Fire Sprinkler Myths
Fire sprinkler myths busted
Fire sprinklers are one of the most effective means of controlling a fire and preventing an uncontrollable blaze. However, several myths discourage homeowners from installing sprinkler systems. SERVPRO busts these myths below.
Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that the civilian death rate was 81 percent lower in homes with sprinklers; average firefighter injury rate was nearly 80 percent lower when fire sprinklers were present and; fires were contained in the room of origin 97 percent of the time when sprinklers were present.
A smoke alarm is enough
The function of smoke alarms is to alert the occupants of the fire danger and inform emergency services of the fire incident. However, an alarm does not help douse a fire. The myth about installing either a smoke alarm or a fire sprinkler system is baseless because the purpose of both gadgets is very different.
A sprinkler is the first line of defense against fire. It reduces the heat, flames, and smoke and allows the occupants to get out of the building safely. A fire incident with no sprinkler systems can quickly spiral out of control by the time emergency help arises.
Every sprinkler will turn on when there is a fire
Sprinklers are designed to detect the heat of a fire and activate only in the affected areas. This is a myth that when a fire incident occurs all sprinklers will go off and cause a serious amount of flooding in the building. When a small fire starts only one or two sprinklers are triggered. Despite popular belief, smoke, cooking vapors, or a little steam does not trigger a fire sprinkler.
Water damage from the sprinklers is as bad as the fire damage they prevent
Firstly, water damage from an activated sprinkler is not the main concern, the safety of the occupants is. The fire sprinklers allow the occupants to escape to safety before the emergency services arrive. Secondly, when a fire goes out of control, the water used by the fire department is eight-and-a-half times more than the water dispersed by a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system can prevent the fire from getting out of control in much less water. The water damage caused by a fire hose can extend to expensive possessions, upholstery, and even the structural integrity of the property.
Sprinklers will freeze in winters and become useless
Homeowners in cold regions struggle with frozen pipes and therefore assume that sprinkler systems would also freeze. However, a properly installed sprinkler system will continue to function effectively irrespective of the weather. This worry is completely unfounded. Sprinkler systems provide a lot of fire safety in all weathers across the world.
Sprinklers are prone to leaking and can activate accidentally
The odds of a manufacturing defect leading to an accidental sprinkler discharge are very low: 1 in 16 million. A sprinkler would leak without a fire only when it has not been maintained well or has a faulty part. The worry that fire sprinklers will regularly leak or turn on without warning is a myth. A smoke alarm turns on when they detect smoke, whereas a sprinkler turns on when it detects high temperatures. Therefore, a slice of bread in the toaster may activate a smoke alarm but it won't set off sprinklers.
Sprinklers are required in older buildings only
Modern constructions do take fire safety into account whereas older buildings have no such arrangements. However, even a new construction is not fire-resistant and needs fire sprinklers. Fires are more common in older buildings due to outdated electrical wiring but every building irrespective of its age needs to install fire safety gadgets such as fire sprinklers for adequate protection.