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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Prevent Accidental Water Damage From Your Sprinkler System

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Sprinkler head near the ceiling Fun Fact: Sprinkler systems are triggered by heat, not smoke.

A Sprinkler system is a crucial fire safety utility. According to the NFPA, they can reduce the death rate of a house fire by 80%! However, when Sprinkler systems go off accidentally, they can cause thousands of dollars of property damage. Primarily this is due to human error and not the system itself. We want you and your employees to be as safe as possible so, we came up with a list of ways to prevent accidental water damage from sprinkler heads.

What We’ve Noticed

On average, we see about 5-10 sprinkler bursts per year for various reasons. The most common water damages are caused by equipment accidents, frozen pipes, and human manipulation. With a little bit of preparation and education, all of the water damage from these causes are preventable.  

Prevent Water Damage Through Education

The most important thing you can do is educate your employees and members of your household. Explain to them that sprinkler heads are not decorations and should not be used as such. Emphasize that they should not be used as a way to hang up decorations or clothes. To discourage this behavior even further, you can look into anti-tamper devices. These will prevent anyone from hanging anything on the sprinkler heads while still allowing them to function when needed. Talk to a professional about your options and how to install them.

Let your employees know the limits of equipment heights. We receive many calls from warehouses that experience water damage because a forklift hit a sprinkler head. Some sprinkler system companies suggest that a sign is painted in the vicinity of the sprinkler head so they know if they’re close. 

Sprinkler systems can release 20-40 gallons of water per minute. Show your management team or employees where the shutoff valve is in case of accidental release. The fire department can do this for you, but relying on them could take several minutes, allowing hundreds of gallons of water to cause damage to your property. 

Prevent Water Damage With Maintenance

The next best thing you can do for your business is to get your sprinkler systems checked annually. There are companies throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky that can inspect your system. They can fix any pipes that have corroded over the years. They can also point out any areas that may need insulation to help prevent frozen pipes and burst sprinkler heads.

SERVPRO knows that accidents happen despite your most thorough efforts to prevent them. If you have water damage caused by a sprinkler head burst or damage to the system, give us a call right away. Our quick and skilled teams will be able to reduce the amount of damage to your business and property.

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