CODE MYTHS & REALITIES of
fter reading the fall edition you understand how quickly a fire can occur in your distillery and you know that your distillery provides everything needed to allow a fire to prosper. You also know all about water supplies for your sprinkler system and the importance of having a good one. What you don’t know, however, is about the sprinkler system itself, so it’s time to continue this lesson. You won’t know how to install a sprinkler system when we’re done, but you won’t get taken advantage of either. Unlike the world of craft spirits … there can be some lessthan-honest people in the sprinkler system business! The right sprinkler system can save your life and your distillery, and it will also make your hard-earned investment comply with building and fire codes. Additionally, your insurance company will be happy that your building is sprinkler protected. The first thing you need to know is that all sprinkler WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
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systems are not alike, and although there are many different types only one is right for your distillery. Also, be aware there are a lot of myths about sprinkler systems that are just that — myths. Let’s get those out of the way so you’ll be more comfortable, or at least more knowledgeable as you move down the sprinkler system path.
Myth 1: A sprinkler system will pay for itself in savings on insurance premiums. So far in almost 30 years I haven’t seen proof of this happening. Your friendly fire and building officials will use this as a selling point all the time, especially when they’re telling you that you must install a sprinkler system in order to open your distillery, but I have not been able to substantiate those savings in real life. Interestingly, in recent months I’ve pushed a few insurance people on the whole building and fire code topic
and one actually explained “the (insurance) industry is just not that concerned until they get near a hundred-million dollars of protected value on a single property.” Wow, that’s a lot of zeros, and if your distillery is worth that, why are you reading this?
Myth 2: Every time a smoke detector goes off the sprinkler system is going to go off. No, no and NO! Your distillery will not have a deluge sprinkler system which in some instances will be activated by smoke detection. In the worldwide constructed environment, probably less than 2 percent of the sprinkler systems that are installed are deluge systems. When the smoke detector goes off in your distillery, go find out why, but don’t worry about grabbing the umbrella.
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