Commercial and industrial buildings have been using fire protection sprinkler systems for over a century. (ref) However, it is only recently that fire sprinklers have started to be required for certain homes, many times depending on the square footage.
As you can probably imagine, fires are much easier to put out when in the initial, limited flare-up stage. However, most fire station response times are many minutes, allowing the fire to increase to an uncontrollable level and possibly blocking avenues of escape. It is vital that fires are detected and suppressed immediately.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that when sprinklers are present, the chances of dying in a fire are reduced by one-half to three-fourths and the average property loss per fire is cut by one-half to two-thirds when compared to fires where sprinklers are not present. (ref)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
But don't fire sprinklers damage the whole house when triggered?
When a fire is detected, only the nearest fire sprinkler(s) are triggered, thus localizing the water damage and possibly resulting in only having to replace some carpeting and/or furniture. The sprinkler heads react to temperatures in each room individually. Think of the cost of replacing your entire house and everything in it, versus just one room!
Aren't fire sprinklers too expensive?
Not necessarily. Modern fire sprinklers can be designed and plumbed when you build your home for a very reasonable amount that can be built into your mortgage--usually less than 1% of your total home cost. Also, fire sprinklers can lower your homeowners insurance premiums!
But fire sprinkler heads are ugly! I'd rather not see them sticking out of my ceiling.
There are many new options for sprinkler head assemblies, including recessed versions! See our Products page for information about the various manufacturers we use.
Can't fire sprinklers go off accidentally, causing water damage to the house?
Statistics show that the likelihood of this happening is very remote. The sprinkler heads we use are high quality and well tested.
What are the other benefits of home fire sprinkler systems?