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What Are ESFR Sprinkler Systems And How Are They Different From Conventional Fire Sprinklers?

Posted by: Krish Malhotra
What Are ESFR Sprinkler Systems | Mill Brook Fire Protection

Equipped with a quick-response operational mechanism, Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) sprinkler systems respond to flames in the initial stage of fire development itself. They are high volume sprinkler systems that provide extraordinary protection for highly stacked storage occupancies.


These sprinklers are, specifically, designed to deliver copious amounts of water so that fire can be suppressed shortly after the sprinkler operates.
Consequently, fire, smoke, and water damage can greatly be reduced because of Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) sprinklers. These systems are installed at the ceiling and focus more on finding the origin of the fire rather than just controlling the spread of a fire.


However, before making a decision about using an ESFR fire suppression system, the owner must examine the type of products he has to store, the storage capacity of the warehouse, the height, architecture, the construction pattern of the building, and the cost differentials of installing and maintaining the system over other varieties of sprinklers.
So, what are the features of Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) sprinklers?
(1) The heads of these sprinklers can effortlessly sense a fire and begin spraying water at an extraordinarily quick rate.
(2) The output rate of ESFR sprinkler heads is 100 gallons per minute.
(3) The heads of these sprinklers release huge droplets of water with quite a solicitous rate of momentum. This concord of size and momentum allows the sprinkler droplet to penetrate a fire plume and reach the seat of a fire.
(4) These ceiling-mounted sprinklers are most advantageous for warehouse storage.

Difference between ESFR (Early Suppression Fast Response) Sprinkler Systems and Conventional Sprinkler Systems :


(1) Created for a certain type of storage occupancy, ESFR (Early Suppression Fast Response) Sprinkler Systems achieve fire suppression before the fire develops entirely. ESFR systems are a perfect fit for warehouses with storage that have exact or less than 40 feet overall height, and a ceiling height of less than 45 feet.
Fabricated to control fire flames, Conventional Sprinkler Systems pre-wet the surrounding area until it is extinguished by the fire department or brigade. These fire sprinkler systems offer exceptional protection against manufacturing hazards such as operations conducted with flammable liquids, any aerosol activities, injection molding, and occupancies with shielded combustibles.
(2) ESFR heads modify with K-factors of 11.2, 14.7, 17, and 25.2, as well as pressures of 50 and 70 psi. Conventional sprinkler heads are smaller than ESFR heads and are designed to discharge lower pressures and flows.
(3) The output rate of conventional sprinkler heads is 25 to 30 gallons per minute. The same rate of high output conventional sprinkler heads is 60 gallons per minute.
And as mentioned above, the output rate of ESFR sprinkler heads is 100 gallons per minute.


The chief advantage of an ESFR system over a Conventional sprinkler system is the possible elimination of the requirement for in-rack sprinklers in rack storage areas. Though one always has to be mindful that ESFR sprinklers must not be obstructed or designed inaccurately. In such a case, these systems will fail to suppress a fire and would consequently deliver disastrous results. Precise detail to ESFR sprinkler design and installation is of utmost importance.

ESFR Systems can effortlessly fight against fire accidents that occur in warehouses. Though the owner must ensure to use the most suitable ESFR, all depending upon his full understanding of the commodities to be stacked and methods of storage in the warehouse.

And if you own a warehouse and are eagerly wanting to find a solution for fire protection in your premises, we at Mill Brook Fire Protection can absolutely help you with this. We install and repair an exceptional range of ESFR fire sprinkler systems. Contact us at for further information.

Author: Krish Malhotra