Nationwide, more than 4,000 people die in fires each year.
Home fire sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene.
Fire sprinklers are not a new idea. Developed in the late 19th century, sprinkler systems protect much of the world's commercial risks. Now, similar technology is being installed in homes where, unfortunately, most of the fire deaths occur.
Fire sprinklers save lives, reduce property loss and can even help cut homeowner insurance premiums. Installing both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system reduces the risk of death in a home fire by 82 percent, as opposed to having neither.
The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), which provided the above statistics, is on a mission to increase awareness of the availability and live-saving value of fire sprinkler systems in new homes. It is also possible to retrofit existing homes.
The HFSC wants to also put to rest some myths about home fire sprinklers, including:
* Sprinklers do not operate all at once. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire. Ninety percent of fires are contained by the operation of just one sprinkler,
* Home fire sprinklers use only a fraction of the water used by fire department hoses. This means a fire may result in less water damage to your home and belongings, and
* Home fire sprinklers seldom leak or accidentally discharge (odds are one in 16 million). They are inconspicuous and can be mounted flush with walls or ceilings. And, on average, home fire sprinkler systems add 1-1.5 percent to the total building cost in new construction.
Smoke detectors are designed to detect a fire and signal a warning. The addition of fire sprinklers to your home could help keep your family, property and the lives of firefighters safer.