Working smoke alarms, combined with a residential sprinkler system, offer families the highest level of protection and the best opportunity for survival during a home fire. By responding to a fire while it is still small, sprinklers control the spread of deadly heat, flames and toxic smoke.
Benefits of Home Sprinklers
- According to a 2017 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), when residential sprinklers and working smoke alarms are present, there is a 90% reduction in fire deaths and
fire-related injuries, and a 71% reduction in property damage.
- Further, the report indicates that the average firefighter injury rate is nearly 80% lower when fire sprinklers are present.
- Home sprinklers are environmentally friendly, too, reducing the amount of water
run-off and pollution, and the amount of water used to fight a fire by as much as 91%.
Backlash against residential sprinklers is often rooted in misinformation about the effectiveness, use and aesthetics of the sprinkler systems. We want to bust some of those myths!
|All sprinkler heads activate at the same time.
|Contrary to movies and television shows, sprinklers activate independently – unlike hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms. If there is a fire, only the sprinkler closest to the flames will operate. In about 90% of home fires, only one sprinkler was necessary to control the fire. Smoke, cooking vapours or steam cannot cause the sprinklers to activate; sprinklers only operate in response to the high temperature of a fire.
|Sprinkler systems are unattractive.
|Modern sprinkler systems offer sleek and discreet designs, so they fade into a home’s décor. Most sprinkler manufacturers offer a wide variety of fire sprinkler designs, making it possible to install fire sprinklers in any type of new home. All residential fire sprinklers are much smaller and lower-profile than the types of sprinklers used in commercial properties. A typical residential sprinkler system operates off the household water main and uses piping installed behind walls and ceilings in finished areas.
|Sprinklers might activate by accident.
|The odds of accidental discharge due to a manufacturing defect are 1 in 16 million per year.
|If a sprinkler system activates, it will cause more damage than a fire.
|Water damage from a home sprinkler system will be much less severe than the damage caused by water from firefighting hose lines or smoke and fire damage, if the fire persists. Quick response sprinklers release approximately 30 to 90 litres (8 to 24 gallons) of water per minute compared to 190 to 473 litres (50 to 125 gallons) per minute released by a fire hose.
|A sprinkler system might freeze and cause damage in the winter.
|Much like your plumbing system, your sprinkler system piping is installed on inside walls adjacent to the ceiling framing, and then insulated to entrap the available heat lost from the living area below.
|Smoke alarms offer adequate protection.
|Working smoke alarms, combined with a residential sprinkler system, offer the highest level of protection and best opportunity for survival during a home fire. Smoke alarms will save lives by providing a much-needed early warning system. However, smoke alarms do nothing to extinguish a growing fire. Sprinklers control the spread of deadly heat, flames and toxic smoke, which reduces injuries to firefighters and residents, and decreases property damage.
|Sprinkler systems are expensive.
|This is generally a statement of priority. A sprinkler system can be installed in a new home for as little as $1.50 per square foot which, in many cases, would represent less than 2% of the total construction cost. System installation in existing homes is simple, but more expensive. Since your family, irreplaceable possessions and home are a precious part of your life, you can't afford not to have a sprinkler system. Installing a residential fire sprinkler system is also eligible for a premium discount with some insurers.
|Sprinklers require a lot of maintenance.
|Home sprinklers require very little maintenance. It is essential to keep the water valve turned on, so a simple visual inspection should be done routinely to ensure the valve is open. The inspection is a simple test that can be done by the homeowner or a fire sprinkler contractor.