activity locations. They are typically brought on by a sprinkler being bumped and its glass being broken. Even people moving office furniture could accidentally hit the sprayhead, turning it on. Such effects could occur during operations like using forklifts in warehouses or renovating buildings. 

Fire sprinkler head cages are recommended for all fire sprinklers installed in hotels, schools, commercial office buildings, event centres, storage facilities or warehouses, and residential property.  

fire sprinkler guard


At activation temperature, the liquid expands or contracts inside the glass vial, breaking the glass and releasing the plug that holds back the water. High temperatures set off automatic fire sprinklers, but they are unable to distinguish between "normal" sources of heat and a fire. They may unintentionally be set off if they are placed too close to heat sources like space heaters, skylights, or commercial cooking equipment. Even short-term heat sources like television cameras or construction lighting have been reported to activate them. Avoid usage in rooms with fully glazed walls and no ventilation, as these rooms can get hot on sunny days. 

Frozen pipes 

Most sprinkler systems are wet pipe systems, meaning water constantly fills their pipes. Your sprinkler system may unintentionally deactivate or experience severe leaks if even a small section of it is exposed to below-freezing conditions. The 10% expansion of frozen water results in thousands of pounds of pressure, which can crack pipes, break fittings, and push valve caps open. Leaks or even whole system trips may occur when the temperature eventually rises, and the ice melts.

frozen fire sprinkler

There is an alternative.  

Automist Smartscan activates reliably only when triggered by a double knock detection. Both a ceiling-mounted detector and the smart scanning head must confirm the presence of a dangerous fire before it deploys a targeted watermist spray. An electronic trigger significantly reduces the chances of false activations and water escape claims. Automist uses dry, non-pressurized pipes to provide you with the protection you need without running the danger of burst pipes. It's water supply hoses don't fill with water unless a fire is detected, unlike wet pipe fire sprinkler systems. Finally, Automist has an electronic memory therefore we can interrogate an incident after an event. This information can be used to find out what happened and inform future software updates.

Read more - How has Automist's fire performance been tested?