As a business owner or property manager, keeping your commercial property safe and secure is a top priority. One crucial element of your property’s safety is the sprinkler system. Commercial sprinklers are designed to prevent fire-related disasters by automatically detecting and extinguishing a fire.
However, sprinkler malfunctions can cause more harm than good. Not only could it cause a flood, but it could also lead to extensive fire damage if it doesn’t work in a fire emergency.
Let’s dive into the common causes of sprinkler malfunctions and how to avoid them.
Causes of Common Sprinkler System Malfunctions
Commercial sprinkler systems are a critical component of fire safety in many buildings, providing a first line of defense against fires and helping to protect property and people. However, like any mechanical system, sprinklers can experience malfunctions that compromise their effectiveness and put occupants at risk.
There are several common causes of commercial sprinkler system malfunctions, ranging from environmental factors to mechanical damage to human error. Understanding these causes can help building owners and managers take steps to prevent or address issues with their sprinkler systems, ensuring that they remain in good working order and ready to perform in an emergency.
Here are the most common causes of fire sprinkler malfunctions:
Freezing: In colder climates, freezing is a common cause of malfunction in sprinkler systems. Water left in the pipes can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst or crack. This can lead to leaks or even complete system failure.
Overheating: In warmer climates, overheating can be a problem for sprinkler systems that are exposed to direct sunlight or other heat sources. High temperatures can cause the system’s pipes and other components to expand, which can lead to leaks or other malfunctions.
Corrosion: Over time, the metal components of a sprinkler system can corrode due to exposure to water, chemicals, or other environmental factors. Corrosion can weaken the system’s pipes and fittings, leading to leaks or other malfunctions.
Mechanical Damage: Sprinkler systems can be damaged by physical impacts, such as from equipment, vehicles, or falling objects. Damage to the pipes, fittings, or sprinkler heads can cause leaks or other malfunctions.
Human Error: Human error, such as accidentally turning off the water supply or failing to properly maintain the system, can also cause sprinkler system malfunctions. For example, failing to replace worn or damaged components can lead to leaks or other problems.
Poor Installation: Poor installation practices, such as using incorrect materials or failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, can also cause sprinkler system malfunctions. Improper installation can lead to leaks, inadequate water pressure, or other problems that compromise the effectiveness of the system.
Overall, proper installation, regular maintenance, and prompt repairs are crucial for ensuring the reliable operation of a commercial sprinkler system and minimizing the risk of malfunctions.
Common Damages from Sprinkler Malfunctions
Water damage is the most common damage from sprinkler malfunctions. Depending on the amount of water dispensed by the sprinkler, it can flood your property quickly, leading to damaged flooring, walls, and ceilings. Water damage from sprinkler systems can not only be costly to repair, but it can also cause business downtime and a loss of revenue. Just this spring, an apartment complex in Miami was completely flooded after a sprinkler system malfunctioned.
Moreover, a faulty sprinkler system can cause a fire to remain undetected, allowing it to spread. This can lead to extensive fire damage. Imagine if your sprinkler system didn’t work when a fire breaks out when your building is empty on a weekend! Faulty sprinklers are a big risk for a business owner.
If your office experienced a flood or fire because of a faulty sprinkler system, reach out to our team today to get your office back to its pre-loss condition. Our fire and water damage restoration specialists can be on-site quickly to assess the damage and start the restoration process.
How To Avoid Commercial Sprinkler Malfunctions
To avoid sprinkler malfunctions, it is essential to have a regular maintenance schedule with your sprinkler system. Have your system inspected at least twice a year, and have any necessary repairs done promptly.
If your system is outdated, consider an upgrade to a newer system that is more reliable. Check for leaks regularly and have them repaired as soon as they are found. Also, ensure that your sprinkler system has a properly functioning shutoff valve in case the system needs to be disabled in an emergency.
Sprinkler malfunctions can happen to any property, but by taking steps to avoid them, you can help to ensure that your property stays safe and damage-free. Remember that even the smallest malfunction can cause significant damage to your property, so it is essential to take action immediately if any issues arise.
Water Damage Remediation and Restoration
If your office or commercial property experienced water damage from a broken fire sprinkler system, contact us today for quick, reliable, and professional emergency water and flood damage services.
Property managers and business owners have been trusting us for nearly two decades to take care of their properties. With offices in Harrisburg, Pa., Philadelphia, Pa., and the Baltimore/DC Metro region, we can be on-site ASAP to start the dry-out process. Our goal is to respond and rebuild with care and get your business back to its pre-loss condition.