Friday, December 9, 2011
Many Fire Sprinkler Systems are not monitored why you should call 911 when you here a sprinkler bell ringing
They sit there on the sides of buildings usually round some oblong
almost always painted red and in rusty condition.
There sprinkler water flow bells which sound when water is flowing thru a sprinkler system .
There purpose is to warn the sprinkler system has activated due to a fire or broken pipe some are mechanical bells operated by the water pressure itself some are electrically operated from 6 volt -120 volts AC or DC and often times they ring and no fire engines are arriving because the sprinkler system is not tied in to a fire alarm panel with dialer or a stand alone DACT
which notify a monitoring center that the sprinkler system has activated.
Strange as it may seem there are many sprinkler systems which stand alone and do not report.
This is why if you are passing a building and one of these bells is going off and no authorities or any one else is around the structure you should notify 911 the bell is sounding so it can be investigated.
In Ambridge Pa. in a shopping plaza with a dollar store there was a small fire in an office where a computer caught fire and stand alone sprinkler system activated and flooded the store for several hours till police on patrol came by and heard the bell despite the fact the plaza is next to busy Rt 65 .
Every one assumes they here an alarm on a building and police are automatically notified and there wrong.
Despite building codes because these systems are grandfathered they are not mandated to be monitored by code and even new systems in some cases are not required to be monitored all they have to have is a visible bell or strobe /bell horn combo and systems with no monitoring and no mechanical bell and rely on power always being on to ring a 120 VAC bell are still being installed. Yes it sounds crazy why they would allow non power backed up non supervised sprinkler systems and why a property owner would not pay for sprinkler monitoring to prevent thousands in damage . But if they do not have to they do not. It often comes down to there insurance carrier mandating it.
Posted by Nick Markowitz Jr. at 8:22 AM