Common Fire Sprinkler Myths

Although fire sprinkler systems have a proven track record of helping to save lives and protect property, there are still many misconceptions about fire sprinklers. With a push for more fire sprinkler systems to be installed in homes and other properties, it is important that you know the facts about the effectiveness of fire sprinklers.

Myth: “Fire sprinkler systems are unaffordable and expensive.”

Fire sprinkler systems can be very affordable when installed in new residential construction. It is estimated that the cost of fire sprinkler system installations is around 1% of the total building cost. In addition, insurance companies may provide discounts on insurance premiums for buildings with sprinkler systems.

Myth: “Water damage from fire sprinklers is more extensive than damage from the fire itself.”

Truth: Fire sprinkler systems are able to react quickly when a fire occurs which prevents a fire from spreading and causing more damage. Many fire sprinkler systems release 8-24 gallons of water per minute compared to 50-125 gallons per minute released by a fire department’s fire hose.

Myth: “When a fire occurs, all of the sprinkler heads are activated.”

Truth: The sprinkler heads in a fire sprinkler system are activated individually when a fire occurs. Many fires can be contained without all of the fire sprinkler heads being activated. The sprinkler heads will react to the conditions of the room or area they are in.

Myth: “Smoke detectors provide adequate fire protection.”

Truth: Smoke detectors are useful for alerting people of a fire and allowing to exit a burning building quickly. Smoke detectors will not contain or extinguish a fire the way a fire sprinkler system can. Sprinkler systems are able to react quickly to a fire which can help to save lives and prevent extensive building damage.

Myth: “Fire sprinkler systems can be activated by smoke from candles or cigars.”

Truth: A fire sprinkler system will not be activated by the presence of smoke in the room. Sprinkler heads release water when the heat of a room reaches between 135 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Myth: “Fire sprinkler systems will ruin the aesthetic of my home or building.”

Truth: A sprinkler system can be installed into a home without being obtrusive. The sprinkler system can be designed to fit the décor of your building. A fire sprinkler system can be concealed behind decorative covers and installed so it is not highly visible.

Fire sprinkler systems are an important part of any building’s life safety system. To learn more fire sprinkler facts, visit the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s website.