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Fire Safety Fun Facts Part One: Movie Myths

We’ve all seen it in the movies: a wisecracking kid, bank robber, or other character up to no good pulls the fire alarm to trigger the sprinkler system, causing enough confusion and mayhem to allow them to escape a sticky situation. This scene has played itself out in countless movies for decades, so that must be exactly how fire sprinkler systems work, right? Wrong! According to our resident fire sprinkler installation experts, sprinkler systems almost never get triggered by the mere pull of the alarm station on the wall. Aside from a few highly-specialized systems, the sprinkler heads are not programmed to turn on when the alarm sounds, making this convenient plot device nothing more than a Hollywood farce.

If you think that’s surprising, there’s more where that came from! For example, did you think that holding a lighter or a lit match under sprinkler heads turn them all on at once when you need to cause a distraction? Contrary to what movies tell us, simply lighting a small fire under a sprinkler head will not cause the entire system to activate. While you will succeed in turning on the sprinkler your source of heat is directly under, nothing will happen to the rest of the sprinkler heads, and you’ll just end up getting very wet. Sorry to break it to you, Kid Who Is Trying To Sabotage Prom Night To Win Back The Girl He Loves, but this just isn’t going to work, and you’re going to look silly.

Perhaps you are still holding out hope that blowing cigarette smoke directly into a fire safety sprinkler head will help carry out the master plan that you stole from your favorite movie. After all, in Hollywood action films, all a hero needs to do is blow a little smoke in the vicinity of the sprinkler heads and BAM! The villains’ nefarious scheme is ruined. We apologize for crushing your dreams of ingenious vigilante justice next time you’re in a building that’s been overtaken by criminal overlords, but it’s not terribly likely that you’ll save the day by blowing your cigarette smoke into the building’s sprinkler system. If anything, you’ll activate a single sprinkler head, and you’re putting yourself at risk for lung cancer. All things considered, you’re better off waiting for Batman to come and save you.

While we understand that we possibly just destroyed your belief in movie plots, we certainly hope you’ll still call Integrity Fire Safety Services next time your building’s fire sprinkler system needs maintenance or repair. While we may not be able to help you live out your dream of dousing the bad guys with an awesome one-liner (“Looks like your plan’s all wet!”) we can still save the day by providing the very best service for your fire safety needs. Call 303-557-1820 today to speak with an associate about your building’s fire sprinkler system.