Fire Sprinkler Systems


Properly installed and maintained fire protection sprinkler systems result in reducing fire casualties and property damage.

At ABCO, we can design, install, repair, service, inspect and upgrade any fire protection sprinkler system.

Each business, product and environment is unique and we are committed to provide you with the quality service you can trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who’s a great candidate for a fire protection sprinkler system?

Our biggest jobs have come from a very large grocery chain, a global manufacturer and distributor of adhesive labels and tags, and a medical device manufacturer.

But we have also done jobs that only require a few sprinklers, such as a fast food restaurant.

In terms of location, we have installed sprinkler systems in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.


Why do companies install fire protection sprinkler systems?

Most companies have to because of insurance stipulations, but also to be in compliance with Ohio Building Codes.

Today, most buildings over 12,000 sq. ft. must have a sprinkler system installed.

Some factors that determine if a building needs to have a fire sprinkler system is:

  • The type of business
  • Occupancy expectation

Places where people stay the night, including nursing homes, hospitals and hotels…definitely require a sprinkler system.

For the most part, everyone is getting sprinkler systems besides just residential. Even at your local McDonald’s, the city is making them install sprinklers.


What fire sprinkler options do companies have?

Companies have the option of a wet, dry, or pre-action fire protection sprinkler system.

Wet – 90% of companies use a wet sprinkler system to protect their assets.

Dry – In an unheated area, pipes are filled with air, then once the air is ran through the system, water runs through the pipes. These are installed in attics, outside canopies, freezers, etc.

Pre-action – needs two activations to send suppressing agent. Data centers will use a pre-action system because they only want to discharge agents in an absolute worst case scenario. How pre-action works is the pipes are filled with a low level of air. If they lose that air, a trouble alert signal goes to the panel. Then, a sprinkler head, a smoke detector and the pull station must be activated in order to send the suppressing agent.


What’s included in a fire sprinkler system service call?

Service is mostly conducted once a year, but some projects require service monthly…and even weekly.

We are required to:

  • Complete a visual inspection of all sprinkler heads, piping and hangers
  • Make sure there are no painted heads, no taped heads, no hangers
  • No disconnected or leaking pipes
  • Test all alarm devices and all supervisory devices on the system
  • Get a flow test or a “main drain test” and compare to past numbers to make sure there’s no pressure drop in water

Then, at the end of a line, sometimes called the “inspectors test valve”, which simulates a fire by initiating one sprinkler head to go off. Once water moves into the sprinkler system, it activates the alarm. Then, we will time it to see when the alarm will go off…which should be between 60-90 seconds once the water starts flowing.

NOTE: One sprinkler head can protrude 450 gallons of water in 1 minute!


How much does a fire protection sprinkler system cost?

The #1 determinant of price is square foot. We’ve had fire sprinkler jobs quoted as high as $1M, and as low as $6-7,000 for a few sprinkler heads or a remodel.


What building codes are being enforced?

The first line of building codes that we enforce are outlined in NFPA 13. NFPA 13 entails the rules associated with fire sprinkler install.

Here are some highlights:

  • Most buildings over 12,000 ft. will need a fire protection sprinkler system
  • Sprinklers shall be installed under structures exceeding 4 feet wide ( such as overhead doors, ducts and decks )
  • Upright sprinklers shall be installed with the frame arms parallel to the branch lines
  • Sprinklers shall be installed as not to be obstructed by auxiliary devices, such as piping, insulation, and so forth, for proper distribution of water

The second line of enforced codes are called Ohio Building Codes, which are generally more strict than NFPA 13. Each city, or jurisdiction, creates their own building codes, but uses NFPA 13 as a reference. Jurisdictions can make fire sprinkler codes more strict than NFPA 13, but never more lenient.

Additional Ohio Building Codes will be found more likely at institutions such as:

  • Nursing homes
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Hotels

Usually the places where overnight stays occur, will require a more strict fire code.


Is there an insurance savings when installing a fire sprinkler system?

Yes, but the amount is undetermined. It would be advised to reach out to your property insurance provider to see what discounts are available.

A comment worth mentioning is Factory Mutual, a global property insurance provider that has great input into writing fire codes…is used by many fortune 500 companies.

Factory Mutual has strict fire codes, but it’s necessary because it keeps the level of fire protection very high, while also keeping insurance premiums low.

NOTE: all fire sprinkler equipment used by ABCO must be UL listed, as well as Factory Mutual approved.


Can I write off a fire sprinkler system if installed in 2018?


Section 179 of the IRS tax code has been reformed to permanently expand eligibility for deductions to fire protection, alarm and security systems placed in service in 2018 and beyond.

According to the NFPA “Under the new law, any sprinkler system installed after September 27, 2017 in either a commercial or residential structure until December 31, 2022 will be able to be fully expensed. Therefore, the property owner will be able to immediately write off the full cost of the sprinkler system.”

Tax reform in 2018 about installing fire protection sprinkler systems


Other reasons why companies install fire protection sprinkler systems?

Scenario #1 = An existing Holiday Inn in Cleveland, Ohio was going through a transformation to become a Four Points Sheraton. In order to meet the requirements of an upscale, more safe Four Points Sheraton, fire protection sprinkler systems had to be installed throughout the existing building.

Scenario #2 = A Middleburg Heights, Ohio manufacturer, Norman Noble needed an upgraded fire sprinkler system simply because the city made them do it. As stated before, every building must meet NFPA 13 standards, but local building codes may add additional requirements.


Why do companies choose ABCO Fire Protection for fire sprinkler system installations?

People use ABCO Fire Protection because we are a well-known company (have been in business since 1975), we do really good work, have quality installation technicians, and our technicians have a lot of experience with the company.


How does a company begin a fire sprinkler installation project?

1) We go out to meet the customer(s), meet the general contractor(s), check out the location surroundings and the building, and then relay that information to an estimator.

2) We’ll determine what type of construction, steel, girders, joist, and wooden materials that’ll be used. Our estimator travels out, analyzes the blueprints, determines square footage, notes the needed qualifications and determine what work is required.

3) Estimator puts a quote together

4) If the quote is accepted, we’ll submit the information to a fabricator shop, which generates custom shaped piping for the job.

5) Installer gets fabricated piping sent to them and begins to put the fire sprinkler project together like a puzzle.


Contact us today!

We’d love to get to know you, your fire sprinkler situation, and help you stay compliant with today’s building codes as efficiently as possible.