The fire hazards inherent in boxy construction, limited escape routes, and an abundance of people, commonplace to modern residential facilities, office buildings, and hospitals, required a novel approach from the fire sprinkler industry. Putting their minds together, they came up with a solution that responded faster and more thoroughly to slow the fire and delay flashover. Their creation - the quick response sprinkler.
As the definitive guide to quick response sprinklers, this blog will explain the mission of a quick response sprinkler and how the sprinkler system's design helps achieve it. From there we'll discuss the different quick response sprinkler types and options. We'll wrap up with a surefire method to know exactly what fire sprinkler you need.
If that doesn’t sound appealing, no hard feelings. Perhaps you'd rather view our online selection of quick response fire sprinklers.
Fire Sprinkler Discharging
Follow the water
Mission of the Quick Response Sprinkler System
Fire sprinklers are designed to suppress a fire by soaking ignitable material nearby the current flame, thus making it harder to spread and buying valuable time for the fire department to arrive. Quick response sprinklers perform the same task, but their spray pattern and system design emphasizes covering nearby walls with lots of water.
Soaking the walls serves a dual purpose. First, fire rises. In modern buildings, there is usually an abundance of thin walls. Keeping the walls moist slows the fires natural upward progression. Second, as fire burns, it emits carbon monoxide and other gasses that are flammable in the right concentrations. Since CO is slightly lighter than air, it rises with heat currents and accumulates near the ceiling. Keeping the fire contained to the floor keeps the ceiling temperatures - and all the CO with it - cooler.
Why is that important? Well, flashover starts when the accumulated CO and other gases near the ceiling combust - somewhere around 900 to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit - setting off a chain reaction that ends with all the oxygen incinerated. Instant death for anyone left inside the room. Bottom line, we want to avoid flashover like the plague and cooler ceiling temperatures helps tremendously.
Flashover in a Fire is Really, Really Bad
Flashover is the point of no return
So the mission of quick response sprinklers is to improve a fire's human survivability. Functionally, this is achieved through quick response sprinkler system design. It places and spaces the right number of sprinklers in a room to adequately cover the walls. Additionally, quick response sprinklers have deflectors designed to direct water towards walls and a slightly faster thermal element achieved by its 3mm bulb.
Quick Response Sprinkler Types and Options
Quick response sprinklers are available in many different styles, temperatures, and colors.
Quick response sprinkler styles:
• Pendent fire sprinkler
• Concealed pendent fire sprinkler
• Upright fire sprinkler
• Horizontal sidewal fire sprinkler
Others exist, including vertical sidewalls, but they are far less common.
The temperature at which your sprinkler activates is dependent on building usage, ambient temperature, and location. The most common temperature is 155° degree Fahrenheit, but 200° and 286° are also prevalent. Learn more about a sprinkler’s thermal sensitivity here here. Common finishes include white and chrome though others are available.
What Quick Response Fire Sprinkler Do I Have?
First off, knowing if you have quick response sprinklers is fairly easy. The size of the bulb – 3 mm in a quick response model and 5 mm in a standard response - is usually the easiest way to compare quick response vs standard response sprinklers. Most sprinklers with a fusible link (aka, no glass bulb) you can consider standard response.
Quick Response Sprinklers Have a 3mm Bulb
Side by side it's pretty easy to tell the difference
You can also figure out if you have quick response sprinklers by looking at the deflector. You will often see Q.R. stamped on the deflector’s spindles. It’s a good idea to look for the sprinkler's model number while you’re up there. It’s usually a string of digits that starts with AG for AG Sprinkler, TY for Tyco, V for Victaulic, GL for Globe, and so on. Let the picture below serve as a guide.
Learn about your Fire Sprinklers by Reading the Deflector
When calling for assistance, knowing these details will make getting the right part faster
Now you know what quick response sprinkler you need, ready to get it? Check out QRFS' selection of quick response pendents, concealed pendents, uprights, and sidewalls from Victaulic, Tyco, Senju and more in a variety of temperatures and finishes. Through our site or customer service, we'll work with you to make sure you get the right quick response sprinkler the first time.
This blog originally posted by Jason Hugo at on March 6, 2016. If you like what you've read, check us out at or at Twitter @QuickRsponseFS.