Deluge Systems vs. Pre-action Sprinklers

Deciding which fire protection system is right for your needs can be difficult. Let’s discuss the difference between two popular options, deluge and pre-action. Deluge systems are filled with unpressurized air and open sprinkler heads, while pre-action systems are filled with pressurized air and each sprinkler head is activated individually depending on the location of the fire. 

Deluge Systems

Deluge Systems are activated by smoke or heat detectors, which can preempt flames. A flood of water or foam is released through an open-sprinkler, nozzle, or foam generator through an unpressurized piping system that is directly connected to a water source. This system employs all of its open heads at once, releasing water or foam quickly for hazardous areas, unlike a standard sprinkler system with closed heads that requires each individual sprinkler head to be activated before opening. 

The pipes in a deluge sprinkler system are filled with unpressurized air. Water isn’t released into the pipe until the system is activated, making it a dry pipe system. Dry pipe systems are less likely to encounter corrosion problems and issues with freezing temperatures, as the pipes don’t contain any water. 

These systems are a very popular option in industrial applications where fires can spread rapidly. Chemical plants, aircraft hangars, and power plants are some of the most common applications for a deluge system, as valuable assets need to be protected against the rapid spread of fire. 

Pre-Action Sprinklers

Pre-Action Sprinklers are activated by heat, smoke, or flames. A combination of wet and dry pipe sprinklers are activated and the pipes are filled to extinguish the hazard and protect the area around it. Each sprinkler head is individually opened, releasing water on the affected area, not the entire building. This two-step activation protects assets from unnecessary damage. 

The pipes in a pre-action sprinkler system are filled with pressurized air to protect assets from any damage in the instance of accidental valve openings. Once the system is employed there is a two-step activation process. Water fills all of the pipes, and the sprinkler heads are opened to release the water onto the affected area..

Water-sensitive environments can be damaged by an overblown protection area. Pre-action systems only employ sprinklers in the directly affected areas, making them the best option for process control rooms, data centers, computer rooms, freezer warehouses, archives, museums, and libraries. This requires a more complex design, increasing both installation and maintenance costs. However, these costs can be greatly offset by the risk of damage to valuable assets in the event of a fire.

Western States Fire Protection 

Western States Fire Protection develops and installs quality sprinkler systems you can trust. We can customize your system for the safety of your building’s occupants, equipment, and other assets. Our team is experienced in all types of fire systems and can guide you through the options to match you with the correct protection. 

If you would like more information on which fire protection system is best for your commercial or residential space, contact Western States Fire Protection today! 

Commercial versus Residential Fire Protection

Commercial versus Residential Fire Protection

Commercial buildings are typically larger and more complex than residential homes. As a result, commercial properties often require more complex fire protection measures than homes. In addition, commercial properties are used for various purposes including retail, entertainment, food service, and more, and their fire protection systems must be adapted accordingly.

Residential Fire Protection

Some common forms of fire protection that can be found in homes include:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire sprinkler systems

Residential Sprinkler Systems

One big difference between commercial and residential fire protection is that in many homes, fire sprinkler systems are not required by law. Commercial properties are required to have fire sprinkler systems. Many homeowners choose to install fire sprinkler systems to help keep their property and people safe, and they may see a reduction in insurance premiums when sprinklers are present.

Residential sprinkler systems are typically less complex than commercial sprinklers. They are usually connected to the domestic water supply and may have smaller sprinkler heads that blend in with the home’s aesthetics. The standards and requirements for residential fire sprinkler systems can be found in NFPA 13D.

Commercial Fire Protection

Commercial applications typically require more complex fire protection measures than residential homes. Some common fire protection systems that are found in commercial buildings include:

  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Fire alarm and detection systems
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Alarm monitoring systems

The fire protection systems that are found in commercial buildings will vary depending on building size, type of occupancy, and local or state regulations.

Commercial Sprinkler Systems

NFPA 13, the Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems, requires fire sprinkler systems in these commercial buildings:

  • All new commercial structures with a fire area of more than 5,000 square feet must have automatic fire sprinkler systems installed.
  • Any remodeling or expansion that extends the fire area beyond 5,000 square feet, or any single tenant increase in occupancy requiring a new certificate of occupancy, will require sprinkler systems to be installed throughout the building.
  • Buildings more than 55 feet tall must have automatic sprinkler systems installed in all of the structures.
  • Sprinkler systems are required in townhomes with more than two residential occupancy units within a structure.

Commercial Fire Suppression

In some commercial settings, fire suppression systems that go beyond basic traditional sprinkler systems are required. For example, data centers, restaurants, and museums may need suppression systems that utilize agents other than water to protect against fire.

