What is a Pre-Action Sprinkler System?

Pre-action fire sprinklers are a form of dry pipe sprinkler systems. In a pre-action system, water is back from the sprinkler piping by an electrically operated pre-action valve. Two things must happen for a pre-action sprinkler to be activated.

First, a fire is detected through flame, heat or smoke detection systems and the pre-action valve is opened. After the valve opens, water will flow into the sprinkler piping.

Secondly, each individual sprinkler head must open to release water to flow onto the fire.

What is the advantage of using a pre-action sprinkler system?

The main advantage of pre-action systems is found in the two steps needed for water to release. Since both the pre-action valve and the individual sprinkler head must activate in order for water to be released, it minimizes the possibility of accidental discharge. Avoiding accidental discharge is advantageous in water sensitive applications.

What are some disadvantages to pre-action systems?

Some disadvantages that can come from pre-action systems are higher installation and maintenance costs. Pre-action systems are more complex than traditional sprinkler systems, so the cost tends to be higher. Also, pre-action systems can be a little more difficult to maintain as they are higher in complexity.

Which applications benefit from pre-action systems?

Some applications that can benefit from pre-action systems include:

  • Freezer warehouses
  • Libraries
  • Data centers
  • Art galleries
  • Archives
  • Museums

Inspections & service for pre-action systems

It is extremely important to have pre-action systems regularly inspected, tested and repaired to avoid costly repairs and decreased reliability. Inspections of your pre-action systems can help give you peace of mind that your system is ready to go when you need it.

Install a System with IFP

International Fire Protection can design, install and service pre-action sprinkler systems for customers in the Southeast United States. We have NICET certified design and engineer technicians who can design a pre-action sprinkler system. IFP provides regular inspections and testing of pre-action systems to keep them running smoothly. We can repair systems as needed. Contact us to learn more about our pre-action sprinkler systems.