Cold weather wreaks havoc on sprinkler systems

During the recent cold snap,some venues experienced damage to their sprinkler systems.

During the recent cold snap, where temperatures fell below –38 C in Williams Lake, some venues experienced damage to their sprinkler systems.

Two of those were Cariboo Memorial Hospital and Safeway.

At the hospital, the lines froze for the sprinkler system in the underground parking lot. At Safeway the fire suppression at the front of the store burst.

The lines have been repaired, but maintenance manager Dave Bowering said the hospital is looking at possibly installing a dry system rather than a wet system.

A dry valve would be installed inside the building, with dry pendants, and the only way water would get to the head is if you actually have a fire and the head goes off.

It would be full of air instead of water.

“The wet system is in a heated ceiling outside, but I guess it got so cold, that it didn’t matter,” Bowering said.

At Safeway the sprinkler system at the front of the store also burst, causing the store to close for an afternoon.

“We’re getting it repaired and should be back to better than ever in a week or so,” store manager Brad Kristian told the Tribune last week, adding it’s business as usual.

Nothing was damaged in the store — the water was only on the floor, he said.