Commercial Alarm & Detection

When it comes to fire alarm and detection systems in commercial buildings, uniquely designed systems that include interlinked elements and a central control panel are required. Many commercial alarm systems are required to have 24/7 monitoring and are required to be inspected and tested on a regular basis by fire protection professionals.

WSFP Provides Residential & Commercial Fire Protection

Western States Fire Protection can provide commercial and residential fire protection systems. We can design and install fire sprinkler, fire suppression, and fire alarm systems to fit the unique requirements of your building. We can also provide inspections, testing, and service for your commercial fire protection systems to keep them functional and code compliant. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Fire Protection for Las Vegas, NV Buildings

Western States Fire Protection provides services and systems to keep Las Vegas, NV safe from fires. We provide fire protection for everything from hotels to casinos, multifamily housing, hospitals, and more. Our Las Vegas branch location serves the Las Vegas Valley, Mesquite and Laughlin, NV, Southern Nevada, Southern Utah, Southeast California, and Northern Arizona.

Fire Protection Systems

Our team of experts at our Las Vegas branch is capable of providing a wide range of fire protection systems for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings.

  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Kitchen hood fire suppress
  • Special hazards fire protection
  • Fire extinguishers

Western States Fire Protection designs and installs fire protection systems in accordance with local and state regulations, NFPA standards, and insurance requirements.

Ongoing Fire Protection Inspections & Services

WSFP Las Vegas specializes in providing ongoing inspection, testing and repair services. We offer service contracts to help you save money and make it easier for you to manage your fire protection systems. Our team can provide inspections and testing for all your fire protection systems as often as needed to help you remain compliant with local regulations and NFPA standards.

Our Las Vegas fire protection include:

  • Backflow preventer testing
  • Alarm monitoring services
  • 24-Hour emergency services
  • Inspections, testing and repairs

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to any emergency that may arise with your fire protection systems.

Contact Us for Las Vegas Fire Protection Services

If you are in need of fire protection systems or services in Las Vegas or the surrounding areas, contact Western States Fire Protection today. At WSFP, our mission is protecting lives and property. We have over 40 locations across the western half of the United States and have been providing fire protection systems since 1985.

The Portland Fire Pump Project

On a cloudless and sunny fall afternoon, the Portland office hums with excitement. 9-year WSFP veteran, Cory Wallace, is preparing one of his two portable fire pumps to ship out to a new job site. These fire pumps, which Cory built to fit inside of a towable trailer, have been filling a much-needed purpose on the Northwest Coast, which to put it simply – is keeping businesses afloat. Cory recognized that there were supply and demand issues when it came to diesel engines and pumps that keep water sources, specifically water reserves for fire protection systems, pressurized and running. When asked about the functionality of the pump, Cory stated “it’s a fully functioning fire pump room inside this mobile unit. They’re great for repairs and long lead items on new construction too, which is a big thing right now.”

When is a Fire Pump Needed?

When it comes to fire safety, facilities are not allowed to run without the proper protection in place. This puts facilities in a bind when their fire pumps fail or can delay a new facility from starting operations if they are unable to get one promptly. That’s what sparked the inspiration for Cory and why Portland is trying to create a “plug and play” solution for emergency fire protection.

The design of the fire pump models a permanent pump and engine. Both were fit into a trailer with reinforced flooring and contain all UL-listed parts, meeting all code requirements. In addition to all the required specs, lighting and temperature controls were added to the trailer, making it more comfortable for long-term renters. The trailer possesses a hitch for easy towing and shipment which allows for WSFP Portland to “really go anywhere with it,” according to Cory, and they have already seen major success across the country. Notably, these fire pumps have been in use more than they have been stored at the office, and have been shipped as far east as Arlington, Virginia. Other notable projects include the Microsoft facility in Washington, which has also played host to one of the pumps.

Portable and Accessible Anywhere

Part of the immense success that the Portland office has had renting out these fire pumps is due to a lack of accessibility in the market. Cory claims that to his knowledge “in the Northwest, this [fire pump] is the only one.” Since there is such a scarcity, it allows WSFP to emerge as the leader in this sub-industry. As the Portland office continues to find renters in need of mission-critical solutions, they hope to expand their reach further, and hopefully, market demand will allow for more pumps in commission. Either way, this is an incredible first step to providing a much-needed service to our communities and an excellent display of leadership and forward-thinking by our Portland staff.

WSFP’s mission is all about Protecting Lives and Property, so if you need a fire pump or have other fire protection/prevention needs then please contact us! We provide all design, service, repair, and inspections in-house, saving your company time and money. Click here, to receive a quote.

