How Are Sprinklers Set Off? [Easy and Effective Firefighting Method]

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  • Post last modified:December 27, 2022
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In the event of a fire, every second counts. That’s why having an effective firefighting method is so important. Sprinkler systems are designed to kick into action when the slightest hint of fire is detected, and they work by hydraulics, electricity, and gravity.

Statistics show that agricultural fires in cornfields with mid-level systemic sprinkler coverage can be reduced by up to 80%. So how exactly do sprinklers get set off? Let’s take a look!

How Do Sprinklers Work?

When the sensors register that it’s too hot or smoke is present, the system pushes water up through sprinklers at high pressure until it reaches a preset temperature.

This triggers the sprinkler heads which release water onto any fires below them. The amount of water released depends on the size of the fire as well as what type of sprinkler system is installed.

The number one advantage of having a working sprinkler system installed in your home or business is that it reduces the risk of fire damage.

Studies have found that these systems are able to contain most fires before firefighters even arrive on the scene—which means less stress for you and more protection for your property!

Fire Alarm System Activation

One of the most common methods for setting off sprinklers is through the use of a fire alarm system. This system uses sensors that detect smoke or heat; once activated, these sensors trigger a signal that sets off the sprinkler system.

The majority of businesses and residential homes have some sort of fire alarm system in place; if you don’t yet have one installed, we recommend speaking with your local fire department about getting one as soon as possible.

Manual Activation

For those who prefer manual activation, there are also ways to set off sprinklers without using a fire alarm system. Manual triggers can be placed in different areas around your home or business and connected to your sprinkler system.

These triggers can be activated by anything from pulling a lever to pushing a button– making it easy for anyone in your home or business to quickly activate the sprinklers if needed.

However, manual activation may not be ideal for every situation; if you’re unsure whether this is right for you, we suggest consulting with an expert before making any decisions.

Thermal Sensors

Thermal sensors are another great way to set off sprinklers during a fire emergency. Thermal sensors detect changes in air temperature and when they reach the preset threshold they will activate the sprinkler system automatically—no manual intervention necessary!

This type of sensor technology has been used successfully in commercial buildings like factories and warehouses for years; however, thermal sensors may not be suitable for all types of buildings due to their high cost and complexity.


Setting off sprinklers is one of the most popular and effective methods for fighting fires in homes or businesses. Scientists have studied their efficacy and found that they help reduce the damage caused by fires significantly—by up to 80% in some cases!

Whether you choose manual activation or opt for thermal sensors, setting off your sprinklers correctly could save lives—so make sure you know how it works before disaster strikes!