FMO Resources

Winter Safety for Business Owners and Occupants

Buildings and residences that are equipped with fire sprinkler systems are a risk for freeze-induced failures if the systems are not properly maintained. Water expands when it freezes and can cause a rupture of a sprinkler pipe fitting or the activation of a sprinkler head. The resulting water damage can be costly. If something goes wrong, contact a repair specialist. It is essential to act fast if a problem occurs with your sprinkler system to prevent significant damage to your facility. Proactive thinking will cut down on costly damage as well as repairs, and it will help keep tenants and property safe all winter long. Follow these simple tips to prevent water damage from a sprinkler system:

  • A thorough inspection is the first step to preventing sprinkler freeze-ups.
  • Keep cold air out. Be on the lookout for areas in your building that could let cold air in and increase your risk of freezing pipes. Broken windows, thin insulation, cracked walls, and exposed roof areas are a few examples. 
  • Be sure to keep windows and doors closed when not in use for entering and exiting your building.
  • Riser rooms and all other areas with sprinkler piping, are required to have a space or unit heater to prevent freezing. Inspect heaters to ensure proper working order and maintain a least 40 degrees at all times. All water-control valves should remain open.
  • Ensure all low-point and auxiliary drains have been drained and there is no residual water in areas subject to freezing.

Out-of-Service Notice

Have you received a "Fire Protection System Out of Service" notice? These notices are left on fire systems that require emergency shutdown by fire crews during incident response. The reason for the shutdown varies but includes things like burst sprinkler pipes or hazardous conditions. Notification is made to the building owner, and a mandatory fire watch is required until the system is placed back into service by a qualified and licensed fire protection system contractor. Please contact the Fire Marshal's Office at 972-874-6270 for more information.