Is Your Multifamily Home Protected From Fires?

Multifamily Home Fire Protection

Are you practicing fire safety in your home? What about the hundreds of other residents living in your multifamily complex? Living in an apartment, condominium, or any additional multifamily residency has a few different fire safety measures than an individual family home. According to a study done by NFPA, apartments made up 29 percent of reported residential fires. Multifamily residency homes may cause larger-scale damage due to more occupants and larger properties. With more people and assets present, multifamily home fire protection is important to keep up to date.

What Systems Should Be Present in a Multifamily Residence?

When more people live in the same building using heat, electricity, and other appliances more fire protection is needed. You should not have to worry about the unit next to, beneath, or above you. The following fire protection systems installed into multifamily residence homes are meant to protect the numerous amounts of people living in them.

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Fire hydrants
  • Fire pumps
  • Kitchen hood fire suppression systems

What Systems Should Be Regularly Inspected for Proper Operation?

Does your apartment or condo have all the fire systems it should? When were they last inspected? All of your systems are essential in their own way, which is why it is essential to have them inspected.

Fire alarms: Fire alarms need to be working in every unit and on every level to alert occupants of an emergency. Inspecting fire alarms means ensuring the sound and light alarms will work appropriately in time of need. The detection system needs to be checked regularly by a professional team.

Fire sprinklers/systems: Fire sprinklers must be inspected regularly for leaks, cracks, or damage that may interfere with the function of the system. Sprinkler inspections, testing, and maintenance should be completed professionally and follow the NFPA 25 standards.

Kitchen hood systems: Kitchen hood systems should be inspected regularly for blockage, or damage to the equipment, and repairs should be done by a technician team. Your inspections/services should be done by a trustworthy fire protection company for the best and safest results.

WSFP Multifamily Residence Inspections and Services

Western States Fire Protection has the experience and expertise in multifamily home fire protection and can fulfill all needs for your fire system’s inspections and services. Family residencies we can provide inspections and services for include apartments, condominiums, townhomes, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities, hotels, and more. WSFP gives efficient and courteous services for your system’s issues and allows you to feel safe while continuing with your daily activities. At WSFP, we also have a 24/7 response team ready to assist you in case of a fire system emergency. Contact Western States Fire Protection today to schedule your multifamily residence fire systems inspections and services.

How Frequently Should You Get Your Fire Extinguisher Inspected?

We all hope that we will never need to use our fire extinguishers, but it is important to have peace of mind that your fire extinguisher will work if you need it. Fire extinguishers should not only be inspected for proper functioning before they are installed but also on a regular basis afterward. Generally, this means checking it on a monthly basis. A regular fire extinguisher inspection requires certain procedures to help ensure that your extinguisher is able to help you in times of emergency.

Why are Fire Extinguisher Inspections Necessary?

There are several reasons you should be inspecting your fire extinguishers on a regular basis, which include:

  1. To help make sure your fire extinguisher is properly working in a time of need
  2. To keep your fire extinguisher up to codes
  3. To check for rust, corrosion, or other damage that may cause malfunctions
  4. To check that it is full
  5. To check that your extinguisher is accessible and easy to reach location
  6. To put you at ease knowing you have access to a first line of defense device for small fires

National Fire Protection Association Requirements (NFPA 10)

NFPA 10 is the code for standard portable fire extinguishers. NFPA has certain codes of procedures, frequencies, and recordkeeping for fire extinguishers.

Procedures of a Fire Extinguisher Inspection:

  • Ensure there is easy access to the fire extinguisher (typically somewhere in regular paths of travel)
  • Make sure it is in its proper location
  • Make sure it is visible and properly labeled
  • Make sure the pressure gauge is in the correct functioning range and position
  • Make sure it is at its full capacity
  • Operate non-rechargeable extinguishers push-to-test pressure indicators
  • Check that wheeled extinguishers have functional tires, hoses, and nozzles

Frequency of Inspections:

  • Extinguishers should be inspected when they are initially installed
  • They should be regularly checked on a monthly basis
  • Extinguishers in areas prone to higher rust, tampering, or impact should be inspected more frequently

Records of the Inspection:

  • Records should be taken of each monthly inspection
  • A label or tag should be made for the extinguisher and should also be filed on paper or electronically
  • The record must include the month, year, and person conducting the inspection

Repairs and Service

Any repairs or service that needs to be done upon inspection should be done by a certified professional. Service should be performed according to procedures stated by NFPA 10 and be recorded.

