Learn about Fire Sprinkler Systems
The beginning

From 1852 to 1885, perforated pipe systems were used in textile
mills throughout New England as a means of fire protection.
However, they were not automatic systems, they did not turn on by
themselves. The first system was made clay and wood with holes
drilled into them. There was a tank installed on the roof that
would distribute water to the piping once released.

Inventors first began experimenting with automatic sprinklers
around 1860. The first automatic sprinkler system was patented by
Philip W. Pratt of Abington, MA, in 1872.

Henry S. Parmalee of New Haven, Connecticut is considered the
inventor of the first practical automatic sprinkler head. Parmalee
improved upon the Pratt patent and created a better sprinkler
system. In 1874, he installed his fire sprinkler system into the
piano factory that he owned.

Until the 1940s, sprinklers were installed almost exclusively for
the protection of commercial buildings, whose owners were
generally able to recoup their expenses with savings in insurance
costs. Over the years, fire sprinklers have become mandatory
safety equipment, and are required by building codes to be placed
in hospitals, schools, hotels and other public buildings.
Types of Sprinkler Systems

Wet Sprinkler System

  •        Water is in the branch lines and at the sprinkler heads at all times.
  •        Wet systems can not be in areas that freeze.
  •        Water pressure must be maintained at all times.
  •        Water pumps are used to keep pressure at certain PSI.
  •        There is no delay for water to be put on the fire once engaged.
  •        Require the least amount of maintenance
Dry Sprinkler System

  •        Requires air pressure instead of water in the branch lines.
  •        Air pressure holds down a "Clapper Valve", so that water will not be introduced into the system, unless air pressure is lost.
  •        Used in areas that may freeze.
  •        An air compressor keeps constant pressure in the system.
  •        When fire releases the sprinkler head, air is released from the piping that in turns keeps the valve closed, once opened
    water rushes into the system.
  •        Standpipes are used in stairwells to have a water way established for hand lines.
  •        These systems have high cost maintenance, due to corrosion in the pipe with only air and a little bit of water present.
  •        Depending on how big the system is, it could take up to 60 seconds for water to be released on the fire.
Deluge System

  •        Deluge valves are used in special areas.
  •        The sprinkler heads are always open.
  •        Used in High Hazard areas.
  •        Deluge valves open during smoke or heat detection.
Pre-Action System

  •        Same features as Dry system
  •        Water is held back by an electronically operated valve
  •        Two things need to happen before water is released; the detection system must identify there is a problem with smoke or
    flame.  At that point, water is released into the piping.
  •        Secondly, the sprinkler heads must be activated and released to put water on the fire.
Types of Sprinkler heads

There are four different types of sprinkler heads.

  •        Pendants       - Most common head that extends down from the ceiling.  The spray streams downward over the deflector.
  •        Uprights        - Sits on top of the piping and sprays up towards the deflector.
  •        Sidewalls       - Comes out of the wall to protect hall ways or small rooms not big enough for regular heads.
  •        Special Coverage        - Sprinkler heads have been designed to protect all spaces.  For example, Attic heads have special
    bends in them to throw water at certain angles.  There are also heads with coatings for corrosive areas or to match decor.

Most heads have colored bulbs with in the frame of the head.  These bulbs with stand different temperatures.  Once the max        
temperature of the bulb is reached, it bursts, causing the head to release water.

  •        135-170 Degrees         =        Red
  •        175-225 Degrees         =        Green
  •        250-300 Degrees         =        Blue
  •        325-375 Degrees         =        Purple
  •        400-650 Degrees         =        Black
LFII Residential Pendant
Residential Horizontal Sidewall
Fire Sprinkler
systems are
recognized as the
single most
effective method of
controlling fires.
Fire damage in a
structure with
sprinklers is 78%
less than a
structure with out.
This sprinkler has been
exposed to enough heat to
cause the fluid to expand and
shatter the glass element. If
you look closely, you can see
the brass plug starting to drop
now that the glass element is
no longer in place. The
purpose of the glass element
is to hold the brass plug in
place. When heat causes the
glass element to break, the
water pressure will force the
brass plug out.
This is a sprinkler in it's normal
state. Unless a heat source is
applied to the glass element
(the red bulb in the center),
the sprinkler will remain like
this for years. The glass
element is filled with fluid.
The size of the glass element
and the type of fluid are
dependent upon the
temperature that a particular
sprinkler is expected to
Here you can begin to see
the brass plug being forced
out by the water pressure in
the Fire Sprinkler System.
As the brass plug falls away
this sprinkler will reach full
flow and begin distributing
water across a specific
amount of floor area.
This sprinkler is at the beginning
of full flow. Water will now flow
from this sprinkler head until the
water source is depleted or
disconnected by the local Fire
Department. The purpose of the
code requirements for the amount
of water, the area over which it is
distributed and the temperature at
which the sprinkler is activated is
to insure that any fire of sufficient
strength to activate a sprinkler
head will be contained within the
area covered by that sprinkler
Tannassee Fire Protection Inc
75 Mercantile Ave #1
Naples, Florida 34104
Phone: (239) 403-9334
Fax:      (239) 403-9335
Design           Installation             Service          Inspection
Tannassee Fire Protection Inc