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Quick VS. Standard Response Sprinkler Heads

Did you know there are different kinds of fire sprinkler heads? Do you know which type of fire sprinkler head your building requires? Different types of sprinkler are designed for different environments, and which 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
  • Orifice size
  • Installation orientation
  • Water distribution characteristics
  • Special service conditions

Beyond these characteristics, there are two types of sprinkler heads: standard response and quick response. The distinction between the two lies mostly in the type of hazard the sprinkler will serve to extinguish. Continue reading to find out what type of sprinkler head is best suited for your business!

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Standard Response (SR) Fire Sprinkler Heads

Standard response sprinkler heads work by wetting and cooling areas surrounding a fire to prevent it from spreading. Once the fire consumes all of the fuel around it, it goes out. This approach aims to suppress the fire’s source to slow the spread of flames. Standard response fire sprinklers are individually activated, meaning only sprinkler heads directly above the fire will activate. Because of their precision, SR fire sprinkler heads are best suited for commercial or industrial buildings such as factories or warehouses.

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 to deter the fire from rising, preventing flash-over and increasing people’s odds of survival as they attempt to evacuate. QR fire sprinkler heads are standard for highly populated buildings such as healthcare facilities, assisted living facilities, office buildings, or schools.

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 slightly more quickly.

Physically, the only difference between a standard response fire sprinkler 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. The smaller bulb increases the sprinkler’s thermal responsiveness, hence the quicker activation time.

A faster response time seems like the superior option, but QR sprinkler heads aren’t always the best option. While quick response fire sprinkler heads may appear to be the obvious choice, there are other important factors to consider, including:

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

All of these elements will determine whether it’s more effective to install standard response or quick response sprinkler heads. Higher ceilings in larger areas will benefit from standard response sprinkler heads, whereas smaller areas or tall buildings are more suited to quick response sprinkler heads. The expert Fire Systems of Michigan team will outfit your building with the best sprinkler option for your environment to make your fire suppression plan air-tight.

Located in Michigan and want to learn more? Call us today to speak with one of our experienced fire safety professionals and discover why top names in business and government consistently recommend Fire Systems of Michigan for their fire sprinkler services.

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Category: Fire Sprinklers