Office of State Fire Marshal Sends Warning about Cold Weather and Sprinkler Pipes

The Midwest is not new to cold weather, but our recent string of temperatures plummeting below zero has caused additional concerns for property owners and facilities managers.  On Monday, January 27th, the Office of the State Fire Marshal in Illinois sent out a warning to remind building owners to take extra measures to prevent freeze-ups of water-based fire protection systems, such as automatic fire sprinklers.  The water in the pipes could freeze causing the pipes to break or leak.

This warning reminds everyone of some simple steps to take to ensure that the water in these fire sprinkler pipes does not freeze.  The National Fire Protection Association’s standard for buildings with fire sprinkler systems recommends that building owners maintain at least a 40 degree temperature in all areas that contain the water-filled piping.  Below are a few additional measures to help prevent these freeze-ups.

  1. Make sure heating systems are in good working order in all areas of the building.  Override any energy saving measures that might allow temperatures to drop below freezing.
  2. Openings to outdoor areas should be tightly sealed.  Make sure doors and windows are shut tight and remove any snow and/or ice from these areas that prevent complete closing.  Caulk or seal any cracks or openings.
  3. Leave doors open that lead to areas that are poorly heated to ensure warmer temperatures pass through into those areas.
  4. If you have a drop ceiling, remove a few tiles to allow warmer air to circulate in this area.

For more information about maintaining your sprinkler system during cold weather conditions, contact Reliable Fire and speak with one of our representatives today.

The full press release from the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal, please click here.