Why Do I Need Fire Sprinklers?

  • 80% of fire deaths occur in the home

  • Fires usually happen at night when you and your family are asleep

  • Fire is fast, giving you fewer than three minutes to escape, but  Fire Sprinklers Buy Time and Time Buys Life.

 

 

Fires in High Rise buildings can be different, as escape out of the building is also an issue.  This can be seen in recent tragedies in England and Hawaii.  Here is a video that goes through the differences if you are in a High Rise building.

 

 

 

 

WHY ARE FIRE SPRINKLERS NECESSARY IN YOUR HOME?

  • Modern homes are built using lightweight construction and are filled with furnishings made of synthetic materials. Lightweight construction and synthetic furnishings burn hotter and faster today.
  • Modern homes burn 8 times, 800%, FASTER than older homes. You may only have 3 minutes after the smoke alarm goes off to get your family out safely!
  • Approximately 3,000 people die in fires in America every year. 80% of fire deaths occur in single family homes.
  • One home fire is reported every 85 seconds.
  • One person is injured in a fire every 33 minutes.
  • One person dies in a fire every 162 minutes.
  • Residential fire sprinklers reduce the chance of death in a fire by over 80%.
  • Home fires resulted in $9.5 billion in property damage in 2013

HOW DO FIRE SPRINKLERS WORK?

  • Fire sprinklers are activated by heat. Smoke will not activate a fire sprinkler.
  • Only the sprinkler head activated by the heat will discharge. Water from the sprinkler contains or extinguishes the fire.
  • In 90% of structure fires, only one or two sprinkler heads activate, protecting surrounding rooms from fire, heat, smoke and often water damage.
  • The average sprinkler discharges 15 – 26 gallons of water per minute, compared to 150 – 250 gallons per minute by just one fire hose. If it takes approximately five minutes to extinguish a house fire by the fire department, over 1,000 gallons of water would be used by the fire department versus only 130 gallons from a fire sprinkler for the same amount of time.

WHAT ARE THE COST BENEFITS OF FIRE SPRINKLERS?

  • Home fires resulted in $9.5 billion in property damage in 2013.
  • In homes with fire sprinklers, the average property loss is cut by nearly 70% compared to a home without sprinklers.
  • It was reported that homes with fire sprinklers report an average property loss of $2,166 after a fire compared to more than $45,000 in an unsprinklerd home.
  • Nationwide average cost for a residential fire sprinkler system is 1-1.5% of the total home construction cost.
  • Make sure to go to MEMBER SEARCH to ensure you get a licensed fire sprinkler contractor to assist you.
  • Often as an incentive for customers, insurance companies offer discounts ranging from 5% to 25% off the fire portion of homeowner premiums.
  • 3 out of every 10 households will experience a fire.
  • While only a few grow large enough to summon the fire department, don’t live on luck — include fire sprinklers in your home!

 

 

WHAT ARE THE COST BENEFITS OF FIRE SPRINKLERS?

  • In homes with fire sprinklers, the average property loss is cut by nearly 70% compared to a home without sprinklers.
  • It was reported that homes with fire sprinklers report an average property loss of $2,166 after a fire compared to more than $45,000 in an unsprinklerd home.
  • Nationwide average cost for a residential fire sprinkler system is 1-1.5% of the total home construction cost.
  • Visit nfsa.org to ensure you get a licensed fire sprinkler contractor to assist you.
  • Often as an incentive for customers, insurance companies offer discounts ranging from 5% to 25% off the fire portion of homeowner premiums.

WHY DO FIRE SPRINKLERS NEED TO BE REQUIRED?

  • Residential Fire Sprinklers are already required by code.  The current International Residential Code requires all single family homes to be equipped with residential fire sprinklers.
  • The estimated cost to the builder to install a residential fire sprinkler system is 1% – 1.5% the cost of the homes. This is often less than the cost of upgraded granite counter tops.
  • Many municipalities offer homebuilders incentives to install sprinklers, such as allowing more residential units, longer dead ends, reduced street width, increased hydrant spacing and many other benefits that save money and increase builder profits.
  • The automobile industry will require backup cameras by 2018 in all vehicles in an effort to prevent the 210 deaths resulting from back up accidents. Fire sprinklers can provide protection to the approximately 3,000 people, mainly children, elderly and disabled, who die each year in home fires!

 

WHY INSTALL FIRE SPRINKLERS IN HOMES?

  • Over 80% of all fire deaths occur in the home. The single most effective way to prevent fire-related deaths is the installation of residential fire sprinklers.
  • Modern homes burn 8 times, 800%, FASTER than older homes. Your customers typically have less than 3 minutes after the smoke alarm goes off to get their family out safely!
  • Three out of four (74%) of U.S. homeowners who were educated about how fire sprinklers worked, said they would be more likely to buy a home with fire sprinklers than one without.
  • Nearly 60% of informed homeowners say fire safety is very important to them and that the majority would rather buy a sprinklered home.
  • Home fire sprinkler systems are one of the top four most desired items by informed homeowners.
  • Seven out of ten (70%) informed home owners say a sprinklered home has more value than a home without sprinklers

WHAT ARE THE COST BENEFITS OF FIRE SPRINKLERS?