Western States Fire Protection Fire Extinguisher Inspections

With a better understanding of the importance of regular fire extinguisher inspections, now is the time to set up your regular checks. At Western States Fire Protection, we offer inspections weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and annually, depending on current codes and insurance policies. With fire extinguishers, we can set your monthly fire extinguisher inspections that follow these NFPA 10’s codes. With portable fire extinguisher inspections, we also provide our customers with hands-on training on what they need to know. Schedule an inspection from your nearest WSFP office to help make sure your extinguishers are able to help you in times of emergency.

National Fire Suppression: Serving Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas for 95 Years

Established in 1926, National Fire Suppression has built a reputation for providing exceptional fire protection services in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas. With 95 years of experience, National Fire Suppression is a name you can trust when it comes to fire protection systems and services. In 1994, National Fire Suppression was acquired by Western States Fire Protection, giving us the resources to expand our fire protection capabilities.

Our Service Areas

National Fire Suppression has 3 office locations in:

Between our 3 office locations and 25 field technicians, we can provide fire protection systems and services to businesses in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. In addition to serving local facilities, we can provide national support for businesses that operate nationwide.

Why Choose National Fire Suppression?  

There are many reasons to choose National Fire Suppression as your fire protection contractor.

  1. We have 95 years of experience in the fire protection industry.
  2. National Fire Suppression’s 24-hour emergency response team is available around the clock for repair and service.
  3. We are a full-service fire protection provider, offering design, installation, inspections, testing, and repair of fire protection systems all in one place.
  4. We can serve customers with locations nationwide through APi National Service Group.

Full-Service Fire Protection Company

National Fire Suppression is a full-service fire protection company. The services we provide include:

Interested in learning more about National Fire Suppression and the services we provide in Illinois, Missouri and Kansas? Contact us today.

Decatur, IL Fire Protection Company

When it comes to providing your business and people with fire protection that can help save lives, you need a contractor you can trust. National Fire Suppression is that team for fire protection design and installation, repair work and regularly scheduled inspections and testing. Our Decatur, IL location can serve a wide variety of businesses across Illinois.

Fire System Capabilities

Our team in Decatur, IL can provide fire protection systems for commercial, industrial, and residential applications. We provide design, installation, service and repair for:

Fire Protection Services for Decatur, IL Businesses

  • System installations
  • Retrofits
  • Tenant finish
  • Fire pump inspections, testing, and repair
  • Underground work on mains, valves, and hydrants
  • Corrosion management
  • Alarm monitoring
  • Inspections and testing of all systems
  • 24-hour emergency service

Contact Us for Fire Protection in Decatur

Looking for a fire protection contractor in Decatur? National Fire Suppression can provide fire protection services for hospitals, industrial complexes, nursing homes, data centers, warehouses, commercial buildings, power plants and much more. We have experience working with a wide variety of systems. We are ready to assist you with all your fire protection needs. Contact us today!

Fire Protection Installations, Inspections, Service and Repair in Kansas City

National Fire Suppression provides fire protection services for commercial, residential, and industrial facilities in the Kansas City metro area. We are committed to providing exceptional fire sprinkler, suppression and alarm systems that can assist in keeping your people and property safe from fire.

Fire Protection System Installations

At National Fire Suppression, we can design a fire protection system using the latest BIM technology and provide installation in accordance with NFPA standards and local codes. We work with you from start to finish to install a system that fits your needs integrates smoothly with your facility. Some of the systems we install include:

Inspections for Fire Systems

Inspecting and testing your fire protection systems on a regular basis is critical for the safety of your building and the people inside. Not only do inspections help identify issues with your fire systems, but they are also required by law. At National Fire Suppression, we provide inspections and testing of all fire systems for buildings. Our team of technicians will perform inspections per current codes and your insurance provider requirements.

Repairs and 24-Hour Emergency Service

National Fire Suppression can provide service and repair for any fire alarm, sprinkler, or suppression system. If you have an emergency with your fire protection systems, our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We make it our priority to repair your system in an effort to keep your building and the people inside safe..

Contact Us for Fire Protection Services in Kansas City

National Fire Suppression is a fire protection provider that you can count on. We serve properties in the Kansas City metro area and across Missouri and Kansas. Whether you need a new system design and install or are looking for a company to perform inspections or repairs, we are the team you can trust. To learn more about the services we provide, contact us today.

Types of Fire Hydrants & Inspection Requirements

Fire Hydrant Inspection & Testing

In the event of a fire, the availability of an adequate water supply is crucial. It can be a matter of life or death for buildings to have the water supply needed to suppress and extinguish a fire. Fire hydrants (sometimes referred to as “fireplugs” or just “plugs”) provide the water for fire department hoses to put out a fire. However, simply having plugs installed in strategic locations is not sufficient to ensure their effectiveness during emergencies. It is important to regularly inspect and test fire hydrants to help keep them operational.
This article delves into the importance of fire hydrant inspection and testing, highlighting their role in safeguarding lives and property from the devastating effects of fires.

