STANDARD vs. QUICK RESPONSE SPRINKLER HEADS

 In Fire Safety, Fire Sprinklers

Do you know which type of fire sprinkler head your building requires?  Different types of sprinklers are designed for different types of buildings, and the one you use can make or break your overall fire protection.  There are six main characteristics that define a sprinkler’s ability to control or extinguish a fire:

  • Thermal Sensitivity
  • Temperature rating
  • Oriface size
  • Installation orientation
  • Water distribution characteristics
  • Special service conditions

In addition, there are two types of sprinkler heads:  standard response and quick response.  These are what we’re going to focus on in this blog.

STANDARD RESPONSE (SR) FIRE SPRINKLER HEADS

Standard response sprinkler heads are designed to pre-wet nearby materials before the fire reaches them while simultaneously cooling adjacent areas to prevent the spread of fire.   Once the fire consumes all of the fuel around it, it goes out.  SR fire sprinklers are individually activated, meaning only sprinkler heads directly above the fire will activate.

QUICK RESPONSE (QR) FIRE SPRINKLER HEADS

Primarily used for light hazard applications, quick response fire sprinkler heads discharge water higher up on the ceiling.  This cools the ceiling, preventing flash-over and increasing people’s chance of survival as they attempt to evacuate.  QR fire sprinkler heads are standard for highly populated buildings such as health care facilities, assisted living facilities, and residential occupancies.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN STANDARD AND QUICK RESPONSE SPRINKLER HEADS

The biggest difference between quick response and standard response sprinkler heads is their activation temperatures.  As the names suggest, quick response sprinkler heads activate at slightly lower temperatures than standard response heads, suppressing the spread of fire more quickly.

Physically, the only difference between a standard response and a quick response fire sprinkler is the size of the bulb – standard response sprinklers have a 5 mm glass bulb, while quick response fire sprinklers have a 3 mm glass bulb.

While quick response fire sprinkler heads may seem like the obvious choice, there are other important factors to consider, including:

  • Ceiling height
  • Ambient temperature throughout the year
  • The size of the area to be protected

All of which will determine whether it’s more effective to install standard response or quick response sprinkler heads.  Call Fire Control Systems to help you determine which is best for your needs.

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