Community Insider Summer 2017 - Page 14

If you prefer not to have board members or staff shutting- off valves to the fire sprinkler system, there are tools that you can buy that clamp on to the sprinkler head to stop the flow of water until the fire department arrives. They are referred to as a Quickstop Sprinkler Tool, cost approximately $70, and are available online; easy to put in place even for the untrained. It is a wise investment not only for community associations but also for individual homeowners. FIRE SPRINKLERS Lifesaving but destructive By Ryan Figley, CMCA Water damage from accidental sprinkler head engagement is unfortunate, but probable. It happens in most community associations, and can be avoided by sending out reminders to residents in the newsletter about how the sprinklers can be accidentally engaged. Reminding residents that sprinklers turn on when they are hit, sense smoke from a BBQ or generator, or something is hung from the sprinkler such as a hanger. Save your community association money, avoid an insurance claim, and significant frustration by investing in training and having tools available to minimize the amount of damage when it happens. I t’s the middle of the night and you receive a call that the building is flooded. Someone hit one of the sprinkler heads in their unit and the sprinkler ran, pumping out 24 gallons per minute until the fire department arrived and shut off the water. It is a scenario that all managers and homeowners fear; water damage. For some community associations, it has happened. For others, it could happen. Whether it has happened, or not, community associations should ensure that the staff and community members are 14 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER | SPRING 2017 Ryan Figley is the General Manager of Park Laurel Owners Association under The Prescott Companies. Park Laurel is a twin tower condominium association in front of Balboa Park. prepared for this costly and destructive event. Even if you don’t manage a high-rise community, many new developments have fire sprinklers in both a condominium and a single-family home. Licenses #664779 If you live in a multi-family or high rise community, there are several proactive steps that you can take to minimize the damage resulting from accidental fire sprinkler events. Asphalt R&R One step to minimize the damage is to consider training all the staff how to isolate the fire sprinkler flow valve to that floor, also called a stack. The flow valve is located on the main fire riser that travels up from the fire pump to the roof, branching out at every floor. Identifying which valve to turn off during an accidental fire sp