It’s not that common to see a sprinkler system in a non-commercial setting. As a homeowner, you may be worried about installing them in your home, for several reasons. However, the stats show that they’re incredibly important in the home. Over eighty percent of fire deaths are in the home, and that translates to over 3000 people dying in house fires in the US every year. A good home fire sprinkler system can do more than you think to keep you and your home safe.
Here’s why you should look at having one fitted.
Busting Residential Sprinkler Myths
First, let’s look at why sprinklers aren’t often used in home construction. The first myth that people often believe is that misfiring sprinkler heads is common. This is something you often see on TV, where a sprinkler goes off at the wrong time and ruins everything in the vicinity.
This isn’t true, and a misfiring sprinkler head is incredibly rare. The only time a sprinkler should go off is when it detects high temperatures that indicate a fire. If you have sprinklers, you don’t have to worry about a misfire causing you problems.
The other common myth is that if one sprinkler is activated, it will activate all the sprinklers all over the house. Again, this isn’t true. The aim of sprinklers is to try and damp down fires, stopping them from spreading to other rooms. Because of this, the sprinkler should only activate in the room the fire has broken out in.
The Benefits of Residential Sprinkler Systems
Now you know that sprinklers aren’t going to cause damage, you should know about the benefits of having them in your home. How can they help stop more fire damage and keep you safe?
Stop the spread of fire: If your sprinkler detects fire in a room, it will go off and hopefully put the fire out. Because it can react quickly, it can avoid the fire spreading to other rooms in the house. That gives you more time to evacuate and ensures all fire damage is kept to a minimum.
More time for the fire department to react: With a sprinkler system in place, your home is ready to attack fire the moment it happens. Because the system will start fighting the fire right away, it gives the fire department more time to get to you and put the fire out. In a house fire, seconds matter, so anything that buys you time is important.
Sprinklers keep people safe: With sprinklers in place, you’ll be able to keep both your family and firefighters safer when there’s a fire in your home. In fact, the average firefighter injury rate is nearly 80% lower in homes with sprinklers. It’ll also ensure the fire won’t spread to other homes, keeping the neighborhood safe.
Save money: In the event of a house fire, there will be some costs incurred. Even with home insurance, you’ll have to pay to replace furniture and repair your home. As sprinkler systems can put out most fires quickly, that damage will be very much minimized, saving you a lot of cash.
Environmentally friendly: If there’s a fire, firefighters will need to use a lot of water to put it out. In fact, they use as much as 10 times the amount of water that a sprinkler uses. That makes them a lot more environmentally friendly. They’ll also reduce the amount of water runoff, and fire damage to the environment too.
How Sprinklers are Activated
Once the sprinklers are in your home, how are they activated? In most cases, they react to heat, rather than smoke like your smoke alarm would. They may use a bulb filled with a special liquid, that expands as it gets hotter. Once it reaches a certain temperature, the bulb will break and set the system off. There could also be a soldered link in the system, which melts when it gets to a certain temperature and sets the system off.
Because of this, you can go about your day without worrying about setting the sprinklers off. It won’t be burned toast that does it but rather increased temperatures.
Types of Sprinkler Systems
If you’re going to install a sprinkler system in your home, which type should you use? There are two main types of systems you should know about, so let’s see which one works best for you.
Stand alone system: This kind of sprinkler system will use the home’s water supply, and will use its own piping. This piping is usually flexible plastic or copper and may need a backflow device. As it’s not connected to the main water supply, stagnation is something you will need to be aware of. However, depending on the piping used, that may not be a problem. More modern plastic tubing shouldn’t leave any sediment, so that’s one worry off your mind.
If your home relies on a pump or well for water, a storage tank may be required for this sprinkler system. The size of this tank depends on many factors, such as coding in your area, as well as the size of the system. If you call on a fire prevention service for help here, they can advise you on this.
Multi-use sprinklers: These sprinklers are tied into the main water piping in your home, so unlike a stand alone system, the water will move through the pipes any time the water is used in the building. This keeps it fresh and reduces the risk of stagnation.
These are more commonly used in new construction homes, as they need to be tied into the main plumbing. That’s something that’s difficult to do in an existing home.
Sprinkler systems are something that is becoming more and more important in new home construction. The figures show just how much safer homeowners are when there are sprinklers in their homes. If you want to know and look into having them fitted into your own home, talk to a safety consultant today. They’ll show you just how they keep you and the neighborhood safe.