You Can Activate a Fire Sprinkler Head if You Hit It Hard Enough

We have a sprinkler system in our house in case of fire. It is a great thing to have, but you do have to be careful not to hit the sprinkler valves in the ceiling with anything hard. I had to call a plumber in Morris County NJ to fix the one I broke with the mop handle of a commercial mop. I got water everywhere, and the alarm went off because it detected an activated sprinkler. Fortunately, the sprinkler system is not like how you see in the movies. When one goes off, they all do not go off. It was confined to the tile floor in the basement where there was a floor drain in the center.

I use a big mop and bucket to clean that large floor area where the furnace and hot water heater are at. They are toward the corner of the basement, and there is a big open space in front of them. The little ones use it as a play area when the weather is bad outside. I raised up that mop and really smacked the sprinkler head hard. They have a glass ampule in them that is designed to break when exposed to fire. Well, they can break when you hit them hard enough too. After the incident I warned the kids about them.

The only problem we had is that the ceiling in the basement is a little lower and the heads of the sprinkler are exposed. The plumber told me that most installations like this have ones that are recessed so you cannot accidentally hit them. You can also get little cages that go around them to protect them. I thought that was a good idea and reasonable expense since this is a play area for the kids. The ones upstairs are out of reach because the ceilings are higher.