4 Different Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems and How They Work

Struggling to understand the different types of fire sprinkler systems? Unsure of which one is best for your business?

Choosing the best fire sprinkler systems in QLD to protect your employees, customers and assets are vital. We’ve rounded up a list of the different types of fire sprinkler systems and how they work to protect your business.


A wet-pipe sprinkler system is the most common type of fire suppression system in Australia. You’ll find these in many commercial buildings and high rises. 

These fire sprinkler systems consist of thin metal pipes that constantly have water running through them. This allows them to act quickly when and if a fire breaks out in the building.

Sensors in the sprinklers are designed to respond to high temperatures inside the room. This makes them very effective at putting out fires that are spreading quickly since the water is ready to go at a moment’s notice.

For business owners, they’re also very convenient. Once they’re installed, they’re fairly low maintenance. The system usually just needs to be tested every once in a while. 

This means that once they’re installed, business owners don’t even need to think about them until it’s time for an inspection or test. 

They’re also one of the lower-cost options for commercial fire suppression on the market right now. This is mainly because they’re so simple in their design. They’re easy to build and install, which will be the main expense associated with this type of sprinkler system. 


The next kind of sprinkler system is going to be the dry-pipe system. Rather than holding water inside the pipes, these systems are filled with pressurised air when inactive. When a fire breaks out, the air exits the system and water then flows through the pipes and out of the sprinkler heads.

These systems are designed for buildings that see drastic temperature changes, especially freezing temperatures. If the building is not well insulated and is in an area where very low temperatures occur, then it’s very easy for water to freeze inside pipes. When that happens, the water can’t flow and may even cause the pipes to burst. So a wet-pipe sprinkler system wouldn’t be a good idea in a building prone to winter freezes. If a fire were to break out, the water wouldn’t be able to put it out quickly. 

The solution is to keep water out of the pipes until absolutely necessary. This prevents the water from freezing and ensures that the low temperatures won’t cause the pipes to burst.

This also allows the system to remain reliable no matter how cold the building gets. Building owners won’t need to worry about their system failing if there’s an emergency during a freeze.


Some business owners may be concerned about sensitive equipment or merchandise. Oftentimes, if these items get soaked in water, then they become unusable or unsellable. This can be just as devastating to a business as having a fire consume these items.

But clearly, if a fire breaks out, it needs to be taken care of before it can consume the entire building. This saves as much equipment and merchandise as possible for your business. 

The solution to this is a pre-action sprinkler system. These are designed so that only the sprinkler heads that are detecting extreme heat will activate. The idea is that the necessary sprinkler heads will put out the fire before it can spread to more of the building.

In other words, water will only flow out of the sprinkler heads directly above the fire. This effectively saves as much equipment and merchandise as possible from getting damaged by both fire and water. This allows for more of the business to be operational immediately following a fire incident.

For this reason, this type of sprinkler system is popular in buildings with highly specialised and expensive equipment. You’ll also see them in buildings such as warehouses where the contents in certain areas may be more sensitive to water than others. 


There are also cases where fires spread rapidly. A single sprinkler head may not be enough to put out a fire that’s moving that fast. So the only other option is for the entire system to activate at once.

This is how a deluge system works. The water flows from a valve connecting all of the pipes in the system. When the system is activated, the valve opens and flows through the pipes and out of the sprinkler heads. 

The massive amount of water this generates effectively soaks the rest of the building. That prevents the fire from spreading. Then the sprinklers continue to flood the area to completely put out the fire.

If the contents of your building aren’t sensitive to water damage, then this is one of the most effective ways to protect a building from a fire. They’re designed to take care of large fires that are spreading quickly while also saving the rest of the building. But the contents will still get drenched in the meantime. 

A good fire protection company can best advise you on which system will be best for your building when it’s time to install one.

Do You Need One of These Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems?

Protecting a business, employees and assets from fire is possible with one of these fire sprinkler systems. 

Make sure to consult an expert before choosing a fire sprinkler system for your building. It’s the best way to get the best fire sprinkler systems in Queensland or NSW. 

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