Because fire sprinkler systems react so quickly, they can dramatically reduce the heat, flames, and smoke produced in a fire. Fire sprinklers have been around for more than a century, protecting commercial and industrial properties and public buildings. What many people don't realize is that the same life-saving technology is also available for homes, where roughly 85% of all civilian fire deaths occur.
Facts about home fire sprinklers
Automatic sprinklers are highly effective and reliable elements of total system designs for fire protection in buildings. According to an American Housing Survey, 4.6% of occupied homes (including multi-unit) had sprinklers in 2009, up from 3.9% in 2007, and 18.5% of occupied home built in the previous four years had sprinklers.
. 85% of all U.S. fire deaths occur in the home.
. Home fire sprinklers can control and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.
. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire. In 84% of home fires where the sprinklers operate, just one sprinkler operates.
. If you have a fire in your home, the risk of dying is cut by about one-third when smoke alarms are present (or about half if the smoke alarms are working), while automatic fire sprinkler systems cut the risk of dying by about 80%.
. In a home with sprinklers, the average property loss per fire is cut by about 70%
(compared to fires where sprinklers are not present.)