Statistics from Fire & Rescue NSW (2010) indicate that only 16 percent of all fires occur in homes. Those home fires accounted for 94 percent of all fire-related deaths. In countries where home sprinklers are mandatory (USA), there have been no fire deaths in home fires where sprinklers were fitted (Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition - Scottsdale Report, 2001).
Why should I put sprinklers in my home?
A fire can engulf your home in moments. Often people get little chance to escape. Home sprinkler systems automatically detect a fire and act to control or extinguish it. They have demonstrated life safety benefits and can prevent fire from escalating, which may mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major tragedy.
At home if you're woken by a smoke alarm and smell smoke, you have seconds to get out of the building. Not minutes, seconds! A residential fire can double in size every 60 seconds and can reach 1000° Celsius in a couple of minutes - too hot for anyone to survive! A single sprinkler head will contain 90% of fires to the room of origin preventing the fire spreading to other rooms.
Home sprinklers are designed to:
- Activate quickly once the operating temperature (57-79°C) is reached.
- Prevent fire within the home becoming a threat to life.
- Allow you and other occupants of your home to escape from the fire.
- Automatically extinguish or control a fire within a sprinkler protected room.
Myth - "Fire sprinklers go off accidentally and could ruin my house and furniture".
Fact - Sprinkler malfunctions are extremely rare. In fact, there’s only a 1 in 16 million chance they’ll discharge accidentally.
Myth - "If one sprinkler goes off, they all will and cause water damage all over the house".
Fact - Only the sprinkler/s directly affected by a fire will activate.
Myth - "Sprinklers look ugly. I don't want my lounge room to look like a factory".
Fact - There are a large range of sprinklers available that are small and unobtrusive. Most homes are fitted with a type that is concealed within the ceiling, with the only visible part being a flush-mounted metal disc.
Myth - "Home sprinklers are too expensive".
Fact - The cost of installing a home sprinkler system into a new dwelling is roughly 0.5 - 1.5% of the total cost of building a new house and because of new designs and materials, are far cheaper than sprinklers that are required in commercial buildings. Home sprinkler systems can also be installed in existing dwellings.
Fire & Rescue NSW recommends:
- Residential dwellings have a home sprinkler system installed to the requirements of Australian Standard (AS) 2118.5-2008.
- Smoke alarms complying with AS 3786 must still be installed and located in accordance with AS 1670.6.
For more information search “Residential Fire Sprinklers Australia” on the internet and visit http://homesprinklers.fire.org.nz [external link]
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A collaboration of Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire Brigade and ACT Rural Fire Service