Fire has always posed a threat to buildings big and small, and some infamous cases of enormous city fires serve as a reminder that fire is powerful and should always be taken seriously. The Great London Fire or the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 are just two examples of this. Today, modern tech and safety standards help minimize the chances of fire and the damage that they do, but all the same, homeowners and public building managers alike must always be prepared for a fire, and everyone should know what to do when a fire starts. Fire sprinkler installation, for example, can be done in a new building to get it fire-ready, or an older building may need fire sprinkler repair or an entire fire sprinkler installation job to make it safer. Why do fires start, and what can be done? Is fire sprinkler maintenance needed to keep buildings safe?
Causes of the Flames
Fire sprinkler installation is necessary for public buildings because there are a number of ways that a fire can start. Electrical fires are one such example. A frayed electrical cord will have its inner wire exposed, and these wires are hot. When they touch carpets, papers, drapes, or similar materials, they can easily start a fire, and this happens fairly often, so people are urged to always check for exposed wires at the workplace or in a hotel. Fires may also be started when a fireplace spits out embers or sparks that land on flammable material, or fires may start if a person is careless when using a lighter or a match indoors. Although not as much of a threat today, people used to smoke indoors often, such as at hotels or office buildings, and lit tobacco can set flammable materials on fire. For this reason and more, smoking in buildings is usually forbidden aside from the self-contained smoking section in restaurants.
How often are fires starting? One way to measure this is how often fire departments answer calls to action. Fort Lauderdale in Florida, for example, often finds itself at work, and two fire engines at Fort Lauderdale ranks as the two busiest ones in the entire state. The fire department there has also experienced more cases, with a 12% increase in calls for service from 2014 to 2015. And a few years ago, from 2006 to 2010, American fire departments responded to an estimated average of 6,240 structure fires or health care properties every single year, and hospitals are frequent victims of fire, alongside hotels. The good news is that warehouses across the United States are getting fewer fires than ever; from 1980 to 2011, the yearly number has dropped from 4,700 to 1,200. Overall, how can fire sprinkler installation do its part to help prevent major fires?
Fire Sprinkler Services
Fire sprinkler installation is the subject of city, state, or federal codes and safety standards for both the building itself and the people inside, and a public building manager may be tasked with scheduling regular inspections to make sure that the fire sprinklers inside are in good working order and that they can cover a fire no matter where it starts. When a building is first constructed, it will have those sprinklers installed, and as the building project nears its end, officials will inspect the structure for safety standards, which will certainly include the sprinklers present. And if a person buys an older building, they should be aware that its safety equipment may be worn out or even missing. Inspectors should be hired to look it over and see if there are problems, and if the fire sprinkler system is missing or not ready for work, it can be repaired, or crews might be hired to install one for the first time.
Many times, fire sprinklers have proven their worth. When a combination of fire sprinklers and early warning systems are in place, injuries, loss of life, and property damage may all be reduced by as much as 50%. Similarly, the National Fire Protection Association, the NFPA, has never lost more than two people to fire in a fully sprinklered building when those sprinkler systems were properly operating. Proper sprinkler installation will save lives and property alike.