Using quick response sprinklers and approved piping, homes can be built or even remodeled to include low-cost automatic sprinkler systems connected to the domestic water supply.
Sprinkler systems offer advantages to the homebuilder:
- A low-cost reliable safety option that would attract many buyers.
- Trade-offs between sprinklers and code requirements that can result in lower construction costs.
For homeowners, the advantages include assurance of a safer environment for their families, protection of their investment and irreplaceable family possessions, and lower insurance rates.
ADVANTAGES OF NEWLY DESIGNED HOME SPRINKLER SYSTEMS
Residential sprinklers, listed by Underwriters Labs, are now available. They are designed to respond to a fire much faster than currently available standard commercial and industrial sprinkler systems. The new home sprinklers react automatically to fires more quickly because of their improved sensitivity.
At the present time, cost of a home sprinkler system is targeted at approximately $1.00 per square foot in new construction. It is hoped that the cost will decrease as the use of home fire protection grows. It is also possible to retrofit existing homes with sprinkler systems.
For home systems, the sprinklers will be smaller than traditional, commercial, and industrial sprinklers, and can be aesthetically coordinated with any room décor.
Minimal Installation Work
When homes are under construction or being remodeled, a home sprinkler system will require minimal extra piping and labor.
Low Water Requirement
These systems will require less water than the systems installed in industrial or commercial establishments and can be connected to the domestic water supply.
In addition to metallic pipe, the use of plastic pipe has brought down the cost of installation in new construction and the retrofit of existing structures.
TEST YOUR SPRINKLER SYSTEM I.Q.
Here are five statements about sprinkler systems. Are they true or false?
1. When one sprinkler goes off, all the sprinklers activate.
False! Only the sprinkler over the fire will activate. The sprinkler heads react in each room individually. Thus, fire in a bedroom will activate only the sprinkler in that room.
2. A sprinkler could accidentally go off, causing water damage to a home.
False! Records, which have been compiled for well over 50 years, prove that the likelihood of this occurring is very remote. Furthermore, home sprinklers will be specifically designed and will be rigorously tested to minimize such accidents.
3. Water damage from a sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage.
False! The sprinkler system will severely limit a fire's growth. Therefore, damage from a home sprinkler system will be much less severe than the smoke and fire damage that would result if the fire had gone on unabated or than the water damage that would be caused by firefighting hose lines.
4. Home sprinkler systems are expensive.
False! Current estimates suggest that when a home is under construction, a home sprinkler system could cost less than 1% of the total building price.
5. Residential sprinklers are ugly!
False! The traditional, commercial-type sprinklers as well as sprinklers for home use are now being designed to fit in with most any decor.