The initial opportunity to prevent a pipe from bursting due to freezing water is to work with a fire protection service provider that is well aware of the risks of freezing weather on fire sprinkler piping. They will design a system that will mitigate the risks of burst pipes. Installing dry-pipe, pre-action, dry-pendant, or dry-sidewall sprinklers will ensure water is not in the pipes unless a fire sprinkler activates, reducing the likelihood of freezing pipes. If a sprinkler activates, call your fire protection contractor immediately to properly drain pipes of excess water.
Steps can be taken to prevent freezing pipes:
1. Have employees stay alert and be aware of cold weather conditions.
2. Check fire protection frequently during the winter months.
3. According to Bollinger Insurance, do not attempt do-it-yourself repairs on fire protection systems. Obtain the services of a trained professional.
4. During annual fire protection inspections, ask your contractor to test all valves.
5. Have personnel trained on how to shut down valves in the event of a burst pipe.
If an ice blockage is discovered, do not use an open flame or temporary heating equipment in an attempt to melt the ice. This will present an unnecessary fire risk.
Fire protection systems are essential to the safety of customers, employees, property, and merchandise in malls. 98% of sprinkler failure is due to human error. If a frozen pipe is discovered, contact your fire protection contractor to provide emergency maintenance and reduce the chances of a burst pipe causing $30,000 in damages or a fire sprinkler malfunction when you need it most.