Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems and Their Applications

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Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems and Their Applications

Posted on 04, Aug. 2023

In the event of a fire, sprinkler systems save lives.

A well-maintained fire water sprinkler, in addition to other active and passive fire prevention systems, can assist suppress smoke and flames and limit the spread of a fire, decreasing damages and providing everyone time to safely evacuate the building until fire services arrive.

Commercial fire sprinkler systems are divided into four categories, each of which is tailored to the needs of different facilities to maximize reaction time and protect employees and assets. 

System of Wet Pipes

Traditional fire sprinklers, also known as water sprinklers, are the most frequent in both residential and commercial buildings. When a fire breaks out, the heat activates the nearest sprinkler head, which releases pressurized water from the pipes. In the event of a false alarm, each sprinkler head is operated independently, reducing water damage. Wet pipe systems are a low-cost, low-maintenance option that can be used in offices, schools, and commercial buildings.

Dry Pipe System

Dry pipe systems, unlike wet pipe systems, do not store water in their pipes.

Instead, they're packed with compressed air or nitrogen, which is released when the sprinkler head's valves are activated by a fire.

The pipes fill up with water, which is subsequently discharged over the smoke or flames.

While this system is more complicated and expensive than a wet pipe system, it is best suited to cold climates where frozen pipes could impede an emergency fire response. 

Pre-Action System

Pre-action sprinklers are a type of dry pipe sprinkler that requires two steps to activate. The pre-action valve opens when heat or smoke is detected, allowing water into the pipes. The sprinkler heads can then be individually turned on to spray water on the fire.

In the event of a false alarm, this two-step approach allows facilities to turn off the system and preserve their assets from water damage. Pre-action systems are especially beneficial in settings like museums, libraries, and data centers, where an unintentional discharge could cause irreversible damage.

Deluge System

A deluge fire sprinkler is a type of dry pipe water sprinkler. Unlike the other alternatives, however, the sprinkler heads in this system are always open. They lack a heat-sensing element in the sprinkler head and must be activated by an external smoke or heat sensor. When heat is detected, water fills the pipes and is released through all open sprinkler heads, flooding the entire area.

This technique is most commonly utilized in businesses that have flammable substances that can spread quickly. 


Sprinkler systems are an important aspect of any facility's overall fire protection strategy. While it's vital to understand the differences between sprinkler system options, these systems should always be designed, installed, and maintained by skilled specialists. We at BuildMyInfra can help you in finding a fire sprinkler that will meet your need. Contact us to know more.