According to most recent reports, incentives saved homebuilders approximately $1,949.00 per building lot and saved developers approximately $1,271.00 per lot and $10,752.00 per cul-de-sac.

Incentives currently implemented in communities around the country include:

  • Reduced or waived fees
  • Improved fire ratings for building assemblies
  • Reduction in property taxes
  • Reduced requirements for the number of fire hydrants in a development
  • Reduced requirements for minimum road width
  • Reduced requirements for fire flows
  • Reduced requirements for cul-de-sac width
  • Increased allowable dead-end street length

HOW DO FIRE SPRINKLERS WORK?

  • Fire sprinklers are life safety systems; therefore installation is required only in living areas.
  • Fire sprinklers are activated by heat. Smoke and/or smoke alarms will not activate a fire sprinkler.
  • Only the sprinkler head activated by the heat will discharge. Water from the sprinkler contains or extinguishes the fire.
  • Sprinkler piping is installed behind walls and ceiling, just like plumbing.
  • Home fire sprinklers are most often supplied with the domestic water supply. The requirements for a 13D (Single Family) system are a significant cost savings over 13R (Low-Rise Residential) and 13 (Commercial/Large Residential).

 

How do Fire Sprinklers in Homes Work?

  • Fire sprinklers are activated by heat. Smoke and/or smoke alarms will not activate a fire sprinkler.
  • Only the sprinkler head activated by the heat will discharge. Water from the sprinkler contains or extinguishes the fire.
  • The sprinkler nearest a fire will operate automatically while the fire is still small, controlling or extinguishing it. In 90% of structure fires, only one or two sprinkler heads activate, protecting surrounding rooms from fire, heat, smoke and often water damage.

 

Life Safety

Sprinkler system effectiveness in terms of life safety is best summarized by the following statement, which is based on fire incident data: ‘‘NFPA has no record of a fire killing more than two people in a completely sprinklered building where the system was properly operating, except in an explosion or flash fire or where industrial or fire brigade members or employees were killed during fire suppression operations.’’ – NFPA  “A Brief Introduction to Sprinkler Systems for Life Safety Code Users “

Sprinklers’ primary focus is on savings lives from the ravages of fire.  When a fire starts in a modern home, there are many things for it to burn, as the general building trend is toward big rooms packed with overstuffed furniture.  Much of the upholstery that we use contains polyester which is made from oil and is extremely flammable.  Having a sprinkler system allows you and your family to escape the fire and get to safety.  Without a sprinkler system you can be overcome by the gasses that come off a fire and pass out in fewer than 3 minutes.  Smoke detectors are great for warning you, but sprinkler suppress the fire and allow for evacuation.

 

Are You Up to Code?

What is code?  When someone says “This building is up to code,” what does that mean?  The building code is the collective knowledge and wisdom of many professional engineers, builders, and others who work to make structures safe and affordable.  One example of this is International Residential Code (IRC) which is put out by the International Code Council (ICC).  It is a model for national and state governments to use to create a guideline of the minimum standards for building construction.  This encompasses things like GFI outlets in kitchens to prevent electrical shocks, and how to properly attach drywall to a wall. Fire Sprinklers are part of this model code.  However, many states have modified these requirements to remove the sprinkler provision. By doing so, they do their citizens a disservice.

 

Find a NFSA Contractor

If you need to have a fire sprinkler system installed in your home / place of business, or if you need an installed system inspected and maintained, then make sure your contractor is a member of NFSA.  To find a member in your area, check out our search page.

 

Our Partners in Progress

Common Voices  – Common Voices is an Advocates’ Coalition determined to create a Fire Safe America. Our vision is to turn tragedy into advocacy.

Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition – The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) was formed in 1996 in response to the tremendous need to inform the public about the life-saving value of home fire sprinkler protection. HFSC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and the leading resource for independent, noncommercial information about home fire sprinklers. HFSC offers educational material with details about installed home fire sprinkler systems, how they work, why they provide affordable protection and answers to common myths and misconceptions about their operation. These materials are available upon request.

National Fallen Firefighter Foundation – Our mission is to honor and remember America’s Fallen Fire Heroes, to provide resources to assist their survivors in rebuilding their lives, and work within the Fire Service Community to reduce Firefighter deaths and injuries.

Phoenix Society – Uniting the voice of the burn community around the globe to profoundly advance lifelong healing, optimal recovery, and burn prevention.

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – The leading information and knowledge resource on fire, electrical and related hazards.

Underwriters Laboratory – As a global company with more than 120 years of expertise, UL works with customers and stakeholders to help them navigate market complexity. UL brings clarity and empowers trust to support the responsible design, production, marketing and purchase of the goods, solutions, and innovations of today and tomorrow. We connect people to safer, more secure, more sustainable products, services, experiences and environments – enabling smarter choices and better lives.

Fire Safety Research Institute – UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) advances fire research knowledge and develops cutting edge, practical fire service education aimed at helping firefighters stay safe while more effectively protecting people and property. Working in partnership with the fire service, research departments, and agencies, UL FSRI executes firefighter research and makes the results widely available to the global fire community. With a team of pioneering experts and access to UL’s leading infrastructure, equipment, and vast knowledge and insights, UL FSRI conducts and disseminates research and training programs focused on the changing dynamics of residential, commercial, and industrial fires and the impact they have on strategies and tactics throughout the fire service.

 

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