Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Sprinklers

Fire Sprinklers FAQ

Fire sprinklers are a critical component of many life safety systems. Making sure that they are running properly is important to the safety of the people in your building. There are however, many questions people may have about their fire sprinkler systems.

Can Fire Sprinkler Heads be Painted?

You should never paint over your sprinkler heads. Doing so will cause your system to work incorrectly. Paint causes the temperature at which the sprinkler heads are triggered to be higher and can even cause them to not activate at all. This can lead to more damage done to your building and puts lives in danger.

If you are hiring someone to paint your building for you, make sure you show them wear sprinkler heads are located and inform them not to paint over them.

Can Fire Sprinkler Systems Freeze?

Traditional fire sprinkler systems with water-filled pipes can freeze when exposed to cold temperatures. If you need fire protection in an area where freezing is possible such as unheated warehouses, freezers, or outside loading docks, your best bet is to install a dry pipe system. Dry pipe sprinkler systems have air or nitrogen in the pipes instead of water to prevent freezing.

How Are Sprinkler Systems Activated?

Sprinkler systems are activated through heat detection. They are not activated by smoke or steam. When heat is detected, the sprinkler system activates each head individually, the heads do not go off all at once. It is very rare for a sprinkler system to be activated by accident.

Can I Install Fire Sprinklers Myself?

You should never try to install a fire sprinkler system yourself. You need to hire the help of a qualified fire protection professional to make sure the system is installed properly and complies with fire code.

Have More Fire Sprinkler Questions? Ask the Experts

Western States Fire Protection can answer your questions about fire sprinkler systems. If you need a new system installed, the team of qualified technicians at WSFP can get the job done. We are a full-service fire protection contractor serving the Western half of the United States. Give us a call today at 303-792-0022 and we will answer any questions you may have about fire protection.

Fire Protection in Residential Buildings

When it comes to residential properties, fire protection is very important. Places like hotels, apartment buildings, and private homes are where people spend a lot of time. Having proper fire protection in these areas can save many lives.

Fire Sprinklers in Homes

Everyone wants to protect the people that they love the most, but not everyone has a fire sprinkler system installed in their home. Many people may think that a fire sprinkler system is a waste of time because the chances of a fire are very small. However, a fire can break out in a home at any time! Whether it be a kitchen fire, or a fire started by a space heater, having a fire protection system installed in your home can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are better protected.


The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 was passed after devastating fires occurred in hotel buildings. This act requires that guest rooms have automatic fire sprinklers and smoke detectors installed. Hotels that meet these criteria are designated by the U.S. Fire Administration. If a hotel does not meet the requirements of the Fire Safety Act it could lose many potential customers who are concerned about safety. Federal employees who are traveling for work can only stay in USFA approved hotels.

Apartment Buildings

Fire can be deadly in apartment buildings. With multiple residents residing in these buildings a fire that is not controlled can take the lives of many people. Often apartment buildings can have people living on higher floors, making it more difficult to escape in the event of a fire. As a result, fire sprinklers are required in all apartment buildings to promote the safety of the residents. Fire alarms and fire extinguishers in addition to well established fire safety plans in apartments can go a long way in protecting the lives of those who call apartment buildings home.

Benefits of Residential Fire Protection from WSFP

If you need fire protection for your residential property, WSFP has you covered. We install fire sprinklers for residential applications that are aesthetically pleasing, reliable, and fast acting. Our technicians are experienced in fire sprinkler design and installation and will provide you with excellent customer service. We can install a system in a newly constructed building or retrofit a system for an existing building. Protect the people you care about and have a fire sprinkler system installed in your residential facility today.

FM-200 Fire Suppression

FM-200 Fire Suppression Systems

It is extremely important to make sure that your property is protected in the event of a fire. One way to ensure that your property is safe from fire damage is to have a fire suppression system installed. Fire suppression system installation is done in areas where fire sprinklers would not be a suitable form of fire protection. This includes areas where water damage could ruin property and assets or where it would not be effective at putting out a fire. FM-200 is a common form of fire suppression that can be used to extinguish a fire quickly and effectively.

Properties of FM-200

FM-200 clean agent fire suppression extinguishes fires through heat absorption. It is a gaseous halocarbon also known as HFC-227ea that is colorless and odorless. It was initially introduced as a replacement for other forms of fire suppression that were ozone depleting. FM-200 is approved by the NFPA and is stored in cylinders near the area that is being protected. This form of fire suppression discharges within 10 seconds and leaves no reside behind. It is electrically nonconductive and safe to use in occupied spaces.

Benefits Provided

The installation of an FM-200 fire suppression system in your facility can have many benefits. FM-200 leaves behind no residue which means it requires no clean up after a fire and will not damage property. It has a low environmental impact and is safe for humans. FM-200 can be easily stored and does not take up much space. Also, since it acts very quickly in the event of a fire, it buys extremely valuable time for people exit a building safely or extinguish a fire before it causes extensive damage.

Places to Protect

FM-200 is used in a wide variety of applications. It is installed in telecommunication facilities, computer rooms, and control rooms where it can prevent damage to equipment. It is also used in museums, historical archives, and art galleries where there are valuable and unique assets that would be irreplaceable if destroyed. Another common place FM-200 is used is in record storage facilities where important information and data needs to be protected.

