Your business’s sustainability depends on your fire protection system

In commercial and industrial properties, sprinklers are the number one means of preventing loss of life and protecting valuable assets and infrastructure. Victaulic Fire products and systems guarantees you safety.

Your business’s sustainability depends on your fire protection system

If you count warehouses, storage facilities and distribution centres among your business assets, the installation of high-quality fire protection systems within these spaces is critical.

In commercial and industrial properties, sprinklers are the number one means of preventing loss of life and protecting valuable assets and infrastructure. They have been serving this purpose for more than a century, after all. Structures without these measures in place are unlikely to survive a blaze.

Of course, there are also strict rules and regulations that guide commercial fire safety in South Africa. The South African National Standard 10400 Part T provides detailed requirements for the design and construction of buildings, as well as the fire protection systems and equipment with which they must be fitted. These requirements are designed to protect the people using the building and to offer guidance on preventing the spread and intensity of any fire that might occur.

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But installing these systems is a complex process that is both time and labour intensive. In the case of industrial sprinklers, for example, each sprinkler usually has to be doped and taped before it can be installed, and a sprinkler wrench is required to secure it in place. In large commercial sites, this exercise can take days to complete, and the repetitive motion of using a sprinkler wrench can be damaging for both the integrity of the sprinkler and the health of the installer.

Quick, easy and safe
“The most important aspect of any fire protection product or service is that it works properly every single time,” says Marcel Ley, Regional Manager of Victaulic South Africa. “These systems can be single-handedly responsible for keeping your business financially intact should you experience a fire, and neglecting them is not only illegal but may result in your business’s downfall.”

Fortunately, Victaulic’s fire protection piping systems make this process quicker, easier and safer. Victaulic has been developing engineering solutions for the most complex piping challenges since 1919, and its grooved mechanical coupling for fire protection dates to 1952. Today, the company is the world leader in pipe joining and flow control solutions, and its range of grooved couplings, fittings, sprinklers, devices and accessories are as vast as they are state of the art.

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“Our extensive range is designed to cater for the specific needs of commercial and industrial applications,” explains Ley. “We understand the unique circumstances and environments in which our clients work, and tailor our solutions to ensuring that their fire protection needs are met with the most reliable equipment, and that they save time and money in the process. These interventions help to ensure our clients’ long-term business sustainability.”

A seamless installation process
An important component of Victaulic’s approach is the installation process itself.

In 2005, Victaulic developed its patented Installation-Ready™ technology. which provides fast, easy pipe connections, and reduces the number of loose parts to drop or misplace. The single-unit design of our Installation-Ready couplings and fittings allows an installer to join the pipe simply by inserting them onto the grooved end of a pipe and tightening the nuts leading to big time and cost savings.

Prior to this technology, in order to install a grooved coupling, the coupling itself was completely disassembled and then reassembled onto the pipe ends.

“The final product you have in your hand can be installed in no time at all,” explains Ley. “In the case of the FireLockä IGS Style V9 Installation-Ready sprinklers, for example, all you need is an impact or standard pocket wrench and the provided installation bit to tighten the bolt. Do this until metal-to-metal bolt pad contact is made, closely inspect your work, remove the bulb protector, and you’re ready to move on. No need for threading the pipe and the use of consumables, like tape and dope, is taken out of the equation”

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The materials used in the installation are also important. The use of a sprinkler wrench can increase the chance of leaks as installers over-torque, potentially damaging the sprinkler frame and the sprinkler itself. This motion also affects the arm and shoulder of installers, which often take strain from the repetitive motion.

The ease with which Victaulic’s fire protection products can be installed, by contrast, minimises this impact significantly. Rather than a sprinkler wrench, installers need only have a power tool in hand, which makes the process simple and absolutely safe, while greatly reducing the physical impact.

Using world-class products that are guaranteed to fulfil their intended purpose is non-negotiable when it comes to fire protection. But the work doesn’t end with their installation. “It’s equally important that these systems are regularly maintained, tested and serviced to ensure that they are functioning properly,” Ley says. “As a guide, we recommend inspecting your systems every three months. That way, you can rest assured that the sprinklers overhead are keeping your assets – and your livelihood – safe.”