Injury Research and Policy Home Fire Sprinklers Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Home Fire Sprinklers

A house fire is reported every 60 seconds in the United States, resulting in almost 3,000 deaths and 14,000 injuries each year. Though many homeowners have smoke alarms, they are often not working, without batteries, or disabled. Additionally, though smoke alarms are important for detecting fire and alerting people of danger, they are unable to contain a fire or extinguish it. For this reason, more American homeowners are installing fire sprinkler systems in their homes. The United States Fire Administration reports that the installation of home fire sprinkler systems could save thousands of lives, prevent a large portion of injuries, and greatly decrease the amount of property loss due to house fires.  

Home Fire Sprinkler Facts

  • The likelihood of dying in a fire decreases by 33-66% when fire sprinklers are installed in a home.
  • Families with a fire sprinkler system AND working smoke alarms decrease their risk of death by fire by 83% when compared to families with neither.
  • Home fire sprinkler heads act independently. Therefore, only the sprinklers located near the fire will activate.
  • Most house fires are extinguished with 1 or 2 sprinklers and a limited amount of water.
  • It has been documented over the last 50 years that the chance of a sprinkler going off by mistake is very remote.
  • Home sprinkler systems are smaller in size than those seen in businesses. They are also available in multiple styles to fit in with any decor.

Home Fire Sprinkler Tips

  • Families, especially those with children, elderly adults and individuals with disabilities, would benefit from the increased protection of home fire sprinklers.
  • Smoke alarms are still important! Fire sprinklers are activated by heat, not smoke. Smoke alarms are still needed to detect fire and smoke in the shortest amount of time.
  • The best time to install a home fire sprinkler system is when you are building a new home. However, you can also remodel an older home to incorporate a sprinkler system.
  • Different insurance companies offer a range of discounts for home sprinklers. It may be beneficial to shop around for the best deal.
  • Only use a specially trained contractor who will follow National Fire Protection Association codes and standards to install your system.
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