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Sprinkler System in your Garage?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mini_mull, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    In light of bablazer's sad situation, I was wondering if anyone has a sprinkler system installed in their garage. I'm not sure how different sprinkler systems work. I think some turn on from a small plastic piece melting, and I think some turn on with smoke detectors. Anyone know what the best configuration would be for an auto garage? Anyone have a system in their home or work garage?
     
  2. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't even have room but for one truck in mine :(
     
  3. readymix

    readymix 3/4 ton status

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    Nope. But ti do work on them for our weapons mags. It would be easy to set one up for a garage but expensive.

    The pellets are not plastic, they are a metal alloy designed to deform and break at a pre-set temperature. Only used in "wet" systems. A dry system would use a control valve with seperate alarms and sensors.
    For a garage you would want an automatic system. There are a few considerations to be made though.

    - Water damage will be severe if the system is lit off.....but still cheaper than a fire.
    - Can be cost prohibitive to install. Maintenance $ would be low.
    - good only for class A fires, unless it is a watermist system....$$$
     
  4. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    The biggest problem i see is a garage fir will most likely be electrcial or caused by gas/ oil... water is not the answer...

    A sprinkler will lower insurance costs and protect your investment....

    On the other hand id rather have a fire take it all then it be saved by a sprinkler system... You cant replace everything the water gets to... IMO your asking for troubles with mold/ growth... Id rather let it burn to the ground and collect insurance.
     
  5. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    depending on how soon the sprinklers came on wouldn't it keep other things from fueling the fire, even if it was started by electrical or flammable liquid?
     
  6. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    This is true... but as far as i know can make those types of fires worse by spreading them....

    Again id rather let it birn then have to repair the water damage... A sprinkler DUMPS water. Ive seen it happen a few times on the job:crazy: Much better to let the fire go a rebuild... You will NEVER fully repair anything thats been water damaged, and you will most likely have mold/ milwdew/ etc problems...
     
  7. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Also, could damage be limited by simply epoxy painting the walls (same stuff they use for bathrooms)? Most tools/parts etc in a garage are not water sensitive (except electrical tool) so what would the water damage cost entail besides replacing sprinkler heads?
     
  8. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    There is a fair amount of slightly incorrect info in the preceding posts.

    First consideration should be whether or not the garage is attached (or close) to the home or not?

    Garage fires are very common, protecting the rest of your house, memories, and family are worth any resulting water damage to your truck.

    Heat from a fire, can cause surrounding structures to burn, and you'd be surprised how far they can be. That is WITHOUT considering the wind direction which could seriously threaten the situation.

    Also, how far away is the fire station? Is it volunteer or full time? Response time is the single biggest factor.

    Whether the garage is heated or not is another consideration. Or does it drop below freezing where you live? This would be the deciding factor between a dry and wet system. A dry system (I'm only assuming) is likely pricier.

    Water damage is covered in fire insurance. This is a broad response, I'm sure there are exceptions. I'm a firefighter, not an insurance salesman.

    Typical structural damage due to water is actually easily repaired if action is taken quickly. Dry wall is easy to replace and cheaper than lumber etc, and if the builder was smart and left a gap at the floor, might not even be required.

    Electrical equipment, not energized while sprayed, will work fine as long as it is fully dry before energizing.

    It is accurate that water is not the best extinguishing agent for a fuel (liquid) fire also known as Class B or electrical, Class C fires.

    However, in the typical situation that we are discussing, fuel or electricity only acts as the source of ignition while the bulk of the 'real' fire is now a Class A fire (regular flammables such as wood).

    That said, the amount of fire associated with a car fire (ie. carb fuel line) is minimal and not worth including in the equation. So you would (and we do) use water.

    Sprinklers, rarely extinguish fires, they control them until the fire department gets there. This is due to the mechanics of the sprinklers and the heat required to set them off. As Minimull said, this can make all the difference to the extent of your loss.

    And lastly, the cost of residential sprinkler systems has really come down in the last few years, and you can be certain that if you live in an urban setting, it will only be a matter of time before they are mandatory.

    I know this was drawn out, but I didn't want any misinformation dissuading someone from any action that could save someone the terrible loss of a fire.
     
  9. readymix

    readymix 3/4 ton status

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    Excellent information Fireplug. Thank you for clearing up anything I posted.

    I am no sprink expert in the residential field. All the systems I work on are designed to combat fires related to ammunition. They basically atomize the water to cool the ammo then progressivle flood the space they are in.
     
  10. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    No prob, keep in mind of course that I'm certainly no expert in either! ;)

    Minimull one question of yours that I didn't answer; as far as I know all systems are activated by a fusible link, as Readymix mentioned and not by a heat or smoke detector. The heat melts the link, allowing the charged sprinkler system to release water.

    The 'dry' system that we mentioned works in the same way, except that there is a buffer of air between the sprinkler heads, and the source of water. This is typical of an outdoor system like a parking garage so that there is no water in the pipes to freeze. This system requires gauges to measure the air pressure, which must be maintained of course.
     
  11. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all the good information. I appreciate you taking the time to spell it all out. I hadn't even considered a lot of the points you brought up.

    It seems it would really make sense to at least look into a sprinlker system esp. for a new build. I know I've seen them in some upper class new build custom homes lately.

    I didn't think about this before, but we are building an office in a strip mall right now, and I checked how much per square foot the sprinkler system was for materials and install. It was only just over $2 per square foot for about 2K sq ft, and this number is signifigantly inflated because there are 13 rooms in that area so there must be at least one head for each room. I imagine if it was just an open area like a garage the cost per sq ft would be significantly less. That being said it is still not a residential build, so it may be a different animal entirely.

    Maybe out of this info someone will install one in their garage and save one home, maybe someday mine. :dunno: It's just so hard to watch someone go through a tradgedy like that, and it could have even been worse if someone had been injured or killed.
     
  12. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    I'm noticing now that you are from AZ. Phoenix is pretty much the center for advances in fire fighting technology, tactics, and legislation. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts those contractors for the 'new' housing you mentioned have an inside 'lead' to what's coming in the future.

    As to "why Phoenix?" your guess is probably better than mine! :D
     
  13. mini_mull

    mini_mull 1/2 ton status

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    Maybe it has something to do with the "it's a dry heat" thing, and that most the houses are wood frame and stucco and go up like matchbooks. In fact on our way home from pizza tonight we drove past our house and up a hill to get a better look at a crazy blazing fire a couple miles away. Looked like at least one house was completely gone, maybe a few.
     
  14. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah that just might be it! :eek1:
     

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