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TitleTop 10 Sprinkler Tips
Tags Industries Nature Building Engineering Fire Sprinkler System
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12231 Emmet Street, Suite 5
Omaha, NE 68164
Toll Free: 800-736-4327
Phone: 402-498-0464
Fax: 800-328-0522
www.WillisFraternity.com
www.WillisSorority.com

Top 10 Questions When Considering Installation of a Fire Sprinkler System

1. How do fire sprinkler systems work? A sprinkler system consists of a network of sprinkler heads
connected to water supply pipes. Each sprinkler head consists of a glass bulb or a fusible link. The bu lb
contains a liquid as well as a quantity of vapor. Th e liquid expands under the influence of heat as do the
fusible liquid heads. When the temperature reaches a certain level, typically 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it
will expand the liquid and break the bulb or fusible link, which in turn releases water from the sprinkler
head.

2. What are the costs of retrofitting an existing fraternity facility with an automatic sprinkler
system? The cost to retrofit a sprinkle r system into an existing facility varies depending on the size of
the structure, number of rooms, amount of occupied versus non-occupied space etc. Having said this,
most facilities can be retrofitted for a cost ranging from $5.00/SF to $10.00/SF.

3. How do I determine the specific desi gn and type of fire sprinkler system? The National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA) is the governing body for building codes relating to fire protection systems.
The NFPA has developed three types of fire sprinkler design standards which apply to different types of
construction. The fire sprinkler design standards and specifications known as NFPA 13R have been
developed for residential facilities which are four st ories or less. These design standards apply to fire
sprinkler retrofits in most fraternity and sorority fa cilities. The NFPA 13R design standards do not require
installation of fire sprinklers in unoccupied areas of the facility, which may include the attic. They also
allow for the use of materials which are more cost effective from both a material and labor standpoint.

4. What is the Life Safety Record for fully sprinkled facilities? A National Fire Protection Association
study revealed that approximately twenty (20) lives ar e lost each year in the United States in sprinkled
buildings as compared to approximately four thou sand (4,000) per year in non-sprinkled buildings.
Approximately 68% of the fatalities were due to the fa ct that the fire originated in an non-sprinkled area
of the building. Although this is the case, there has never been a fire related in a fraternity or
sorority house in which a fire sprinkler system was present.

5. How reliable are fire sprinklers? Fire sprinkler systems are very reliable as they are the only system
that can detect a fire, sound the alarm, call the fire department and control or extinguish the fire. Fire
sprinkler systems control approximately 99% of all fires at the origin of the fire before it has time to
spread and cause more significant damage.

6. Are fire sprinkler retrofits creating an obtrusive appearance? Due to advances in sprinkler
technology, sprinklers look better than ever, if you ca n see them at all. Sprinklers can be concealed
behind ceilings and walls and are available in a range of colors and sizes to blend into the background of
any room.

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