Fire sprinklers in Winter can’t be turned off. They can’t be winterized in the way you would prepare an outdoor watering system. This would mean that if a fire occurred in the Winter, you’d have no fire suppression system available. Fire sprinklers in Chicago need to be maintained – not winterized. It gets deeply cold here. How can you ensure that your fire sprinklers are prepared for it?
The easiest way is to have a business that specializes in fire alert and suppression systems come in and do their regular maintenance check. A company that offers special winterization may be trying to take you for a ride. Preparation for winter should be a normal part of your regular maintenance and inspection. The preparation done as part of that maintenance depends on the type of sprinkler system.
A wet system responds to the heat of a fire by activating the sprinkler. It’s pretty straightforward. If any part of the system goes through an area that may experience freezing temperatures, then it needs to be prepared. A wet system usually won’t be used in outdoor areas like parking garages, but where the temperature may drop anywhere below 50, an antifreeze loop is added. This lowers the freezing point of the water inside the pipes. An inspection should include taking test samples from the sprinkler system. This reveals whether the concentration is appropriate.
A dry system maintains pressurized air in the pipes. This holds back water. When the dry system is triggered, the air is released, allowing water through. This means dry systems are less susceptible to freezing, and therefore better for outdoor areas like parking garages. That air still contains moisture, so regular maintenance will eliminate condensation. It will also make sure that angle of the pipes directs condensation to the proper drainage points.
What Can You Do?
There are additional steps that help in conjunction with scheduling maintenance. Make sure the heat in your building is maintained overnight. Turning it off risks freezing and bursting pipes. Fire sprinklers in Chicago that use pipes in areas that do freeze should see those pipes insulated – this is especially important for businesses that are converted from old houses, where pipes may go through attics or stairwells.
We offer constant fire alert monitoring in Chicago. This includes monitoring pipes for sprinkler malfunction and tampering. Fire alert monitoring in Chicago also includes carbon monoxide and gas monitoring, offering you a constant watchful eye on the systems that keep you and your business safe.