- If exterior sprinklers are installed in areas where freezing temperatures occur, special provisions such as dry sprinklers are required to prevent water in the piping from freezing and rupturing it. In a dry sprinkler system, the portion of piping that is vulnerable to freezing is not charged with water until a fire opens a valve and releases water into the piping.
- Exterior sprinklers can provide added protection when used in conjunction with fire-resistant construction materials (see Fact Sheets #5–14) and defensible space (see Fact Sheet #4, Defensible Space).
- Polymer gels, Class A foam products, and other long-term fire retardants can be applied to structures prior to fire impingement and provide greater thermal protection than water alone. Many of these products are available to homeowners in self-contained application units and can be applied with an attachment to a garden hose or integrated into the home’s exterior sprinkler systems.
- If exterior fire sprinklers require manual activation, occupants must activate the system expeditiously for the system to be effective.
- High winds that are frequently a byproduct of major fire activity can significantly degrade the effectiveness of an exterior sprinkler system.
- Manually applied fire-protection materials such as Class A foam products can be effective if time is available to treat the home. To be effective, the fire-protection material must be applied within the time frame identified by the product manufacturer