Residential Fire Sprinkler Information
Fire sprinkler systems save lives and property. They are required in all new residential structures regardless of size and may be required in existing residential structures if the building undergoes alterations, modifications, or additions
These safety systems are effective only if they are constantly maintained in good working order. Your Fire Department checks that commercial sprinkler systems are maintained. The maintenance of residential sprinkler systems is the responsibility of the home owner.
System Maintenance Procedures:
For your safety and to ensure effective operation of your fire sprinkler system, please do the following:
- Visually check the sprinkler system monthly. To make sure that nothing obstructs the sprinklers, which would interfere with the water spray pattern.
- Do not hang anything from the sprinkler heads.
- Do not paint the sprinkler heads.
- Do not hit or tamper with the sprinkler heads.
- Do not change the setting of the pressure relief valve because this is preset at the factory.
- Test your system, or have it tested for you, annually to make sure that it is working properly.
- Make certain that the main water control valve is clear at all times.
- Make certain when replacing a sprinkler head to have it done by a certified company.
- Don't forget to monthly test your smoke alarms too!
Facts and Myths about Fire Sprinklers:
Automatic fire sprinkler systems have been in place for more than 100 years and have an outstanding record. However, there are still common misunderstandings about their operation.
"When a fire occurs, every sprinkler head releases water."
FACT: Sprinkler heads are individually activated by heat. Studies have shown that 92% of all fires were controlled by two or less sprinkler heads.
"Water damage from fire sprinkler systems is more than the fire itself."
FACT: Water damage from a home fire sprinkler system will be much less than the damage caused by the water used by firefighters to put out a fire and much less smoke and fire damage as well.
"A smoke alarm is all the protection that I need."
FACT: Smoke alarms can save lives by providing a warning system to alert the residents but they do nothing to extinguish a fire or to protect the residents as they escape; especially the impaired, elderly and small children.
FACT: Battery powered smoke alarms often fail to work because the battery is dead or has been removed. Change the battery when you change your clock for daylight savings.
"Fire sprinkler systems are designed to save property not lives."
FACT: Fire sprinkler systems offer a high level of life safety. There is no record of any multiple fire related deaths in a completely protected sprinklered public assembly, educational, institutional, or residential building where the sprinkler system properly operated.
"Fire sprinklers are expensive!"
FACT: Current estimates show that when a home is under construction, a home fire sprinkler system typically cost about 1-1½ % of the total construction costs! That can be less than some of the common upgrades like carpeting, cabinets, or tile counters.
"Residential fire sprinkler systems are ugly."
FACT: Residential sprinkler systems are designed so that they can be recessed in the ceiling and blend in with most décor.
NFPA Article: Fire Sprinkler Initiative: Bringing Safety Home
Video: Watch what happens while a house is burning and the fire department is on its way