sprinkler system

apparatus for automatically extinguishing fires in a building, consisting of a system of water pipes in or below the ceilings, with valves or sprinklers usually made to open automatically at a certain temperature.
[1880-85]

* * *

      in fire control, a means of protecting a building against fire by causing an automatic discharge of water, usually from pipes near the ceiling. The prototype, developed in England about 1800, consisted of a pipe with a number of valves held closed by counterweights on strings; when a fire burned the strings, the valves were opened. Many manually operated systems were installed in 19th-century buildings; in these a number of perforated pipes were fed by a main riser that could be turned on in an adjoining area. Because this system resulted in frequent water damage in parts of a room or building untouched by fire, an improvement was sought and found in the Parmelee sprinkler head, introduced in the United States in the 1870s. In this, the normally closed orifice is opened by heat from a fire. Modern versions use a fusible link or a bulb containing chemicals, which breaks at about 160° F (70° C) to open the orifice. Modern sprinkler heads are designed to direct a spray downward. Most sprinkler systems are wet-head—i.e., they use pipes filled with water. Where there is danger of freezing, however, dry-head sprinklers are used in which the pipes are filled with air under moderate pressure; when the system is activated, the air escapes, opening the water-feeder valves. An improved version has air under only atmospheric pressure and is activated by heat-sensing devices. Another special type, used in high-hazard locations, is the deluge system, which delivers a large volume of water quickly.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sprinkler system — n. 1. a system of pipes and attached nozzles carrying water or other extinguishing fluid throughout a building for protection against fire: it usually operates automatically when exposed to abnormal heat 2. a system of pipes and nozzles, often… …   English World dictionary

  • sprinkler system — noun a system for extinguishing fires; water from a network of overhead pipes is released through nozzles that open automatically with the rise in temperature • Hypernyms: ↑system • Part Meronyms: ↑nozzle, ↑nose, ↑siamese, ↑siamese connection * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • sprinkler system — system of water hoses which can be automatically activated …   English contemporary dictionary

  • sprinkler system — /ˈsprɪŋklə sɪstəm/ (say springkluh sistuhm) noun 1. a system of ceiling pipes in a building with valves which open automatically at certain temperatures, used for extinguishing fires. 2. a system of pipes, etc., for watering gardens and lawns …   Australian English dictionary

  • sprinkler system — noun Date: circa 1909 a system for protecting a building against fire by means of overhead pipes which convey an extinguishing fluid (as water) to heat activated outlets …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sprinkler system — sprin′kler sys tem n. bui a system for automatically extinguishing fires in a building, consisting of overhead water pipes with outlet valves that open at a certain temperature • Etymology: 1880–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • sprinkler system — An overhead arrangement of water pipes and sprinklers, constructed and maintained in a building as a protection against fire, water being turned on automatically upon a rise in temperature consequent to the starting of a fire …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Sprinkler system timer — A sprinkler system timer is an electrical device that is used to set an irrigation sprinkler system to come on automatically at a certain time. Irrigation timers first appeared in the early 1960s to control large radius lawn sprinklers, which at… …   Wikipedia

  • Fire sprinkler system — A fire sprinkler system is an active fire protection measure, consisting of a water supply, providing adequate pressure and flowrate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers are connected. Although historically only used… …   Wikipedia

  • Sprinkler — may refer to: Irrigation sprinkler, a device for irrigation of lawns or crops Fire sprinkler system, the entire systems of pipes and sprinklers intended for fire suppression within buildings Fire sprinkler, a device for fire suppression within… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.