The movie version of a fire sprinkler system is all for the effect, fire sprinkler systems do not go off all at once and they are not activated by smoke. Fire systems Los Angeles is activated by heat and they usually go off one at a time. Normally only a couple of sprinklers will douse the fire.
Many people would think that when a fire sprinkler system is installed in a building or a room, that the owner is trading fire damage for water damage, but, once again this is not correct, this is a spinoff of the myth just mentioned that smoke is the activator and they all fire at the same time. If sprinkler systems did work like this, then perhaps they would not be as popular as they are.
Early fire sprinkler systems were not near as effective as they are today, they were unreliable and when they did work, indeed, there was significant water damage. Modern fire systems Los Angeles are credited with reducing death and destruction significantly. Because fire sprinklers only go off one at a time and the volume of water they use is far less than what would come out of a fire hose, they are far less damaging than when the fire department is called out.
Sprinklers are part of a fire prevention system:
Fire prevention is full of myths, another one is; there is no need for a sprinkler system if you have smoke alarms. Smoke alarms do not extinguish fires; they are designed to warm people to the potential of a fire so they can take action. Having smoke detectors do not cancel out the need of a fire sprinkler system, or does having a sprinkler system obviate the need for smoke alarms. These two fire systems in Los Angeles work together to save lives and property.
When a fire starts, the smoke will set off the smoke detectors, which alert the inhabitants to danger. Depending on where the fire is located in the building, this warning can be delayed; in the meantime the fire is getting larger. Putting the fire out and alerting the residents are both important.
Not just any source of heat will activate the sprinkler head. As the fire burns, it pushes a column of hot air towards the ceiling, when this hot air hits the ceiling is fans out. When the heat reaches the sprinkler head, the sprinkler is activated. The temperature to activate the sprinkler is between 135 and 165 degrees F. The fire systems in Los Angeles have a small glass vial attached to the bottom of the head, this vial is filled with glycerin which expands as it heats up, eventually expanding to the point where the vial breaks and the sprinkler is activated. The sprinkler head has a valve which opens to the flow of water, the water is then sprayed, extinguishing the fire.