The first automatic fire sprinkler system was patented in 1872. Perforated pipe sprinkler systems predated this, but they were not automatic and had to be operated manually. Until the 1940s, these systems were used mostly in industrial buildings. They are now used in many public buildings, including schools, and in situations as diverse as large private homes and indoor riding arenas.
A sprinkler system is designed to come on when a fire is detected through an alarm system. These systems are set on a timer and will operate for a period of time. Most can also be activated manually. In addition to fire safety, similar systems are used in drip irrigation. A sprinkler system consists of pipes with heads at intervals and valves to control flow. Unlike many hand held extinguishers, sprinklers use water. They are not suitable for putting out all fires.
Contractors who install sprinkler systems may also have a source to buy them from as well, though they would be mostly for use in commercial and public buildings. They may also offer both preventative maintenance and repair, sometimes under a contract included in the original price. Repairs generally include fixing leaks and problems with water pressure. In some jurisdictions, certain businesses are required to install sprinkler systems and many require them to be used in schools. Distributors may take advantage of the latter to supply specialist systems for public buildings.
If anything, the demand for and use of sprinkler systems is increasing with time and improvements with technology. Safety concerns are leading to their installation in more and more buildings, especially in situations where large indoor areas are required.
If you own several buildings or work for a company that owns office buildings, then you might want to invest in automatic fire sprinklers that offer safety from fire. You can find many quality manufacturers with indoor safety systems. Some people find that it is difficult for them to determine which companies they should choose because there are so many options. If you follow these guidelines, though, you should be able to decide which ones are right for you. When you first contact the company, you will want to determine how much experience they have by asking them how long they have been in business. Those with several years of experience should have commercial automatic sprinkler systems for homes and large buildings. Ask your local retailer if they have a catalog so that you can look at their safety products like extinguishers and signs, and their indoor fire prevention designs like micro irrigation sprinklers, drip timers, water valves, pipes, and heads. If they do not include information about flowrate and pressure, then you should ask a sales rep to give you that information so that you can make sure they match your building codes. Ask the company if they will give you regular maintenance to make sure the fire systems work properly. Ask them to give you written price quotes that include installation and maintenance fees. After you have talked to several companies, you should be able to compare these quotes to each other and choose the one that is right for you.