Because fire sprinklers save lives. Fires claim approximately 4,000 lives in U.S. homes annually. Fire sprinklers are designed to start putting water on a fire while it is still small, giving you and your family time to evacuate. By controlling fires quickly, sprinklers can also reduce the damage to your home and belongings.
How do sprinklers work?
Sprinklers are attached to pipes installed in a building's walls (like plumbing) that keep water ready in case of fire. Sprinklers have a fusible link that melts from heat given off by a fire. This opens the sprinkler, and water flows out in a spray pattern, putting water directly on the flames. Only the sprinkler(s) closest to a fire will open. For most home fires, the sprinkler will extinguish the fire before the fire department arrives.
Will all the fire sprinklers go off simultaneously and flood my home?
Sprinklers that flood homes exist only in movies and on television. In reality, each sprinkler head has its own heat sensor and each sprinkler will operate only when the temperature reaches between 155 and 165°F. A fire in the garage for example, will activate only the sprinkler(s) in the garage.
Can water damage from a sprinkler be more extensive and expensive than fire damage?
Water damage from a sprinkler system is much less severe than damage from smoke and flames if a fire goes unabated. Sprinkler-related damage is also considerably less than that caused by fire hoses. Quick-response sprinklers release 8 to 24 gallons of water per minute, compared to 50 to 125 gallons per minute released by a fire hose. Moreover, sprinkler systems can be connected to an alarm company or to an external alarm that will notify neighbors or passersby of a water flow. Either scenario will result in faster notification and arrival of the local fire department, which helps minimize the severity of water damage.
Will smoke alarms set off fire sprinklers?
Home smoke alarms emit only an audible warning sound; they do not trigger fire sprinklers to flow water. Sprinkler heads are individually heat activated, usually at 165°F. Only in commercial applications are preaction and delugesprinkler systems sometimes designed to use smoke detection for early notification and operation.
Can a sprinkler system go off by accident?
The odds are 1 in 16 million that a sprinkler will accidentally discharge because of a manufacturing defect. Despite film and television scenarios, burnt toast or cigar smoke will not set off a fire sprinkler.
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