Why People Don’t Install Fire Sprinkler Systems:
5 Misconceptions That Could Kill You
Not everybody has a fire sprinkler system installed at home. In fact, it may be safe to say that most people don’t have fire sprinkler systems. Why, if fires are so common and so dangerous, don’t more people have fire sprinkler systems installed? Why isn’t it a law?
In fact, many cities and regions throughout the U.S. have made it mandatory to install fire sprinkler systems-and fire chiefs in many more areas are calling for just such laws. But there are also many misconceptions that keep people from installing fire sprinkler systems. Here are five of the more common ones:
1. A fire sprinkler causes more water damage than it’s worth
Not true. Each fire sprinkler in the system is designed to go off individually. The heat from a fire activates only the fire sprinkler directly above it. Water damage is minimal. In the case of more severe fires, where more than one fire sprinkler is activated, the water damage is much less than the fire damage would have been without the fire sprinkler system.
2. I’ve got smoke alarms-so I’m safe
This is one of the most dangerous misconceptions out there. A smoke alarm does not provide full protection against fire. Because inattention is a frequent cause of fire, many start at night. Even though smoke alarms are loud, it can take several minutes for a person to wake, realize what’s going on, and get out of the house when a fire starts. Those few minutes can be all a fire needs to block escape routes.
3. A fire sprinkler installation is too expensive
Installing a fire sprinkler system costs about as much as installing new carpets. Not as cheap as a set of new fire alarms, true. But the protection they provide to your family is worth any price.
4. A fire sprinkler system isn’t effective at controlling fires
Again, not true. Fire sprinkler systems are more effective than the fire department-and they use a tiny fraction of the water. The reason they are so effective is that they stop fires almost immediately, before they have a chance to get out of control. By the time the fire department arrives at a burning house, the fire has almost always grown much larger and is much more difficult to control.
5. A fire sprinkler in every room will look unsightly
Actually, most fire sprinkler manufacturers make specially-designed fire sprinkler heads that blend in with your walls and ceiling. Residential fire sprinklers can be installed in a recess and covered with a special cap that drops off in case of fire, covering the fire sprinkler head in the meantime so that it blends completely with the ceiling. These caps come in many colors to match your paint, or they can be custom-ordered.