1-800-968-2871
COMPREHENSIVE FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES IN THE MIDWEST

24-Hour Emergency Service

1-800-968-2871
Contact Us
Let us know how we can help you and a Fire Pros representative will contact you within 24 hours.

Fire Protection FAQs

Your overall fire protection system is one of the most important things you have in your building. Between your fire sprinkler system, fire extinguishers, fire alarms and exit lights, it’s imperative you keep your systems in proper working order at all times. However, many people are unclear on exactly what their fire protection systems actually do and how they work. At Fire Pros Fire Protection, we want our customers to have the best information possible about their fire protection systems. That’s why we put together this list of the most common questions we get!

Fire Sprinkler FAQs
How does a quick response fire sprinkler work?

Quick response (QR) sprinkler heads are typical in high-density, light-hazard environments, including hospitals, assisted living facilities, office buildings, and schools. They are also often installed in residences.

QR sprinkler heads respond faster to the flames below by activating at a lower temperature than SR sprinklers. They have 3 mm bulbs that allow the liquid inside to expand and break the glass quickly. It’s only appropriate to install QR sprinkler heads in applications that are unlikely to have high ambient temperatures that could trigger a sprinkler head without a fire present.

How does a standard response fire sprinkler work?

Standard response (SR) sprinkler heads are best suited for commercial or industrial buildings, including factories and warehouses. They activate individually to prevent causing water damage where there is no fire present.

SR sprinklers take longer to activate than quick response sprinklers, requiring the heat from a fire below to reach a higher temperature before the liquid inside the bulb expands, the glass breaks, and water flows through the sprinkler head. SR sprinklers contain 5 mm glass bulbs that take longer for the expanding liquid inside to burst them. That said, these sprinkler heads still react within seconds, quickly dousing any fire.

How much does a fire sprinkler system cost?

The price of a fire sprinkler system varies based on the size and type of fire sprinklers you install. In general, here are the costs you can expect:

  • $1 to $2 per sprinklered square foot for new construction projects
  • $2 to $7 per sprinklered square foot for retrofitting existing homes and businesses
  • $2 to $4 per sprinklered square foot for retrofitting high-rise buildings
  • Up to $10 per sprinklered square foot for retrofitting historic buildings

Other Factors to Consider

Your sprinkler installation cost may vary based on these factors:

  • Pipe material: Plastic is the most affordable type of piping. Use it wherever possible to keep costs down. In some places, such as the garage or unfinished basement, you may need more expensive copper piping, which will increase the installation cost.
  • System features: Most businesses have access to the municipal water supply. This may require you to install a backflow preventer, especially if your system runs on an antifreeze solution. On the other hand, if your building gets water from a well or another private water source, your sprinkler system may require a water storage tank and booster pump. These features add to the overall installation cost.
  • System design: Most fire sprinklers use standalone pipes with a dedicated water supply. Others are multipurpose, meaning they combine pipes for domestic use and the fire sprinklers. A standalone system usually costs more than a multipurpose one, at least when installed in new construction projects.
  • Lifetime costs: As you calculate the long-term investment required to install a sprinkler system, consider that many insurance companies offer premium discounts for buildings with automatic fire sprinklers. Be sure to factor in these savings to determine the true lifetime cost of the installation.

If you’re ready to look closer at installing a fire sprinkler system in your business in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, please contact Fire Pros Fire Protection today. We can provide you with an accurate fire sprinkler estimate so you know what to expect before the installation begins.

How do fire sprinkler systems work?

Most sprinkler heads contain a small bulb with a colored liquid inside. This bulb acts as a plug to prevent water from escaping out of the sprinkler. The heat from a fire causes this liquid to quickly expand. Once the pressure in the vial gets too high, the bulb bursts and releases the water behind it.

The liquid inside the bulbs comes in a variety of colors, and each color represents the temperature required to activate the sprinkler:

  • Orange – 135°F
  • Red – 155°F
  • Yellow – 174°F
  • Green – 200°F
  • Blue – 286°F
  • Purple – 360°F
  • Black – 440°F

Since the fire sprinklers are activated by heat, there is no risk of accidental activation of your fire sprinkler system by smoke or dust in the air. That said, the bulbs are very fragile and any tampering could cause them to go off. If a sprinkler head gets accidentally knocked off (by a forklift, truck, repairman, etc.), there’s going to be lots and lots of water flowing through that sprinkler head until the system is shut down.

