Fire Sprinklers Protect Your Home and Your Family

Most people don’t realize that 8 out of 10 fire deaths occur in the home. They usually happen at night when you and your family are asleep. Fires are also fast; they can go from a tiny flame to total destruction in as little as three minutes. Fire sprinklers can suppress and often extinguish a fire before the fire department arrives, giving your family time to escape.



Need more info or resources? Use one of the links below.


Sprinkler FYI Series, Articles, technical data and bulletins regarding fire sprinklers.

Sprinkler Times (Northern Illinois Chapter – over 50 articles available)
Reducing America’s Fire Losses with Residential Fire Sprinkler System (Article)
NFSA White Paper on Residential Fire Sprinklers
The Scottsdale Report
The Water Purveyors Guide
Power of Ones (International Residential Code hearing information May 22 – 25, 2007)
Same Old Lines (International Residential Code hearing information May 22 – 25, 2007)
Just the Facts about Fire Sprinklers in the IRC
Detection, Treatment and Prevention of Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion in Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
Retrofit Fire Sprinkler Program – A Partial Listing
Fire Safety Tips for Elderly People 
Heat Treatment for Bedbug Mitigation in Fire Sprinklered Properties


Fire Sprinklers Save Lives and Money . . . The Economics of Retrofit
Municipal Contractor Licensing Information
Residential Ordinances in United States
Omega Sprinkler Issues


Automatic Sprinkler System Blowback
Central’s Model GB Series Fire Sprinklers
CPVC Sprinkler Pipe & Fittings
Fire Protection for Pallet Storage
Fire Protection in Spray Booths
Fire Pumps – An Overview
Microbiological Control in Buildings After Flooding
Prevention of Freeze Ups

Sprinkler Resource Toolbox:

A set of resources to assist local fire and building officials counter attacks against improving community fire protection through the adoption of codes that include fire sprinklers. Right click on the title to download the report that you are interested in.

Fire Sprinkler Retrofit Guide – 2017
National Fire Sprinkler Association – A “Reasonable” Approach to Improving Fire & Life Safety In Your Community – Second Edition

Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment
The Fire Protection Research Foundation – September 2008, Report by Newport Partners. This report has been commonly referred to as the NFPA $1.61 report. It is a very comprehensive report that takes into consideration the location of the community, the type of NFPA 13D system installed, the water system available to supply the system, etc. The key to recognize about this report is that it was conducted by a third party agency (Newport Partners) and involved many stakeholders to the process of community fire protection, including homebuilders and architects. This report looked at ten communities across the country and the cost of installation and the savings as a result. The cost of installation identified in this study ranges from $0.38 per square foot to $3.66 per square foot. There is also insurance savings results in this study. The range identified was 0 to 10% with the average being 7%.

Residential Fire Sprinklers and Housing Economics / A Legislator’s Guide to Life Safety
February 2009, Buddy Dewar. This paper serves as a “hands on” approach to dealing with legislators who are attempting to block code adoption, or to exempt out the fire sprinkler requirements included in the proposed code. And excellent resource that is filled with specific information that addresses the typical points made by homebuilders. The paper has focus on how fire sprinkler affect the housing market, and proof is offered that the current housing crisis is created by our nation’s recession, specifically mortgage availability. The point is made that the crisis is not caused by fire sprinklers or granite countertops.

Residential Structure and Building Fires
October 2008, U.S. Fire Administration. This 84 page report looks at Residential and Building Fire loss data, and provides an assessment and interpretation over a ten (10) year period (1996 to 2005). The residential portion of the fire problem continues to account for the vast majority of civilian casual­ties. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates show that, while residential structure fires account for only 25 percent of fires nationwide, they account for a disproportionate share of losses: 83 percent of fire deaths, 77 percent of fire injuries, and 64 percent of direct dollar losses.

U.S. Experience with Sprinklers and Other Automatic Fire Extinguishing Equipment
January 2009, John R. Hall. This 87 page report provides an overview of the different types of fire sprinkler systems and the national statistics involving them. The appendix provides an explanation of how national estimates statistics are calculated. Automatic sprinklers are highly effective elements of total system designs for fire protection in buildings. When sprinklers cover the area of fire origin, they operate in 95% of all reported structure fires large enough to activate sprinklers. When they operate, they are effective 96% of the time, resulting in a combined performance of operating effectively in 91% of reported fires where sprinklers were present in the fire area and fire was large enough to activate sprinklers.

