Re: Antifreeze Based Fire Suppression Systems
From: Katie Henry (
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2021 15:46:09 -0700 (PDT)
In my former community, in the DC area, we had a regular water-based ("wet") 
system for the building interior and a pressurized-air ("dry") system for the 
shelter on the roof since those pipes are open to the elements and water would 
be subject to freezing. A dry system works by storing compressed air in the 
exposed pipes. When a sprinkler head is activated, the air is released from the 
pipe, which opens a valve and allows water to flow from sheltered interior 
pipes to the sprinkler head.
I was interested in your question because I hadn't heard of antifreeze-based 
systems before. I figured you must live in a very cold climate. The DC area 
doesn't get *that* cold, or not for long periods of time. Maybe dry systems 
aren't suitable for very cold areas like Michigan.
Our dry system was super-fussy. It was responsible for almost all of the false 
fire alarms we had in the several years after move-in. (I can't speak to 
current performance.) In hindsight, I think I would have welcomed an 
antifreeze-based wet system as an alternative.
I'm happy to chat offline. I learned a lot about the system and in fact wrote 
up some operation and maintenance instructions that I would be happy to share 
if I can dig them up.
Katie Henry

On Thu, Sep 30, 2021, 19:14 Tom Smyth <tom [at]> wrote:

> Could folks who live in communities that have antifreeze-based fire
> suppression systems please reach out to me off list (tom [at] I
> am
> in charge of maintenance for our system of this sort, and I need some
> support.
> I really appreciate it!
> --
> Tom Smyth (he/him)

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