Why do I need a fire sprinkler system in my building?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), buildings with a working fire sprinkler system see an average property loss and risk of death per fire that is 50 to 66 percent lower than buildings without sprinkler systems. Broken down by industry, civilian deaths in sprinklered buildings between 1989 – 1998 were reduced by:

  • 60 percent for manufacturing properties
  • 74 percent for stores and offices
  • 75 percent for nursing homes
  • 91 percent for hotels and motels

In addition, the average property damage per hotel or motel fire was 56% less in structures with fire sprinkler systems than without. The numbers above tell a compelling story. Fire sprinkler systems save money, and more importantly, save lives.

How Can I Maintain My Sprinkler System?

For Fire Protection Services in Grand Rapids, Call (800) 968-2871

fire sprinkler system engaged

The most important thing to do to keep your fire sprinkler in good shape is to have it inspected by a Fire Pros professional once a year.

Frequent fire sprinkler inspections will help catch any problems with your system so they don’t prevent it from operating properly in the future. In addition, fire sprinkler system maintenance will usually lower insurance premiums.

To learn more about commercial fire sprinkler services, call (800) 968-2871. 

Do’s & Don’ts of Fire Sprinkler Systems

In terms of specific do’s and don’ts when it comes to your fire sprinkler:

Do:

  • Test your fire sprinkler system monthly by opening the test valve and listening for an alarm bell.
  • Know the location of the fire sprinkler system shutoff valve.
  • Make sure the fire sprinkler system control valve stays open.
  • Have your system reevaluated routinely for needed upgrades.
  • Leave the building and contact the fire department as soon as possible after the fire sprinklers go off, even if it looks like the fire has already been put out.

Don’t:

  • Paint the sprinklers.
  • Damage sprinklers (report any damage immediately).
  • Hang objects from any part of the system.
  • Obstruct or cover the sprinklers.

When Should Fire Sprinkler Inspections Be Scheduled?

Commercial fire sprinkler systems should undergo annual and monthly inspections.  Because of this, it is very important that you work closely with a certified fire safety contractor that can satisfy all of these needs and one that can build a contract for testing requirements throughout the year.

At Fire Pros, we offer cost and time-saving inspection contracts so that can we meet all of your inspection and testing needs conveniently and effectively, without you needing to track dates yourself. This keeps your business and clients safe and protected at all times, and ensures you remain within compliance of the NFPA 25 and local building codes.

Looking for fire protection services in the Grand Rapids area? Call (800) 968-2871! 

Fire Extinguisher FAQs
How many fire extinguishers do I need in my building?

While the exact number of fire extinguishers required for each building varies based on the unique layout and hazard level, as a general rule of thumb you should have no more than 75ft of space between Class A fire extinguishers and no more than 50ft between Class B fire extinguishers.

What do the letters and numbers by the fire extinguisher classification mean?

Every fire extinguisher has an alphanumeric rating that tells you what types of fires it can extinguish as well as the size of fire it can put out.

The letters stand for the class of fire the extinguisher can be used against:

A – ordinary combustibles (wood, paper, plastic, etc.)
B – flammable liquids (oil, gas, petroleum, etc.)
C – electrical equipment
D – metals
K – cooking oils and fats

The numbers indicate how much of the fire can be put out by the fire extinguisher. Every number before the A means it is as effective as 1 ¼ gallons of water. For example, 2A means the fire extinguisher is as effective as 2 ½ gallons of water, and so on. The numbers before B and C are a measure of the amount of square feet the fire extinguisher can put out. For example, a 10:BC fire extinguisher can extinguish a fire over 10 sq ft.

If your business in DC, Maryland, or Virginia requires fire extinguisher services, contact Fire Pros online today to schedule service!

How often do I need fire extinguisher inspection?

Normal fire extinguisher inspections are required once a month to make sure there is no obvious damage to the device and the fire extinguisher pressure is adequate. You can perform this inspection on your own – click here for more information about monthly fire extinguisher testing.

