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Hangers and Sprinkler Heads - A Hazardous Duo
For Release
May 7, 2019

Fire and rescue crews respond, daily, to numerous and various types of service calls to include sprinkler activations in which some are initiated by fire and some are the result of human error.  An accidental sprinkler activation is often caused by the sprinkler head being used to hang garments or support other objects.  Although sprinkler heads operate independently and activate when exposed to fire, damage from the discharge of one sprinkler head can be significant releasing 15-40 gallons of water per minute.  The water discharged from a sprinkler activation can cause damage throughout a building.   

A sprinkler activation may sound the fire alarm system triggering evacuation of the building while alerting the 9-1-1 Communications Center of a possible fire, thereby dispatching fire and rescue crews to the scene. This depletes resources from other true emergencies. 

The Prince William County Fire and Rescue System advises residents to: 

  • NEVER touch a sprinkler head
  • NEVER hang decorations from a sprinkler head
  • NEVER hang hats or clothing from a sprinkler head
  • NEVER hang planters from a sprinkler head
  • NEVER hang any items, no matter the weight or size, from a sprinkler head

Help us, help you remain safe by allowing the sprinkler system, to perform as intended, activate and discharge, during a fire incident. 

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