Top 5 Most Common Fire Sprinkler Problems


How to Identify Common Fire Sprinkler Problems


Fire sprinkler systems are designed to limit the spread of a fire and assist in creating an escape route in emergency situations. However, if a sprinkler system is not properly maintained over time, it can become less effective. Being able to spot some fire sprinkler problems can save lives and property. Here are the top 5 most common fire sprinkler deficiencies to look for in your home or facility:

  1. Painted fire sprinklers

Even a small amount of paint can cause a sprinkler head to delay or fail and can alter the water distribution if activated. Be aware of these dangers and avoid painting any sprinkler heads.

  1. Recalls

The most recent large fire sprinkler recall was in 2001 and involved 35 million O-ring fire sprinklers. O-Ring Sprinklers man not activate after exposure to water due to corrosion. Ensure that your building does not have these sprinkler systems. If it does, contact a professional immediately to replace the sprinkler systems.

  1. Use of caulking or glue on or around sprinkler head

Applying a seal on or near the sprinkler can block heat from reaching the system, delaying or preventing activation. It can also alter the spray pattern of water to the fire. Never use caulk or glue on or around sprinkler systems.

  1. Storage obstructions

Stacking boxes/material or placing storage too close to sprinkler heads will block water from reaching the intended area. According to NFPA 13obstructions should be kept at least 18 inches from standard spray sprinklers and 36 inches from early suppression fast response and large drop sprinklers. Therefore, familiarize yourself with the types of sprinkler systems in your facility and keep obstructions away from them.


  1. Renovations/Occupancy Changes

Renovations change a space and can alter the sprinkler coverage. When completing renovations, consult a specialist to ensure the proper fire safety system is in place.


These problems are easy to spot and identifying them can save lives and protect property. Need a professional opinion? Visit our website, or reach out to our team at 844-MYUSAFP (698-7237) to learn more. We are more than happy to assist with your fire and life safety system planning and scheduling.

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