In addition to monthly extinguisher self-tests, full fire extinguisher maintenance is required once a year and a fire extinguisher hydro test is required every 12 years.

What kind of fire extinguisher do I need in my commercial kitchen?

If you own a restaurant, you already know you need a special type of fire suppression system to keep your kitchen safe from fires. But did you know you also need a special type of fire extinguisher too? Fires that commonly occur in commercial kitchens, such as grease fires, are referred to as Class K and require a special Class K fire extinguisher to knock them down and prevent reflash. At Fire Pros, we provide Kidde Wet Chemical Class K extinguishers for all your kitchen fire suppression needs.

Is fire extinguisher training required?

Yes. OSHA standards require any workplace that has fire extinguishers available for employee use must also provide an educational program for employees to familiarize themselves with the basics of fire extinguisher use and the hazards associated with it.

What is the best type of fire extinguisher for sensitive electrical equipment?

If you have sensitive electronic equipment, such as in a computer room or data center, using a water or a dry chemical fire extinguisher can cause as much damage as a fire itself. Instead, use a clean agent fire extinguisher such as a Cleanguard FE 36 (made by Ansul) or a Halotron I (made by Amerex) fire extinguisher.

Halotron I – Halotron I discharges as a rapidly evaporating liquid that leaves no residue. It does not conduct electricity and is suitable to fight Class A, B, and C fires.

Cleanguard FE 36 – the Cleanguard FE 36 is a replacement for Halon 1211. The Cleanguard extinguisher has comparable performance and efficiency to Halon 1211 but is less toxic and has zero ozone depletion potential.

Fire Alarm FAQs
How long will a fire alarm last?

When properly maintained, a good fire alarm will last you about 10 – 12 years. After this long you should have your fire alarms replaced, even if they seem to be working – you don’t want to compromise your building’s fire safety. In addition, technological advancements are making fire alarms more and more effective every day, and you don’t want to be stuck with an outdated model that won’t keep you as safe as possible.

What is the difference between conventional and addressable fire alarms?

The biggest different between conventional and addressable fire alarms is customizability. Conventional fire alarms sit on the wall or ceiling and go off individually when they detect smoke or fire, making them perfect for small buildings such as individual offices or retail shops.

Addressable fire alarms, on the other hand, provide specific information about individual detectors that is invaluable if your office is part of a larger building or building complex. Addressable fire alarm systems can be customized to where different devices have different alarm thresholds based on their locations. Addressable fire alarm systems are typically more expensive than conventional alarms, but the extra information they provide to firefighters and building managers is invaluable.

What kinds of fire alarms are there?

There are two types of fire alarms: ionization fire alarms and photoelectric fire alarms. Ionization fire alarms detect flaming, fast-moving fires – curtain fires, trash can fires, etc. Photoelectric fire alarms are best for smoky, smoldering fires, such as electrical fires that start out behind walls. There are also dual sensor fire alarms which, naturally, combine both types into one.

Do I need a fire alarm system if I have a fire sprinkler system installed?

Yes. Even though fire sprinkler systems are highly effective fire protection systems, they only kick into gear after the fire has already started and the heat has risen to a certain level. Fire alarm systems detect the presence of fire before the flames start, giving you extra time to escape the building. They can also automatically alert the fire department.

Is fire alarm monitoring worth it?

A fire alarm monitoring service will keep tabs on your building 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If one of your fire alarms goes off, the monitoring company will notify the fire department within seconds – you don’t even have to be there. Everyone has heard horror stories of people showing up to work and seeing the charred wreckage of what was once their office (and all their equipment, data, etc.) – don’t let this happen to you!

Why does my fire alarm constantly chirp or beep?

Most smoke alarms will chirp at regular intervals to indicate their batteries are low. If your fire alarms seem to be making noises randomly, there could be a number of things going on:

The battery may be loose or improperly installed – make sure the battery fits properly in the battery slot. Otherwise, the connections may not make good contact with the battery. If the battery wasn’t put into the slot properly, just pop it out and put it back in.

