You need to have a clear understanding as to how fire sprinkler systems work in order to have clear expectations about what it can do especially during emergencies.
When a fire starts, the resulting smoke will eventually set off a smoke detector alerting residents to danger. This process can be quite slow depending on where the smoke detector is located. Meanwhile, the fire is growing. Alerting residents to the presence of fire is important. But, so is putting the fire out. When a fire starts, it quickly heats the air directly above it. This air rises and is pushed out to either side when it hits the ceiling. As this hot air reaches a sprinkler head, that sprinkler head is activated.
Not just any heat source will trigger a sprinkler system to activate. The sprinkler heads must detect a high enough temperature — usually between 135 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit (57 to 74 Celsius). Most sprinkler heads are equipped with a glass trigger filled with a glycerin-based liquid that expands at the appropriate temperature, breaking the glass and activating the sprinkler head. The sprinkler head is attached to a system of pipes that are hidden behind the walls or ceiling. These pipes wind through the building and outside to connect with a reliable water source. When the sprinkler head is triggered, a valve to the pipe system is opened, releasing the water that is kept under pressure from the pipes. The water is quickly pushed out of the pipes through the sprinkler head, spraying water downward and out to the sides. This carefully designed spray of water extinguishes the fire below and prevents it from spreading.