OAFC Key Messages - Residential Sprinklers


December 1, 2014

OAFC Key Messages – Residential Sprinklers

  • The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) mandate is “public and fire fighter safety.  The OAFC has supported and advocated for the installation of residential sprinklers since 2005.
  • Fire kills approximately 325 to 400 people in Canada each year. Many more are seriously injured.  In 2013, 76 people died in a fire in Ontario.
  • The majority of these fire deaths occur where people feel the safest and most comfortable – in their homes.  65 Ontario residents died in their homes in 2013.
  • On average, fire cause approximately $525,000,000 to $725,000,000 in direct property damage to residential homes each year.  This number is continuing to increase.  Ontario sustained $409.9 (M$) in residential property damage in 2013.
  • Unfortunately, the average homeowner is unaware of how fast modern fires grow.  Fire growth doubles every minute.  For example, 2 minutes equals 4 times the fire growth, and 5 min equals 25 times the fire growth, etc.
  • Today’s home contents burn hotter, faster, and are more toxic than ever before.  This is due to cheaper, more flammable materials used in everyday items. Toxic smoke travels extremely fast through a home.  The majority of fire deaths are from smoke inhalation.
  • Conditions where a fire is present can become un-survivable in as little as 2 minutes, once the sound of a smoke alarm is heard.
  • Early notification to the fire department is key to a quick response.
  • Working smoke alarms combined with a residential sprinkler system offer families and highest level of protection and the best opportunity for survival during a fire in the home.
  • Residential sprinklers do not replace the need for an effective fire department response.
  • When residential sprinklers and working smoke alarms are present, there is an 82% reduction in fire deaths and fire-related injuries and a 71% reduction in property damage.
  • Fire departments typically use roughly 10 times as much water as a residential fire sprinkler would use to contain a fire.
  • Contrary to movies and television shows, only the sprinkler head closest to the fire activates, limiting the amount of water used to contain the fire.
  • Residential sprinklers are environmentally friendly. They can reduce the amount of water run-off and pollution, reduce fire damage by up to 71%, and reduce the amount of water used to fight a residential fire by as much as 91%.
  • Residential sprinklers cost on average $1.38 per square foot in new home construction that is built where multiple homes are being constructed.
  • Simply put, residential sprinklers will help save lives and can reduce serious injuries to people in Ontario.


Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management
Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association
Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment 2013, The Fire Protection Research Foundation
Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs

12-01-2014 OAFC Residential Sprinklers Key Messages.pdf223.74 KB