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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Unintentional Sprinkler Activation

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

If a sprinkler system breaks or malfunctions it can cause costly water damage to your business. When a sprinkler head breaks, it can spray anywhere from 8-24 gallons of water per minute. Within a 20 minute period one sprinkler head can dump hundreds of gallons of water inside your commercial building. 

The NFPA reported in 2014 that fire departments responded to over 33,600 calls related to unintentional sprinkler activation's. 

Below are the most common reasons a sprinkler system will go off unintentionally. 

1. Overheating- A sprinkler system is designed to detect heat. It does not know what type of heat it is looking for so keep sprinkler heads away from heat sources, this includes light bulbs. 

 2. Freezing temperatures- When a pipe freezes it can cause the water inside to expand more than 10% which can cause damage to the pipe. Adding extra insulation around the pipes can help keep them from freezing. 

3. Defects, mechanical failure, corrosion- All of these things can cause a sprinkler head to malfunction. Receiving regular inspections and maintenance on your system can help detect these issues before they become costly water damage. 

4. Sabotage- Insurance fraud, a not so funny prank or vandalism. Keeping your system in hard to reach areas and areas that are in a more public view can help deter these things from happening. 

If your sprinkler head should break and cause water damage to your business give SERVPRO of Morris/Ottawa a call 24 hours a day at (815)416-0075. We can start the drying process immediately and minimize your business interruptions. 

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