WSFP Design & Installation

At Western States Fire Protection, we can design and install an FM-200 fire protection system for your facility. Our systems will protect your property from damage while keeping a low environmental impact. We have over 40 locations in the western half of the U.S. to serve your fire protection needs. We are a full-service fire protection contractor that is dedicated to protecting lives and property. Contact us today for more information on our FM-200 fire suppression systems.

Commercial Fire Protection

Fire Protection Systems for Commercial Properties

In early April, there was a two-alarm commercial structure fire in Henderson, Nevada that damaged a single-story business.  Employees attempted to put out the fire on their own, but it grew so quickly and overwhelmed them, they all had to get out and escaped safely.  One employee was treated and released for smoke inhalation.  The cause of the fire was accidental and caused around $75,000 worth of damages.

Fire Protection Systems Can Save  Lives and Limit Damages

Commercial fire protection systems are critical for the protection of your employees and property.  Whether it is a fire sprinkler system, fire suppression system, fire detection, smoke detection, and or monitoring system, having the right systems in place can help people escape in the event of a fire.  Every second counts in a fire so it is critical that there is a proper system in place to help employees and customers have that precious time to get out safely.

Fire Sprinkler Systems & Fire Suppression Systems

Fire sprinkler systems and fire suppression systems are at the front line of fire protection.  Most buildings can use fire sprinkler systems that use water to control a fire.  Wet pipe, dry pipe, deluge, and pre-action are the typical types of fire protection systems installed. Some property and locations contain special hazards or substances where water is not the first choice to put out a fire, in this case a “Special Hazards” fire suppression system is required.    All have their specific use and purpose.

Smoke & Fire Detection Systems

Fire detection and smoke detection systems are the first response to an active fire or smoldering fire.  These will trigger the alarms that will help people get to safety.  They also can be configured so everyone in the building can be notified at the same time.  This way those that are a distance away can start moving towards the exits before the fire or smoke gets to where they are.  These systems can be tied into a monitoring system that will send an alert to the fire department so that emergency personnel can respond much quicker.  These alarms can be sent to any number of people to let them know of the current situation.  The monitoring system can also be used for security alerts and video monitoring.

Protecting Lives and Property

At Western States Fire Protection, we have one mission: Protecting Lives and Property.  We are located across the western half of the United States, we are a full-service fire protection company that has over 30 years of experience and 40 locations that can meet your fire protection needs.  We have what it takes to ensure that your employees and property will be fully protected in the event of a fire.  We design, install, and maintain fire sprinkler systems, fire suppression systems, smoke and fire detection systems, and provide monitoring of security systems.  We also have an emergency response service team on call 24/7 that will help you should anything happen to your fire protection system which requires an immediate response.  Contact us today to find out how Western States Fire Protection can help you get the fire protection you want and need.

Special Hazards Fire Suppression Systems

A fire suppression system’s purpose is to use an agent other than water to extinguish and control a fire. They are installed in facilities where a sprinkler system is ineffective or where water would cause damage to the assets in the building. There are many types of special hazards fire suppression systems including NOVEC-1230, ECARO-25, FM-200 and other inerting systems like Hi-Fog and Water Mist systems.  These systems are important for protecting lives and property.

Types of Special Hazards Fire Suppression Systems

CO2 – This form of fire suppression acts quickly to put out a fire. When a fire starts, CO2 is released which displaces the oxygen in the air and a cooling effect to prevent combustion. It is environmentally friendly and there is no cleanup after a fire. Typically used for industrial applications.

Foam – Foam fire suppression is often used in aircraft hangars, power plants, and chemical facilities where flammable materials are present. The foam is a mixture of water and foam concentrate that smothers a fire.

Fog and Misting – These systems are typically nitrogen driven systems that provide a cooling effect and blankets the area in steam to remove heat from a fire.  The water molecules are so small that they cannot be felt or seen on equipment after a discharge. These systems provide little to no cleanup.

FM200 / Ecaro-25 / NOVEC-1230 – These are clean agent fire suppressants that acts quickly to put out a fire. It is non-conductive and leaves behind no residue, shortening the amount of downtime after a fire. clean agents are safe to use around people and it has low environmental impact.


The fire suppression system that is can installed in your building must complies with your building code and fit your special hazards fire protection needs. You should work with a team of qualified technician to determine the correct fire suppression system for your application and make sure the installation process goes as smoothly as possible.

Testing & Inspection

Your fire suppression system must be regularly tested and inspected to make sure it will perform properly in the event of a fire. Your fire suppression system should be inspected monthly, semi-annually, annually, or as often as it is required by your insurance provider or local code regulations. Regular testing and inspections give you peace of mind knowing that your fire suppression system is ready to protect your property and save lives.

Service & Maintenance of Fire Suppression Systems 

Fire suppression systems may break down and parts wear out. If your fire suppression system needs repairing, you will need a fire protection contractor to assist you. Servicing and maintenance to fire suppression systems must be done to ensure that your system is working properly. Broken parts should be replaced to get your suppression system up and running as soon as possible.

At Western States Fire Protection, we design and install fire suppression systems that fit your needs. We provide testing and inspection of fire suppression systems as often as is required by building code. Western states will also keep your system running properly by fixing any broken parts or performing maintenance. Western States is a full-service fire protection company with over 40 locations in the western half of the United States. To learn more about the fire suppression services we offer, give us a call today at 303-792-0022.