The fire alarm cover may be dirty – over time, dust and dead bugs can collect in the sensor chamber of your fire alarm, causing it to chirp. Make sure you keep the sensor chamber clean (the easiest way to do this is to vacuum it out every time you change the batteries). If the room in which you want to install the smoke detector is especially dusty, install an ionization fire alarm so the dust doesn’t affect it.

The fire alarm may need to be reset – most new electronic fire alarms come with logic boards that tell the alarm to chirp when the battery gets low. Unfortunately, replacing the battery doesn’t always stop the chirping! Sometimes you need to hit the RESET button in order to ensure the smoke detector works properly.

Power to the fire alarm has been interrupted – a power surge could interrupt power to the fire alarm, causing it to chirp when the power is restored. Hitting the RESET button should take care of the problem.

The fire alarm may need to be replaced – if all else fails, you may need to have your fire alarm replaced. Fortunately, fire alarms are relatively inexpensive and replacing them is no problem.

Fire Suppression FAQs
Why is Halon being phased out?

Starting in the 1960s, Halon 1301 (halogenated hydrocarbon) became the industry standard for protecting high-value assets from fire without simultaneously threatening water damage. While Halon is fast-acting, doesn’t harm delicate assets, and requires minimal storage space, it depletes the ozone at an alarming rate and is potentially harmful to humans.

For these reasons, the Clean Air Act of 1994 banned the production of new Halon. Existing supplies have sustained the operation of Halon fire suppression systems that were installed before 1994, which are still legal to own and operate. However, because of the environmental problems and health hazards of Halon, you may wish to remove and replace this system with a safer option.

Why does kitchen hood suppression matter?

Cooking equipment is a leading cause of fire in a variety of industries, including restaurants, healthcare facilities, schools, offices, and mercantile properties. The high cooking temperatures, open flames, flammable oils and grease, and hectic nature of commercial kitchens make exhaust hood fire suppression critical for putting out flames that might ignite here.

How does fire suppression work?

The purpose of automatic fire suppression is to extinguish fires with no human intervention. This requires the system to detect fires and deliver an extinguishing agent all on its own. Heat detectors and thermo-bulbs are conventional methods of fire detection. Then, pressurized fluid stored in nearby tanks flows through a release valve, into piping, and out of nozzles to douse the fire quickly and effectively.

Many different extinguishing agents besides water are available for fire suppression systems. Therefore, this type of fire protection is ideal for libraries, museums, data centers, server rooms, medical record rooms, engine compartments, control rooms, and other areas where water damage could be detrimental. Examples of fire suppression extinguishing agents include FM-200, high- and low-expansion foam, carbon dioxide, wet chemicals, and dry chemicals. The type you select depends on the application.

No matter what extinguishing agent you choose, the goal is the same—to disrupt the fire triangle. This is accomplished by either smothering the flames to cool them or cutting off the fuel source from oxygen.

Contact Us
Let us know how we can help you
and a Fire Pros representative
will contact you within 24 hours.
Let’s TALK +
Click here
Hide Form -
Fire Pros Performs with ServiceTrade

Providing faster, smarter, and more efficient fire protection

Learn more here
Featured Clients

Local Reviews

Fire Pros Inc Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars based on 2414 customer reviews

Map of Holland, MI

Carlton




Review of Fire Pros Inc

Did great job


Map of Portage, MI

great




Review of Fire Pros Inc

He was great, early for the appointment and did a nice job.


Map of Holland, MI

Friendly and courteous




Review of Fire Pros Inc

Great service from a very friendly and very knowledgeable person. The visit went very smooth and quickly.


Map of Grand Rapids, MI

Service was great




Review of Fire Pros Inc


Map of Petoskey, MI

Very pleasant tech




Review of Fire Pros Inc


Map of Fort Gratiot Township, MI

Quality Work




Review of Fire Pros Inc


Map of Sault Ste. Marie, MI

wish the billing was done on site.




Review of Fire Pros Inc

wish the billing was done on site. other than that it was good service.


Map of Norton Shores, MI

Always professional and helpful




Review of Fire Pros Inc


Map of Ann Arbor, MI

great service




Review of Fire Pros Inc


Map of Ann Arbor, MI

Great service




Review of Fire Pros Inc

The Guys were very professional and informative taking me step by step of the operation of our system ! Thank you William Schiller Chief of maintenance


Great service




Review of Fire Pros Inc

They were on time and did a great job.


