Home Fire Sprinkler Week
Home Fire Sprinkler Week is May 15-21, uniting fire services like Arvada Fire and safety advocates throughout the nation around the extreme risks of home fires and the need for home fire sprinkler protection. It's an important week for residents and community leaders alike to better understand how home fire sprinklers save lives and property.
Today’s homes are more dangerous for residents and first responders, burning faster and failing quicker. A home fire can become deadly in as little as two minutes. Homes burn faster due to modern home furnishings, more open spaces, and unprotected lightweight wood construction.
When fire sprinklers are installed, the threat is automatically diminished, preventing injuries, saving lives, and preserving property. By activating quickly upon heat detection, sprinklers provide much-needed time to evacuate and contain the fire, if not completely extinguishing it. Home fire sprinklers reduce fire damage by 97%. Most importantly, according to the NFPA, the civilian fire death rate was nearly 90% lower and the firefighter injury rate was 60% lower in fires with sprinklers than in fires without sprinklers.
Explore the information, resources, and videos on this page to learn more about the life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers! Check out our blog to explore each day's theme for Home Fire Sprinkler Week.
Broader installation of home fire sprinklers would save thousands of lives. Installing home fire sprinklers uniquely protects residents, property, and the firefighters who respond to fires in these structures.
How do they work? If a fire occurs, the sprinkler closest to it activates automatically in response to the high heat from a fire. That controls and often extinguishes the flames, reduces the spread of toxic and damaging smoke, and provides time for occupants to escape.
- Fire sprinklers save lives. Due to modern home furnishings, fire growth is exponential in a home without sprinklers. Today a home fire becomes deadly in as little as two minutes. Fire sprinklers activate quickly and dramatically reduce the amount of heat, flames, and smoke produced, allowing for more time and better conditions to evacuate. According to the NFPA, the 2021 civilian fire death rate was 89% lower in structures with installed fire sprinklers.
- Fire sprinklers save property. When sprinklers are present, fire is kept to the room of origin 96% of the time. Home fire sprinklers reduce fire damage by 97%. In fires in unsprinklered homes, the toxic smoke spreads widely and more area is exposed to heat, smoke, and fire. This requires more water to be used for suppression with powerful fire department hoses. This greatly increases water and fire damage to the structure and contents.
- Fire sprinklers save water and have numerous environmental benefits. Home fire sprinklers reduce water usage by as much as 91%. Additionally, greenhouse gas emissions were cut by nearly 98%.
- Fire sprinklers are fast. Fire departments can be on scene in around 5-7 minutes and have water on the fire around 8-10 minutes from the time the call came in. This is quick, but home fire sprinklers are much quicker. They will control or extinguish a blaze before it turns into a larger uncontrolled fire.
- Fire sprinklers are affordable. With incentives and possible insurance breaks of upwards of 10% depending on carrier and system coverage, home fire sprinklers can be more affordable than residents expect.
There are many myths about home fire sprinklers that have prevented widespread adoption of the technology. The truth is that many of the things we have learned about fire sprinklers aren't true!
- Myth: Fire sprinklers can easily be activated accidentally: Home fire sprinklers don't activate due to smoke, meaning that burnt food or steam from a shower will not activate the system. Instead, sprinklers activate upon heat detection of at least 150 degrees.
- Myth: If one goes off, they all go off. One activated sprinkler will not activate the entire sprinkler system. They are activated independently and only the sprinkler nearest the fire with the heat detection will activate. Most fires are typically contained by just one sprinkler.
- Myth: Home fire sprinklers will leak and be difficult to maintain. Sprinkler systems are very reliable and are not any more susceptible to breaks than any domestic plumbing. They also require very little maintenance — you just need to ensure they aren't obstructed or painted.
- Myth: The damage from home fire sprinklers are worse than fires. Although Arvada Fire has superb response times, it only takes two minutes for a home to become uninhabitable in a fire without sprinklers. The sprinkler system will be many minutes faster in getting water on the fire than firefighters. The average fire loss ins our district due to fire damage is $62,268. In homes with fire sprinklers, the average loss is just over $2,000.
- Myth: Home fire sprinklers aren't necessary because I have smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are essential in every home, but they can only detect a fire. Fire sprinklers can control the fire, mitigating the fire damage. More importantly, they save lives and provide valuable extra time to evacuate the home.