July is Building Safety Month.
Let’s talk about some important residential sprinkler facts:
- 7 People Die in home fires every day
- 80% of all fire deaths occur where people live
- 12,300 civilian injuries occur in home fires annually
- $6.7 Billion in damage
*According to the Nation Fire Protection agencies’ data for 2015
Not many people understand how dangerous residential fires become or how quickly they can spread with deadly results. The use of lightweight construction materials and larger fuel loads found inside modern homes creates an environment that is much more life-threatening during a fire, for citizens and firefighters alike. Residential sprinklers are a cost-effective and easy solution to mitigating the risk of fire. Common myths about sprinkler systems are; they are complicated, expensive, can do more damage than the fire, and are difficult to install. These myths need to be dispelled, and the facts are that residential sprinklers are simple in design and cost less to install in a new home than an upgrade to flooring. Residential sprinkler systems cost less than $1.30 a square foot of sprinkled space, and the connection of the system to the residential water supply line makes installation simple. The average amount of fire damage to a home protected by a sprinkler system is approximately $1,200 per fire event versus $100,000 of damage in unprotected homes.
Fire sprinkler systems are not complicated and operate on a straightforward principle. Fire heats a sprinkler head to the point where it opens by the heat, impacting it. Once activated, the water in the line begins to flow through a specially designed sprinkler head that creates a shower of water of approximately 15’ radius. It’s not like Hollywood, where every sprinkler goes off at once, drenching everything. Only the one head which the heat has activated discharges water, and generally puts the fire out, or at the least, slows fires spread so that firefighters can put it out quickly upon arrival.
Developers and contractors can even save money on development costs while increasing profits when they choose to install residential sprinkler systems. Hydrant spacing and street size requirements can change to benefit the developer’s bottom line, and additional building lots may be approved. High lighting the home’s safety, can set the builders product apart from the competition while lowering the average cost of homeowners insurance for the buyer. Installing residential sprinklers and creating a better home while providing for a safer community creates a TRIPLE WIN, for the community, developers, and the Fire Department!
Bottom line? Fire sprinklers work, and they have worked for over 100 years in commercial and residential applications, so why not install them into Spokane Valley homes today? With such a proven track record of success, there really is no downside to residential sprinkler systems. Ask your builder today about them, and if you are a builder who would like more information, please contact Spokane Valley Fire Department to see how we can add value to your next project.