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Home Sprinklers

Fact

The risk of fire-related deaths is cut by about 50%, if a working smoke alarm is present and in countries (such as some US jurisdictions), where home sprinklers are mandatory, the risk of fire-related deaths are reduced by approximately 80%. (source: NFPA, www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/fire-and-life-safety-equipment/home-fire-sprinklers).

Why should I put sprinklers in my home?

A fire can engulf your home in moments. Often people get little chance to escape. According to recent Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) research, residential fire sprinklers 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 incident 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. A residential fire can double in size every 60 seconds and can reach 1000° Celsius in a couple of minutes. A single sprinkler head may contain 90% of fires to the room of origin preventing the fire spreading to other rooms.

Home sprinklers:

  • suppress fires and complement the early warning capabilities of smoke alarms and other required fire suppression and containment measures. 
  • are an added layer of protection on top of properly installed, working smoke alarms as they help contain a fire to reduce the risk of damage to life, property, and the environment. 
  • help control fire growth and in most cases, the amount of polyurethane consumed
  • produce water sprays that ‘scrub’, or act as a physical barrier, to smoke travel within the unit.
  • serve to reduce risks faced by FRNSW crews when fighting fires in homes and 
  • reduce environmental impact due to limited release of toxic combustion products.

Myths

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 and 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.

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A collaboration of Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire Brigade and ACT Rural Fire Service