Types of Fire Hydrants

Fire hydrants serve as vital infrastructure for firefighting operations. They provide a readily available and accessible water supply that enables firefighters to rapidly connect their hoses, delivering the necessary volume and pressure to combat fires effectively. They are typically connected to municipal water systems, ensuring a continuous flow of water for firefighting efforts, but this is not always the case. There are two main types: wet barrel and dry barrel hydrants.

  • Wet Barrel Hydrants – This type of hydrant is connected directly to the pressurized water source and the barrel is always filled with water.
  • Dry Barrel Hydrants –These hydrants are typically used in areas that get below-freezing temperatures. A main valve located below the ground separates the hydrant from the pressurized water supply, and the upper barrel section of the hydrant is dry.

Inspection & Testing Requirements for Fire Hydrants

These critical devices must be regularly inspected and tested to ensure their functionality and reliability when they are most needed. Inspection and testing procedures involve comprehensive assessments to determine their overall condition. Trained professionals conduct visual inspections to identify any signs of damage, corrosion, leaks, or other potential issues.

Additionally, flow tests are performed to measure water pressure and flow rates, ensuring they meet the necessary standards. These evaluations provide valuable insights into the hydrants’ maintenance requirements, enabling timely repairs, replacements, or upgrades as needed.

NFPA 291 requires that fire hydrant flow tests be performed every 5 years and fire hydrant inspections be performed annually. Fire hydrant inspections and testing should be performed by a licensed professional.

Annual Hydrant Inspections

Annual fire hydrant inspections check that hydrants are in proper working condition and verify that they are operational when they are needed. Some things that are checked during an annual inspection include:

  • Look for obstructions that could interfere with hydrant operation.
  • Check for cracked or missing caps.
  • Look for leaky or broken nozzles, gaskets, and valves.
  • Check for the correct above-ground hydrant height.
  • Determine if the hydrant needs to be painted.
  • Check for main valve leaks.
  • Check water flow using a pressure gauge.

After the fire hydrant inspection is performed, an inspection report must be filed with the proper local authorities. The inspection report should record all issues and repairs along with the static pressure reading, date, and time.

Hydrant Flow Tests

Fire hydrant flow tests are performed to determine the pressure and rate of flow available at various locations. These tests measure the static and residual pressure as well as the rate of discharge. The data from flow tests are used to uncover blockages or infrastructure problems in a water distribution system. Its use also includes properly designing fire sprinkler systems for commercial and residential buildings.

Fire Hydrant Testing

In a fire emergency, every second counts. A malfunctioning or damaged fire hydrant can cause significant delays in accessing an adequate water supply, leading to an escalation of the fire and potentially catastrophic consequences. Regular inspection and testing of a hydrant helps to identify and rectify any issues promptly, reducing the risk of failures during critical moments. By proactively ensuring the operational readiness, potential obstacles that could impede firefighting efforts can be mitigated, safeguarding both lives and property.

Fire hydrant testing and inspection not only address individual hydrant functionality but also contribute to the overall performance of the firefighting water supply system. By identifying and rectifying any shortcomings in the network, such as inadequate water pressure, low flow rates, or malfunctioning valves, the efficiency and effectiveness of the system as a whole can be significantly improved. Regular testing also helps maintain compliance with local fire codes and regulations, ensuring that the water supply meets the necessary standards for firefighting purposes.

Collaboration with Local Departments

Inspection and testing of fire hydrants are typically conducted in collaboration with local fire departments or relevant authorities. Firefighters and other emergency responders rely on accurate and up-to-date information about the location, condition, and performance within their jurisdiction. By maintaining a close working relationship between fire departments and inspection teams, comprehensive data can be collected and utilized to enhance emergency response strategies and optimize firefighting operations. This makes regular fire hydrant testing all the more important.

WSFP Performs Fire Hydrant Inspection & Testing

With our licensing, expertise, and commitment to quality, Western States Fire Protection is prepared to provide fire hydrant inspections and testing at all of our locations. Our technicians are trained to conduct comprehensive annual inspections and precise flow tests, ensuring that your fire hydrants are in optimal condition and capable of providing the necessary water supply for effective fire suppression. By choosing Western States Fire Protection, you can have peace of mind, knowing that your fire hydrants are in the hands of skilled professionals dedicated to protecting your facilities and ensuring the safety of your people. If you are interested in learning more about our fire hydrant inspection and testing services, contact us today!