Fire sprinkler systems have been used to protect businesses, schools, and other public buildings for more than a hundred years. Now, home fire sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.
Helpful Facts About Home Sprinklers
- One home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds in 2009.
- On average, seven people died in home fires every day. Adults, aged 65 and older, faced the highest risk of fire death.
- In 2009, U.S. fire departments responded to 362,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 12,650 civilian injuries, 2,565 civilian deaths, and $7.6 billion in direct damage.
- Automatic fire sprinkler systems cut the risk of dying in a home fire by about 80%.
- Sprinklers are highly effective because they react so quickly to fire. The reduce the risk of death or injury from a fire because they dramatically reduce the heat, flames, and smoke produced - allowing people time to evacuate the home.
- The cost of a home fire sprinkler system in a new home averages $1.61 per sprinklered square foot totaling an amount similar to what is spent for carpet upgrades, paving stone driveway or a whirlpool bath. Source: Fire Protection Research Foundation Study 2008.
- A home fire sprinkler system can reduce the homeowner's insurance premium.
- Fire departments typically use roughly 10 times as much water as a fire sprinkler would use to contain a fire.
Source: Fire Protection Research Foundation Study 2010.
- Fire sprinklers are environmentally friendly. They can reduce the amount of water run-off and pollution, fire damage by up to 71%, and water usage to fight a home fire by as much as 91%.
Source: FM Global and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Study 2010.
- Cigar smoke or burnt toast will not activate a fire sprinkler. Only the high temperature of a fire will activate the sprinkler.
- A home fire sprinkler system is easy to maintain. Inspect your home to make sure the sprinklers are not blocked by something that would prevent the water from coming out such as paint and be sure the main control valve is never turned off.
- Home fire sprinklers are effective in cold and warm climates. A home fire sprinkler system should be winterized the same as you winterize a domestic water supply.
- It is extremely rare for sprinklers to operate accidentally. In a typical home, water damage will be considerably less from unwanted sprinkler discharges than from other plumbing mishaps.
- All the sprinklers do not activate at once. This scenario may be common in movies and TV shows, but it just isn't true for residential fire sprinkler systems. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire activates. Ninety percent of the time, one sprinkler contains the fire.