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Frequently Asked Questions About The Benefits Of Fire Sprinkler Systems

Because of the increasing popularity of sprinkler systems, a growing number of people are exploring the benefits for themselves. Many of these people have questions they want answered so they can make the right decision for their family or business.

Below is a list of the most common questions about residential fire sprinklers with useful additional information based on our experience and research.

Won't A Smoke Or Fire Detector
Provide Me With Enough Protection?

No, they won't. These devices detect a fire - they do not put it out! You significantly increase your odds of escaping with your life with these devices. Sadly, it is estimated that fourteen per cent of smoke alarms fail to operate correctly in case of a fire.

Home fires often happen at night when people are sleeping. In less than five minutes a room can become engulfed in flames before anyone awakes or has time to evacuate. Most deaths occur within five minutes of a fire breaking out.

One child under the age of five dies each week as a result of fire. The elderly and disabled are the other major risk category. They are often unable to make a safe escape even if they hear the smoke alarm.

Studies now show that the property damage in sprinklered structures is approximately one tenth of that in non-sprinklered structures. Simply stated, you are likely to suffer ten times the property damage in a non sprinklered building.

How Do Fire Sprinklers Stop Death
By Smoke Inhalation?

The biggest cause of fire related deaths is from smoke inhalation. Even in homes with smoke alarms, there is still an average of 70 deaths per year. Home Sprinklers wash the larger particles out of smoke, reducing its density and toxicity. The water also cools the smoke, making it less harmful.

Due to the fast response of modern sprinkler systems, they will attack a fire early in its growth. This dramatically reduces the amount of smoke created.

How Reliable Are Sprinkler Systems Compared
To Other Forms Of Fire Protection?

There has been no recorded death in the UK in a home that was protected by a sprinkler system. The chances of a sprinkler head failing are estimated at 1 in 500,000. All research into the effectiveness of fire sprinklers clearly shows them to be the best method of control available.

Remember, sprinklers not only detect the fire, they control or extinguish it. Sprinklers are the only system that can give you complete peace of mind.

What Are The Costs Of Installing
A Sprinkler System?

Naturally the costs vary per installation. A good rule of thumb would be to estimate the same cost as fitting new carpets. Another reasonable estimate would be £1500 to install a system in a new affordable home. You invest in attractive fittings and accessories for your home.

A fire sprinkler is also an investment - in the safety of what you value most - your family and your home. You can also expect to get a discount on your insurance premium - typically in the range of 15% for home installations.

Can Sprinkler Systems Be Installed
So As To Be Unobtrusive?

Modern sprinkler systems can be installed flush with walls or ceilings with only 1/4 "  to 3/4" below the ceiling line. Some sprinklers can even be concealed. Residential fire sprinklers are so small that you have to point them out for people to notice them. They are far, far smaller than the average smoke detector. All residential models come in colours to match popular ceiling and wall colours.

How Much Water Do They Use In Case Of A Fire?

A sprinkler system will control a fire with a fraction of the water used by fire department hoses. On average, the fire department will use eight times the amount of water compared to a sprinkler for the same fire.

In the largest study in the US (The Scottsdale Report) 92% of fires were controlled with two or less sprinklers. A fire hose will release five times the volume of water compared to that of a sprinkler.

How Long Will An Installation Last?

Sprinklers will protect your family and property for years to come. You could conservatively estimate a minimum of thirty to fifty years.

Can a Fire Sprinkler Go Off Accidentally?

International research spanning nearly two decades clearly demonstrates that the chances of a sprinkler going off accidentally are extremely remote. Only a threatening fire can generate enough heat (and gases) to open a sprinkler.

How Will I Know That
My Sprinkler System Will Work?

A sprinkler system should only be installed by professionally trained fire engineers using approved equipment. If you do this, you will have the most effective fire control system in the world - in your own home!

What Standards Are There For Sprinkler Systems?

All sprinklers should be professionally designed and installed by certified installers based on British Standards BS5306 part 2 Commercial Systems & BS9251 2005 for Residential Systems.

We would recommend that the installer has a quality procedure standard to ISO9001 2000 or equivalent. You should request a certificate of installation as proof that your installation meets the professional standards.

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