Residential Fire Sprinkler Activation Report
January 1, 2003 to June 30, 2007, U.S. Fire Administration. The Residential Fire Sprinkler Activation project, completed by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) & The Residential Fire Sprinkler Institute, (RFSI) was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) (EME-2006-GR-0288). The purpose was to gather current and relevant data pertaining to the activation of residential fire sprinklers, information necessary to assess the performance of these systems in real-life, nonlaboratory conditions.

Home Structure Fires
January 2009, Marty Ahrens. NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 378,600 reported home structure fires per year during the four-year-period of 2003-2006. These fires caused anestimated average of 2,850 civilian deaths, 13,090 civilian injuries, and $6.1 billion in direct property damage per year. More than two-thirds (70%) of the reported home structure fires and 84% of the fatal home fire injuries occurred in one- or two-family dwellings, including manufactured homes. The remainder occurred in apartments or similar properties. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries, while smoking materials are the leading causes of home fire deaths. Roughly half of all home fire deaths result from incidents reported between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Twenty-four percent of all home fire deaths were caused by fires that started in the bedroom; 23% resulted from fires originating in the living room, family room, or den. Although smoke alarms operated in 52% of the reported home fires, no working smoke alarm was present in 63% of the home fire deaths.

The Scottsdale Report
1997, Fire Marshal Jim Ford. Excellent report that chronicles the first 10 years of data from the Scottsdale, Arizona Fire Department, including fire loss and fatalities, for both sprinklered and non-sprinklered dwellings. Item to note: No loss of life in sprinklered dwellings reported, with an average fire loss of $2,166 in sprinklered homes.

The Prince Georges County Report
August, 2009, Steve Weatherby, Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. 15 years worth of data that highlights sprinkler saves, as well as property loss in non-sprinklered dwellings. Noteworthy is 101 deaths in non-sprinklered homes over the 15 year study, with no lives lost in sprinklered dwellings. Cost of installation data obtained from homebuilders showed an average of $2.00 per square foot installation cost, well in line with the NFPA reported national average of $1.61.

Water Supply Report – NFPA
Residential fire sprinklers are becoming more widely adopted in new U.S. homes based on model building codes like the 2009 IRC and NFPA 5000, as well as community level initiatives to add sprinklers to homes. Like any significant change to the way homes are constructed, concerns exist as to how sprinklers can be effectively integrated with other existing systems in the home – particularly the home’s water supply system. Local requirements regarding the connection of residential sprinklers to the water supply system can potentially have significant implications on sprinkler system design, operation, cost and maintenance.

The White Ribbon Report – Keeping the Lights On, The Trucks Running and the Volunteers Responding
September, 2006, Volunteer & Combination Officers Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

An Old Idea With a New Technology
“An Old Idea with a New Technology,” was written by NFSA President John Viniello in 1982 while Manager of Residential Fire Protection for Grinnell Fire Protection Systems Company. It was a time when quick response technology was in its infancy and the first sprinklers we now call “residential” had obtained laboratory listing just the year before. The age of residential fire sprinkler protection had begun, sparking an irreversible revolution to bring tried and proven technology to bear on a nation’s tragic history with fire.

Cost / Benefit to Society for Having Sprinklers in One – and Two – Family Dwellings – A Pessimistic Analysis
Sprinkler Quarterly Fall Edition 2005 / Ken Isman. This article is a result of the submission for justification for fire sprinklers in homes through the NFPA codes adoption process in 2005. Ken saying in this that through the whole process the one constant was that “fire sprinklers systems are cost effective”. Ken goes on to say that even if the opponents of mandatory fire sprinklers in homes are correct with what they say, “fire sprinkler systems are still cost beneficial (as well as life safety beneficial) to society at large”. This article looks at the value of fire sprinklers over the long term, which is the true benefit to society. Over 40 years, the article proves that even using the most conservative numbers fire sprinklers will save the community, the state, and our country money over time.

