How To Handle A Fire Sprinkler Flood in Your Business
A fire sprinkler system is important and required for any commercial building. While they provide protection in case of a fire emergency, they can also cause a large amount of flood damage to your commercial property. As a business owner, knowing what to do when your fire sprinkler system floods your office, warehouse or even apartment building can save you thousands in necessary water damage repairs.
Causes of Fire Sprinkler Flooding
- A fire in your commercial property. It's fairly obvious that a fire would cause your sprinkler system to go off and flood your warehouse or other commercial property. In this case, the sprinklers going off aren't a bad thing - but you will need to handle the flood cleanup afterwards. A single fire sprinkler will pour out between 15 and 25 gallons of water per minute when triggered! Once the sprinklers are turned off, it's likely they've poured out thousands of gallons of water in to your building.
- System failures. Though not very common, your fire sprinkler system can malfunction and go off when it is not supposed to, causing flood waters to cover your commercial property. This is more likely to happen when the system is being tested and is accidentally triggered. If heating sources are installed too close to sprinkler valves, it may accidentally trigger them as well.
- Corrosion or bursting. Sprinkler systems may also flood commercial properties when the pipes are old, rusted, or corroded. Over time, the pipes may begin to leak and will eventually give way to a full flood. Sprinkler pipes are also susceptible to bursting from extreme heat or cold. In the winter pipes near exterior walls may freeze, expand, and cause the system to burst.
What To Do When Fire Sprinklers Cause Water Damage
When fire sprinklers are discharged, they saturate walls, floors, and any furniture below them. You will have to act fast in your flooded commercial property to ensure mold does not begin to grow and spread.
| Stop the water source. If the sprinkler system went off because of an actual fire in the building, you will have to wait for the fire department to arrive, handle the situation, and tell you it is safe to reenter the building. If the sprinklers were accidentally discharged, turn them off as soon as possible.
| Call a water damage restoration company. The flood damage that results from sprinklers discharging is more than you should handle yourself. Flood cleanup companies are equipped with water extractors, commercial grade fans & dehumidifiers, and have the expertise necessary to ensure mold does not grow in your property. A commercial cleanup company will do the following:
- Remove water damaged items.
- Remove all standing water.
- Completely dry all affected areas; including carpets, walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Spray antimicrobial or other disinfectants to ensure there is no mold growth or bacteria left behind.
- Repair any damaged or demolished areas.
| Call your commercial insurance company. The damages resulting from fire sprinklers discharging will almost always be covered by your insurance policy. The water restoration company should be able to bill your insurance company directly and hopefully require no out of pocket costs from you. Document damages to be sure your insurance company covers the repairs and restoration.
Flooding in Your Commercial Building? Call SERVPRO - 203-707-1952
SERVPRO of Westport/Fairfield is a 24/7 damage restoration company specializing in water, fire, mold and COVID-19 services. Whatever the damage, we're here to make it "Like it never even happened."