Monthly Extinguisher and Valve Inspectoin




Review of Fire Pros Inc

On time and professional. Always answers questions and follows up.


After much troubleshooting, the problem has been diagnosed.




Review of Fire Pros Inc

Thanks to Jason for troubleshooting while patiently working around students and staff.


Great Service!!




Review of Fire Pros Inc


amazing service! great customer service!!




Review of Fire Pros Inc


He did a very good job today!




Review of Fire Pros Inc

He replaced all the things that needed to be replaced.


Great servie and friendly staff




Review of Fire Pros Inc


Good Service, Proffesional with great humor and attitudes




Review of Fire Pros Inc

good experience no complaints. as to the below question on cost, I don't have an invoice so therefore I can answer that one.


Excellent service




Review of Fire Pros Inc

Very professional. Excellent service. Thank you.


Great Service




Review of Fire Pros Inc


John H.

John H.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near US-31, Petoskey, MI 49770
Gary B.

Gary B.

***MUST HAVE PO ON JOB*** Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection - 150 units Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near Hagen Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49548
David H.

David H.

Alarm Systems Inspection

Near Charlevoix Ave, Petoskey, MI 49770
David H.

David H.

Near Camelot Ridge Ct SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Sean W.

Sean W.

Near 112th Ave, Holland, MI 49424
Jason  Z.

Jason Z.

Special Hazards Inspection

Near Silver Creek Rd, Whitehall, MI 49461
John H.

John H.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near Fochtman Industrial Dr, Petoskey, MI 49770
Sean W.

Sean W.

Near Country Club Rd, Holland, MI 49423
Tyler H.

Tyler H.

Rich 269-584-0042 smoke detectors in hallways are going off randomly causing the alarm to go off

Near Gull Run Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
David H.

David H.

Near Chicago Dr, Zeeland, MI 49464
Art L.

Art L.

Portable Extinguishers, Emergency / Exit Lights, and Kitchen Suppression Inspection

Near Van Raalte Ave, Holland, MI 49423
Tyler H.

Tyler H.

Annual Fire Alarm Inspection

Near S Westnedge Ave, Portage, MI 49002
Alex R.

Alex R.

Completed annual Fire Extinguisher inspection for 2019

Near S Lapeer Rd, Metamora, MI 48455
Ron  R.

Ron R.

Near W Shore Dr, Holland, MI 49424
Gary B.

Gary B.

Quarterly Fire Sprinkler Inspection (1 wet) Sprinkler Inspection

Near 14th Ave, Hudsonville, MI 49426
Sean W.

Sean W.

Near W 40th St, Holland, MI 49423
John H.

John H.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near Standish Ave, Petoskey, MI 49770
Sean W.

Sean W.

Near Van Raalte Ave, Holland, MI 49423
Mike R.

Mike R.

Inoperable Deficiency: Duct detector above ceiling by dry goods storage is stuck in alarm and can not be reset. This is a very old system sensor duct detector. I cleaned components of detector and it still will not reset. Nikki said it has been an ongoing issue and when she turned heat on this morning it went into alarm. This detector is local and has NO remote test switch the detector triggers 1 horn strobe on drop ceiling below it and also shuts down the HEAT/AC unit. Upon arrival the AC was not working and horn strobe was covered to muffle the sound. Per Nikki (manager) I removed and wire nutted shut down wires so they can use the RTU for heat or ac until detector is replaced. We can replace unit with a System Sensor 4120D.

Near Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Matt S.

Matt S.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near Mt Hope Rd S, Carson City, MI 48811
Matt S.

Matt S.

Portable Extinguishers, Industrial/Dry Chemical Suppression, and Emergency / Exit Lights Inspection

Near Industrial Park Dr, Greenville, MI 48838
Alex R.

Alex R.

Completed annual Fire Alarm inspection September for 2019

Near Marketplace Blvd, New Baltimore, MI 48051
Ron  R.

Ron R.

Near Sheldon Rd, Grand Haven, MI 49417
John H.

John H.

Portable Extinguisher Inspection

Near St Louis Club Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770
Austin C.

Austin C.

Near Kirtland St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49507