Re: Antifreeze Based Fire Suppression Systems
From: Tom Smyth (
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2021 18:32:39 -0700 (PDT)
Thanks for this reply! I think dry systems are doable here but maybe at the
time our buildings were built, they were more expensive or something. It
seems there is no silver bullet for this problem. But I can report that our
sprinkler system did save one of our buildings. A dishwasher caught fire
due to an electrical fault on Christmas eve one year and the
resident wasn't home! Sprinklers put out the fire!

On Sat, Oct 2, 2021 at 6:46 PM Katie Henry <katie-henry [at]> wrote:

> 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)

Tom Smyth (he/him)

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