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SECURING SPRINKLERS FROM DAMAGE.

The sprinklers that serve correctional facilities and other institutions that house people at risk for violent or erratic behavior have to meet special criteria.

They must be tamperproof to prevent inmates from removing components they can fashion into weapons. The sprinklers must be designed to offer no hiding places for contraband. They must not be so robust that they can support the weight of an inmate bent on committing suicide by hanging. Engineers at Star Sprinkler Inc., in Oak Creek, Wis., designed StarMax quick response pendant and horizontal sidewall sprinklers specifically to serve this challenging application.

Both sprinklers are chrome-finished and equipped with a conical escutcheon. Their robust steel frame is mounted internally with a cast-iron flange that tightens the sprinkler escutcheon to the wall or ceiling. The design prevents anything from a shoestring to a package of contraband from slipping behind the escutcheon. Should a determined individual manage to tie a string to the release assembly, the StarMax will break off at 80 pounds of pressure.

In that event, the sprinkler is activated, as is an electrical or mechanical alarm that alerts the institutional authorities that a sprinkler has been damaged. Not incidentally, the vandals are given a good soaking that authorities use to cool off unruly inmates, a far cry from the hotbox used in Cool Hand Luke to punish recalcitrant prisoners.

Among the institutions that use the StarMax sprinklers are Barner Maximum Security Prison in Arkansas, Menard Maximum Security State Prison in Illinois, and Cibola County Detention Center in New Mexico.

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Title Annotation:Star Sprinkler Inc.
Comment:SECURING SPRINKLERS FROM DAMAGE.(Star Sprinkler Inc.)
Author:Valenti, Michael
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2000
Words:254
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