SYSTEMS IN INDUSTRY
office buildings, factories, and other commercial buildings
have benefited from fire protection sprinkler systems for over
a century. To prevent investments in buildings and machinery,
the textile mills in New England began using sprinkler systems
over 100 years ago following a series of devastating fires
which claimed many lives and destroyed entire businesses.
what about our homes? Although we protect our businesses from
fire, what actions do we take to protect our families, our
homes, and our possessions from fire? Millions of Americans
have installed smoke alarms in their homes in the past few
years, but a smoke alarm can only alert the occupants to a
fire in the house ... it cannot contain or extinguish a fire.
Residential sprinkler systems can!
- THE SOLUTION
in residences have taken a high toll of life and property. In
2002 there were:
civilian fire deaths
civilian fire injuries
$6 billion in property damage
by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's United States
Fire Administration indicate that the installation of
residential fire sprinkler systems could have saved thousands
of lives; prevented a large portion of those injuries; and
eliminated hundreds of millions of dollars in property losses.
ARE HOME FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS?
quick response sprinklers and approved piping, homes can be
built or even retrofitted to include low-cost automatic
sprinkler systems connected to the domestic water supply.
systems offer advantages to the homebuilder:
low-cost reliable safety option that would attract many
between sprinklers and code requirements that can result
in lower construction costs, more units per area of land,
homeowners, the advantages include assurance of a safer
environment for their families, protection of their investment
and irreplaceable family possessions, and lower insurance
rates 5 to 15 percent.
OF NEWLY DESIGNED HOME SPRINKLER SYSTEMS
sprinklers, listed by Underwriters Labs, are now available.
They are designed to respond to a fire much faster than
currently available standard commercial and industrial
sprinkler systems. The new home sprinklers react automatically
to fires more quickly because of their improved sensitivity.
the present time, cost of a home sprinkler system is targeted
at approximately $1.00 to $1.50 per square foot in new
construction. It is hoped that the cost will decrease as the
use of home fire protection grows. It is also possible to
retrofit existing homes with sprinkler systems.
residential systems, the sprinklers will be smaller than
traditional, commercial, and industrial sprinklers, and can be
aesthetically coordinated with any room decor.
homes are under construction or being remodeled, a home
sprinkler system will require minimal extra piping and labor.
systems will require less water than the systems installed in
industrial or commercial establishments and can be connected
to the domestic water supply.
addition to metallic pipe, the use of plastic pipe has brought
down the cost of installation in new construction and the
retrofit of existing structures.
notable successful applications of residential sprinklers and
approved piping include:
George's County, MD
GROWING NUMBER OF COMMUNITIES PROMOTE HOME FIRE SPRINKLERS
fire loss in this country in residential occupancies is
alarming. Manual firefighting methods are not the answer. The
way to attack the problem is to limit the fire growth where it
occurs in dwellings. We have the technology to do that.
Automatic Sprinkler Systems. Ordinance No. 745; Adopted May
28, 1969; by the San Clemente, California City Council
13 was a major factor in promoting the ordinance. There is
also a shift within the fire service toward more fire
prevention and less suppression emphasis. San Clemente and
Corte Madera, California were some of the first communities in
the United States to enact a home sprinkler ordinance. Other
communities that have initiated or plan to initiate
residential sprinkler ordinances include:
Hill, North Carolina
YOUR HOME SPRINKLER SYSTEM'S I.Q.
are five statements about home sprinkler systems. Are they
true or false?
one sprinkler goes off, all the sprinklers activate.
False! Only the sprinkler over the fire will activate. The
sprinkler heads react to temperatures in each room
individually. Thus, fire in a bedroom will activate only
the sprinkler in that room.
sprinkler could accidentally go off, causing severe water
damage to a home.
False! Records, which have been compiled for well over 50
years, prove the likelihood of this occurring is very
remote. Furthermore, home sprinklers will be specifically
designed and will be rigorously tested to minimize such
damage from a sprinkler system will be more extensive than
False! The sprinkler system will severely limit a fire's
growth. Therefore, damage from a home sprinkler system
will be much less severe than the smoke and fire damage if
the fire had gone on unabated or even the water damage
caused by water from firefighting hose lines.
sprinkler systems are expensive.
False! Current estimates suggest that when a home is under
construction, a home sprinkler system could cost less than
1% of the total building price.
sprinkles are ugly.
False! The traditional, commercial-type sprinklers as well
as sprinklers for home use are now being designed to fit
in with most any decor.
ARE A GOOD INVESTMENT FOR HOMEBUILDER'S
the use of construction trade-offs, homebuilders and
developers can achieve reduced construction costs if
residential sprinkler systems are installed. Home sprinkler
systems offer both safety and financial advantages to
homebuyers, a rare combination.
ARE A GOOD INVESTMENT FOR THE HOMEBUYER
fire occurs in a residential structure every 79 seconds,
according to the U.S. Fire Administration. To the
homebuilder, this fact means that a large share of
potential customers now have knowledge of the terror and
destruction caused by fire.
with children, senior citizens, and handicapped members
have special fire protection needs. Home sprinkler systems
provide added protection for these people.
case of a home fire, firefighters will have less risk of
injury or life loss since they will be fighting a fire of
of community resources can be improved with the adoption
of home sprinkler technology.
will be able to make better utilization of available land
and thereby increase their tax base.
from homeowner underwriters will vary depending on type of
coverage. The discounts now range between 5-15%, with a
projected increase in available discounts.
MOVE TOWARD HOME SPRINKLER SYSTEMS
U.S. Fire Administration's research in home fire sprinkler
systems successfully focused on systems that would be low
cost, fast acting and reliable. As a result, residential fire
sprinklers have gained increased acceptance.
November 1980, the National Fire Protection Association
adopted the NFPA 13D Residential Sprinkler installation
standard. The standard is based on technical data from the
comprehensive full-scale fire tests, which were sponsored by
the U.S. Fire Administration.
to reducing this Nation's staggering loss of life and property
caused by fire, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's U.S.
Fire Administration has joined with private industry and the
fire service to advance the development of residential
sprinklers. Since 1976, the Fire Administration has promoted
research studies, development and testing, and demonstrations
of residential sprinkler systems.