A fire sprinkler system is designed to spray water when it detects a pre-determined change in room temperature. A water supply system is tied into fire sprinklers to deliver water under pressure in order to extinguish fires. Although mostly used in large businesses, factories and warehouses, these fire sprinkler systems are now being installed in homes. Millions of these systems are installed in homes every year. Data shows that these systems are effective in extinguishing 99 percent of fires. Following are common myths, followed by facts, that surround fire sprinkler systems.
Myth: Smoke detectors provide families with adequate protection
Smoke alarms blast out audible warnings that alert people to the presence of a fire but do nothing to extinguish a fire. A fire sprinkler goes into action by directing water into the area where a temperature change has been detected. Studies show that the risk of dying from a fire decreases 80 percent when a fire sprinkler system is available.
Myth: Water causes more damage than the fire
A misconception exists that water damage to property is extensive after a sprinkler kicks in. Sprinklers are designed to direct water to the source of the fire, and that reduces property damage from heat and smoke. Damage caused by water is significantly less than damage caused by heat and smoke. Consider, too, that fire-fighting hoses also cause extensive damage. Data shows that in a typical home fire, a fire department crew will use 10 times more water than a sprinkler system.
Myth: Sprinklers are not effective in protecting lives
Each year, about 2,300 people die in home fires in the U.S. Working smoke alarms reduce the chance of death by about 50 percent. Fire suppression facts show that a sprinkler system reduces that figure to 80 percent. A sprinkler pouring water on a fire reduces the risk of smoke inhalation and injury from flames.
Myth: When heat is detected, all the sprinklers turn on
Sprinklers use smart technology now. Every sprinkler is independent of the others and will only turn on when it senses a change in temperature. Sprinklers will not turn on for burnt toast, cooking a pot of spaghetti or from steam generated by a shower. Smoke alarms sounding warnings will not turn on sprinklers.
A fire sprinkler system can be more effective in saving lives than fire alarms. These systems do not leak and direct water to the exact source of the fires.