A message from the U.S. Fire Administrator about Residential Fire Sprinklers
Glenn A. Gaines / May 2009. This is a letter from Chief Gaines that addresses the groups who try to enact legislation pre-empting fire sprinkler legislation.

A message from the U.S. Fire Administrator about Residential Sprinklers
Greg Cade / March 28, 2008. This is a letter from Chief Cade that utilizes many of the USFA statistical information in regards to the home fire problem and discusses the increased severity of fire in regards to flashover. The letter also includes the mission of the USFA, which is to “reduce life and economic losses due to fire and related emergencies, through leadership, advocacy, coordination, and support”.

Real Estate Comparison
Fire Team USA December 2007. This document was created by Fire Team USA and takes actual MLS and tax records to document sales prices of two similar homes—one with fire sprinklers and one without. The interesting fact observed with this comparison is that the non-sprinklered home actually sold for more!

Construction Cost Study
Fire Team USA December 2007. This construction cost study was conducted with actual numbers provided by a local builder, utilizing the construction cost table shown on a Builder’s website for educational purposes. The tables added only one line item, that of fire sprinklers and does a unique contrast/compare to the Builders model. Interestingly, the sprinkler installation cost was 1.3% of the cost of the home, with the Builder maintaining 8 and 10% profits respectively. This validates the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition material that indicated 1 to 1.5% of the construction cost.

Fire Team USA December 2007. Redmond Fire Department submitted the bullet list used by a homebuilders association to battle their sprinkler legislation requirements. Vickie Pritchett and Buddy Dewar took the list and added counterpoints for the fire service leaders to use in their successful local adoption process. This document is a direct counter to a local builders associations talking points utilized in a local ordinance battle.

U.S. Fire Administration Quick Response Program
Excellent one page document to use when your community is dealing with a home fire fatality. Simple bulleted approach, shares the facts in a concise manner and is excellent resource to use when dealing with the media following a fire death.

Home Fire Sprinkler Systems: Separating Fact from Fiction
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. 3 page document provides overview of HFSC resources available, as well as documents fire problem with statistics.

Position Statement: Fire Sprinklers in New Construction
International Association of Fire Chiefs, March 2008. Excellent one page document that substantiates the support of fire chiefs, taking note that the IAFC is 12,500+ members strong. The International Association of Fire Chiefs adopts the position that all new construction, including one- and two-family dwellings, should be built with fire sprinklers installed to protect the public, fire service personnel, the structure, its contents, the economy and the environment.

Commentary on the “NAHB Recommended State & Local Amendments to the 2009 International Residential Code [IRC]”
John R. Hall, May 6, 2009. This document provides commentary on referenced NAHB homebuilder document. It is intended to update information, examine analyses for validity, and express NFPA’s position with regards to the inclusion of residential fire sprinkler in the code.

Builders dislike cluster sprinkler mandate
The Leaf-Chronicle.

N.C. home builder promotes sprinklers; firefighters’ campaign raised awareness
The Charlotte Observer.

Residential Fire Sprinklers – A Highly Effective Safety Tool
Underwriters Laboratories May 2009. This is a brochure to utilize that shows the reliability of residential fire sprinklers. The brochure says, “in summary, residential fire sprinklers undergo a rigorous evaluation to provide a high level of assurance that they will resist leakage, provide many years of service, and be ready to respond in the event of a fire. Either installed as a separate system or integrated with the domestic water system, residential fire sprinklers have demonstrated during the years of use to be a very effective tool in preventing injury and death from home fires”.

The Future of Fire Safety
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, 2008. This 8 page brochure highlights the overall big picture concept of fire sprinklers in homes. With the guiding principle for the brochure being “Understanding Fire Sprinkler Protection For Homes,” this spotlights peace of mind and utilizes excellent graphics to show the different types of residential fire sprinkler heads and how the residential system works (installation diagram).

Protect What You Value Most
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, 2007. This 8 page brochure documents the fire problem and also includes the top “fire sprinkler facts,” as well as “fire sprinkler myths.” Excellent consumer resource that also works for homebuilders as well.


“FYI Series”

Pamphlets dedicated to educating a variety of integral roles in fire safety: