Monday, December 10th, 2018

Residential Fire Sprinklers

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According to information provided by the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 80 percent of all fires occur in the home. In 2007 these fires resulted in 2,865 civilian fire deaths, 13,600 fire injuries and $7.4 billion in direct damage.

What if there was a way to reduce the risk of dying from fires within the home by 80 percent and reduce the average property loss by 71 percent per fire—all for only $1.61 per square foot for new construction? Does this sound too good to be true?

Well it’s not! Residential fire sprinklers installed according to model safety codes provide the highest level of safety to protect people and properties. Home sprinklers respond quickly to reduce the heat, flames, and smoke of a fire giving the occupants valuable time to escape. In addition, sprinklers provide additional protection for fire department personnel by controlling the size and spread of the fire, making fire fighting efforts easier and safer.

Approximately 90 percent of the time, fires are contained by the activation of just one sprinkler head. Unlike the movies, the heat of a fire activates only the closest sprinkler head; sprinklers in areas of the home not affected by the fire do not discharge water.

There have been recent efforts by home builder’s associations to influence state legislatures to eliminate sections of safety codes which require or even allow the installation of residential fire sprinklers in new one and two family dwellings. The critics of adopting this legislation argue that it will raise the cost of a new home so much that home sales will suffer, especially in the economic downturn. Fortunately, the vigorous efforts of fire departments and safety advocates are prevailing in the 16 states where critics are trying to ban residential sprinklers.

Once the facts are known, it is hard to argue against requiring fire sprinklers in homes. Most homeowners will recoup the initial costs through insurance premium reductions and possible tax rebates. Studies have shown that homes which are equipped with sprinklers sell faster than those which do not as well as retaining greater home values. Insurance companies will see substantial savings in reductions in casualty and property losses. Communities will be stronger knowing their homes and families are protected from the devastating effects of uncontrolled fires.

(Source: Data included in this blog was obtained from the National Fire Protection Agency at www.nfpa.org.)

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