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Types of Fire Sprinkler Heads

When it comes to fire sprinkler systems, one size certainly doesn’t fit all. You need to choose the right design to meet the needs and code requirements of your building. In addition to the different types of fire sprinkler systems, you also have a choice of different fire sprinkler heads. By learning more about each style, you may gain a better understanding of which ones will work best for your Houston-area building.

How Do Fire Sprinkler Heads Work?

No matter what type of fire sprinklers you choose, know that they all work in the same fundamental way. All sprinkler heads feature a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid. When a fire ignites below the sprinkler, the heat expands this liquid and the bulb bursts. With the bulb out of the way, water flows freely from the sprinkler head and floods the room below with water to extinguish the fire.

It’s important to realize that sprinkler heads activate individually with the goal of reducing water damage while still dousing the flames effectively.

Pendent Fire Sprinkler Heads

These are the most common type of fire sprinkler head in use today. You’ll find them in commercial applications, such as offices, hotels, and factories, as well as in residences.

Pendent fire sprinkler heads protrude from the ceiling like a miniature pendant light fixture. Once water begins to flow from a pendent sprinkler head, it hits the deflector and sprays outward in a wide arch, providing the best coverage of any fire sprinkler head.

Upright Fire Sprinkler Heads

This style is best suited for commercial buildings with structures such as beams and ductwork that block the ceiling. Warehouses, mechanical rooms, and other facilities with no drop ceiling or drywall can also utilize upright fire sprinkler heads.

As their name suggests, upright fire sprinkler heads stand upright. They are mounted on pipes so they face the ceiling. When heat from a fire activates them, water shoots upward and immediately deflects downward thanks to a concave deflector.

Sidewall Fire Sprinkler Heads

You might find sidewall fire sprinkler heads in small rooms, hallways, and other areas where the sprinkler plumbing system runs through the walls instead of the ceiling. Hotel rooms are the most common application for this fire sprinkler head style.

Sidewall fire sprinkler heads protrude through the wall and have a unique deflector design that allows water to spray in a crescent or half-circle shape. Despite their unique location, sidewall sprinklers act the same as other fire sprinkler heads and are just as effective at extinguishing flames.

Concealed Fire Sprinkler Heads

Many people are put off by the appearance of fire sprinkler heads. They want fire protection, but not at the expense of aesthetics. Concealed fire sprinkler heads are the answer.

These are similar to pendent sprinklers, but they’re installed higher in the ceiling and hidden behind a cover plate. When heat from a fire approaches about 20 degrees below the temperature that the fire sprinkler will activate, the cover plate falls off, exposing the glass bulb to the heat so the sprinkler can engage shortly thereafter.

Contact Kauffman Co. for Help Designing Your Fire Sprinkler System

Once you choose the right sprinkler heads for your building, you must pinpoint which bulb temperature ratings, response times, and sprinkler head finishes will be the most appropriate.

Instead of guessing on these vital matters, leave the fire sprinkler design and installation process to Kauffman Co. We have served Houston-area businesses with quality fire protection services for over 35 years.

For a free fire sprinkler installation estimate, please call Kauffman Co. at (713) 893-1090 or contact us online today.

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