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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Help! My Fire Sprinkler System Flooded My Commercial Property

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

photo of flooded office and furniture floating in water Fire sprinkler systems can flood your commercial property in the blink of an eye.

Having a fire sprinkler system is required and extremely important for any commercial building. Sprinkler systems in apartment buildings, restaurants, and shopping centers undoubtedly help minimize damages and save lives when a fire strikes.

While providing protection during a fire emergency, commercial sprinkler systems can also cause a huge amount of flooding and water damage to your building once triggered. Commercial property owners should be informed on what they should do when their fire sprinkler system causes a flood to act fast against water damage. 

Causes of Fire Sprinkler Flooding

  • A fire. It's fairly obvious that a fire would cause your sprinkler system to go off and flood your warehouse or other commercial property. In these cases, the sprinklers going off isn’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! By time the sprinklers have been turned off, it's likely they have flooded the 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 by mistaking it as the heat of a fire.
  • Corrosion or bursting. Sprinkler systems may also flood commercial properties when the pipes are old, rusted, or corroded. Over time, the pipes 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 can 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 - 800-734-3213

SERVPRO of Morristown 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."

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