9 Myths (and Facts) About Fire Sprinkler Systems

  • February 20, 2022

How much do you know about the fire sprinkler system in your space? You might be surprised by some of the false information across the internet that could affect your decision to invest in high-quality fire protection. If you’re considering installing a fire sprinkler system in your building, don’t be deterred by these common myths:

Myth #1: I have smoke alarms, so I don’t need a sprinkler.

Smoke alarms warn you that a fire is present, but they don’t have the functionality to help put out the fire. Heat and flames quickly activate fire sprinklers that can help control fire, saving lives and property. According to the NFPA, the risk of dying can decrease by roughly 85 percent in spaces with fire sprinkler systems. 

Myth #2: New construction is safer, and fires mainly occur in older buildings.

Some building codes for new construction can help slow the spread of fire. However, today’s lightweight building materials and synthetic flooring can burn faster and create deadly smoke. The faster burn time means less time to react when a fire occurs and shortens the time for the house to collapse.

It’s also essential to maintain a mindset that fires can happen anywhere! So, prioritize contracting professionals to install a high-quality sprinkler system no matter where you are.

Myth #3: The sprinklers cause more damage than the fire when a fire occurs.

Typically, only the closest sprinkler to the fire activates and sprays water directly on the fire. The rest of the space will remain relatively dry. Nearly 85 percent of the time, only one sprinkler turns on during a fire. If the fire department extinguishes the fire, their hoses use almost eight times the water as a sprinkler, resulting in more water damage.

Myth #4: If a smoke detector goes off, it activates the fire sprinklers.

While smoke from burnt food can trigger a smoke detector, sprinklers are activated by the heat from a fire. A smoke alarm will not trigger a fire sprinkler.

Myth #5: Sprinkler systems are too expensive.

The average cost of installing a sprinkler system in a new space is nothing compared to the damages caused by an uncontrolled fire. Depending on your insurance, installing comprehensive fire protection can reduce insurance premiums for more significant savings.

Myth #6: The fire department can always save my space.

A fire can spread and become dangerous in two minutes. On average, it takes eight to 10 minutes for firefighters to arrive and begin spraying the fire. In that time, it can spread to cause massive damage. A fire sprinkler system can help reduce a fire’s impact until professionals arrive on the scene.

Myth #7: Fire sprinklers leak a lot.

Fire sprinklers are less likely to leak than other forms of home plumbing. Unlike fixtures like faucets, fire sprinklers keep closed until they are activated. This functionality also reduces the rate of wear and tear on your equipment.

Myth #8: Fire sprinklers are unattractive.

You’d be surprised just how many aesthetic choices there are when it comes to fire sprinklers. Models can be recessed into a ceiling and match popular ceiling colors. You can also work with the fire sprinkler system designers to select decorative covers to conceal or camouflage sprinklers. 

Myth #9: Sprinklers require expensive maintenance.

Commercial properties have detailed requirements for inspecting and maintaining sprinkler systems, but it’s not unmanageable. Plan a yearly professional check-up on all your building fire equipment, and conduct semi-regular tests to ensure all systems are operating correctly.

Getting Educated about Fire Sprinkler Systems

Understanding the facts about fire sprinkler systems will help you understand the importance of this equipment in your space and help you decide how to approach the system’s design, installation, and maintenance. For guidance on the elements of this process or to learn more about fire sprinkler systems, contact A&A Fire Protection for a consultation.

`