We are living in times when water conservation is a big deal, so asking the question ‘How much water does a fire sprinkler use’ is a pertinent question. For those who want to ensure they make the best use of this precious resource, we have got some great news. Fire sprinklers use water economically. Modern automatic sprinklers do not all go off at once. That is why experts are quick to rubbish fears about unnecessary water damage.
In fact, the fire sprinkler uses far less water than conventional means of fighting a fire. For example, a single sprinkler head will use a maximum of 20 gallons per minute. If that sounds a lot, compare it to the amount of water discharged by a traditional fire extinguisher. Those big metal things that clutter walls would collectively have to use almost 3,000 gallons – against a total of under 350 gallons for a typical sprinkler system.
Anyone concerned about water conservation or, indeed, the cost of water, would do well to calculate the savings afforded by automatic sprinklers. The great thing about modern fire-fighting equipment, other than it being automatic, is that it can rely on its own water supply. We are in the business of installing, maintaining and repairing sprinkler tanks – so we know a thing or two about water and its conservation.
Can a sprinkler tank really be good for conservation?
We can answer this question with just one word. Yes. While a fire sprinkler tank will require inspecting on a regular basis, this routine process need not cause the loss of a single drop of water. Why? Because companies like ourselves used advanced equipment that checks the integrity of the tank underwater.
As well as being great for water conservation, this high-tech approach saves money and also ensures sprinkler systems remain fully operational throughout. It negates the need for the tank owner to notify their insurer of an interruption to their fire safety measures. The only instances when a sprinkler tank will have to be drained is during a relining or refurbishment project. Thankfully, modern tanks are highly robust and designed to last for many years before this type of work may be deemed necessary.
The important point to get across is that when a sprinkler system is activated, only the sprinkler head / s nearest the heat source will go off – not all of them. For years, people have resisted sprinkler systems because they fear water damage and false alarms. The truth is, sprinklers do not cause water damage for the sake of it.
Other reasons why a fire sprinkler saves water
When you consider the design of a fire sprinkler system, it is important to remember that it is manufactured to work as soon as a fire is detected. This can happen within a very short space of time – sometimes in just a minute. Delivering water to the seat of a fire almost immediately has many benefits – including water conservation. A fast response is the most effective way to stop a blaze from spreading. Imagine a fire not being detected very quickly and then a wait for the fire and rescue service to arrive.
Response times to fires vary but can take more than eight minutes – even to very serious fires. Collectively, fire services have worked hard to maintain response times against a backdrop of cuts in the numbers of full-time firefighters. In some areas of the country, stations are earmarked for closure. While fire chiefs may claim cuts won’t impact response times, critics claim they will. However, eight minutes is eight minutes.
Commenting on fire response times for 2017/18,Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “Response times are important for public safety and have plateaued since 2014/15, but we can’t ignore the increase we have seen over the past two decades. We need to look in detail at the reasons behind this; including the the type of fires, the risk involved and any impact this may have.”
He added: “It is essential the public have confidence in their fire service and the response times, but just as important as averages is whether the local service is meeting its declared response time.”
A sprinkler system can diminish a fire – meaning less water being required by 999 crews. Some fire sprinkler experts claim automatic systems are so effective they help to cut greenhouses gases. That is not something we will go into now but is a subject we can return to at a later date.
The main message is that sprinkler systems with water storage tanks are environmentally friendly. Spread the word! Another way in which sprinkler tanks can play a role in helping the environment is working with rainwater harvesting systems. This is something we will write about in much greater detail in the near future because this savvy way of collecting and recycling water not only pays for itself over time, it is really efficient. What’s more rainwater harvesting systems are suitable for almost all roof types and can be customised to meet specific site requirements.
The fire sprinkler tank people
We are the people behind innovative, bespoke sprinkler tank solutions for commercial, industrial and municipal buildings across the UK. We carry out every aspect of installing and maintaining tanks and pride ourselves in being the market leading experts. We take water conservation seriously and that is why we are always happy to talk about the benefits of automatic sprinklers over conventional fire-fighting systems.
Our customers come from all corners of the UK. They trust us to look after their water needs because we only supply robust, long-lasting solutions that are designed to perform over many years. In addition to delivering durable water solutions, we provide free technical support – so nobody has to grapple with a water tank problem on their own.
Water may drop out of the sky, but it is a scarce, precious resource that none of us should take for granted. If you want to do your bit for the environment, sprinklers and a fire sprinkler tank is a great start. If your business wants to do more to conserve water and improve fire safety, talk to us about our impressive range of fire tanks and associated services.
We are Nationwide Water Solutions. For further information about what we do, visit our website.