Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Fire sprinklers in the movies

23/08/2012

After debunking the myths surrounding ventilation ducts in Hollywood, we take a quick look at the frequent faux pas that are made with fire sprinklers.

TVTropes.org observes:

When someone needs to create chaos in a building or just get everyone to leave, they trip the sprinkler system. Just apply a lighter flame, or perhaps a bullet, to one fire sprinkler, and all of the sprinklers on that floor — or even in the entire building – will suddenly kick off. Everyone gets drenched, and there’s a mass exodus from the building.

The only problem with this is that sprinklers do not work that way. Practically all sprinkler systems are of the “wet pipe” type, where the pipe to all of the sprinklers is full of water under pressure, and the only thing stopping it coming out is a heat-sensitive valve in the sprinkler head. Heat it up enough, and the valve pops — out comes the water…read more

Day 25: Fire Sprinkler
Fire safety systems – UK suppliers – ESI.info

Apparently this trope is so prevalent in the media that people now expect sprinklers to go off all at once. This must be a source of real frustration to building services engineers and sprinkler suppliers – has anyone experienced businesses being reluctant to install sprinkler systems because they think even the smallest fire will cause enormous water damage?

Building on Fire! image: Bjorn J on flickr

This idea is corroborated by lo-fi movie mistakes website Zyra.net, which issues this plea to scriptwriters:

It may be a bit inconvenient when trying to write a plot, but really, you’ve managed OK without airships being a dreadful fire risk (they’re full of non-inflammable helium), and if a car goes off the edge of a cliff, it’s acceptable for it to burst into flames after it hits the ground rather than in anticipation just after leaving the cliff edge. So, for a quality story writer, it should be reasonably easy to factor in the truth about automatic fire extinguishing sprinklers!

Day 23: Exit
Emergency exit signage suppliers – ESI.info

Building Services engineering products – ESI.info