How to Keep Your Fire Sprinklers from Freezing

Fire sprinkler designs aren’t always adequately prepared for freezing temperatures, be they wet or dry designs. Wet sprinklers especially need extra precaution for harsh winter months in St. Louis and the country. Proper precautions should be taken before cold weather, during cold weather, and during long periods of vacancy to prevent freeze failures in the pipes of fire sprinkler designs.

Fire Inspection

 Preparing for Cold Weather

Wet and dry fire sprinkler designs require different preparations. AIE has helped multiple businesses prepare both wet and dry designs for cold weather in St. Louis and the country.

 With wet fire sprinkler designs:

  • As the temperature drops in St. Louis and the country this winter, properly functioning heating systems will play a vital role in preventing wet fire sprinkler design failures. Heating systems require annual servicing.
  • All sprinkler design piping should be inspected to ensure insulation is properly intact.
  • System performance and monitoring should be verified.
  • There should be no major leaks or blocks (such as broken ventilation) in building openings.

With dry fire sprinkler designs:

  • Check and test low point drains to ensure there’s no water residue in the piping system. Drain your dry system drum drips.
  • Check that air sources/air pressures are functioning properly.
  • Test your low temperature and system air pressure monitoring devices.

At AIE we strongly encourage that trained experts perform fire sprinkler design system work and inspections in St. Louis and the country.

During Cold Weather and Building Vacancy

It’s very important that temperatures not be allowed to drop to or below 40 degrees. At AIE we advise building owners in St. Louis and the country to increase the temperature in all heating units and turn off any energy saving settings during long periods of cold weather or building vacancy. During weekends and holidays in St. Louis and the country building owners should be sure a suitable means of detecting heat loss is set in place. If temperatures drop below 40 degrees, AIE strongly advises a building owner take immediate action to raise temperatures to avoid freezing and fire sprinkler design system failure.

Every wet fire sprinkler design has a control valve. If freeze failure does occur, the control valve should be turned off. Building owners in St. Louis and the country should familiarize themselves with the location of the sprinkler valve.

Wet sprinkler systems in St. Louis and the country are normally positioned in the cold rafters of a building. It’s a good idea to install a thermometer near the ceiling that can be checked by remote to be sure temperatures are above 40 degrees. If it’s a heavy concern that your wet fire sprinkler design may freeze, you can always install a dry system. Keep in mind that dry systems, just like wet systems, require monitoring and maintenance.

It’s not hard to combat freeze failures with wet fire sprinkler designs in St. Louis and the country. A majority of freeze failures occur due to insufficient heating and inadequate cold weather system preparation. Building owners who drain the drum drips on their dry systems and who monitor and maintain proper heat for all sprinkler systems in St. Louis and the country can greatly reduce the chance for freeze failure occurrences.

To avoid damage caused by fire sprinkler system freeze failures this winter in
St. Louis and the country, 
call AIE to schedule an appointment.

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