Does Your Home Need A Fire Sprinkler System?

1 April 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

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Ever notice how most offices, industrial buildings and even apartments all have fire sprinkler systems? Having such a system installed in your home could significantly reduce the losses caused by fires, but you might be asking yourself if it's necessary or if it's something you could do without.

Your Home Can Use the Extra Protection

The vast majority of homes in the U.S. have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers or both as frontline tools for defense against fires. Smoke detectors alert occupants to a potential fire, while fire extinguishers help control and extinguish small fires before they get out of control. Unfortunately, many homeowners think this is all the fire protection they'll ever need.

Keep in mind that many fires often break out when occupants are asleep. A smoke detector may be able to wake you, but it won't put out the fire and it only takes a matter of minutes for a fire to spread uncontrollably. In most cases, a fire sprinkler system can spring into action faster than you can find the fire extinguisher, plus the sprinklers cover a larger area and keep working until the fire has been extinguished.

Some Municipalities Require Them

Another reason why your home may need a fire sprinkler system is because your municipality requires it. California, Maryland and Minnesota are three states that currently require fire sprinkler systems to be included as part of new single and multi-family dwellings. Other states are considering similar measures, but many are still pending legislation or have been tabled all together.

Local jurisdictions and homeowners associations may have different requirements for both new and existing home builds, so it's a good idea to check the local statutes for verification. Keep in mind that older homes are typically grandfathered out of these types of regulations.

It May Be Costly to Add to Your Existing Home

It's much easier for contractors to install a fire sprinkler system in the process of building a new home. Contractors can take advantage of tax credits and other incentives that help offset the cost of these systems by a significant amount.

On the other hand, installing fire sprinklers in an existing home could prove expensive, depending on the size of the home and the various accommodations required to successfully install them. According to CostHelper, the average cost of a complete sprinkler system was between $2,000 and $16,000, not counting the various permits and inspection fees.

It's often said that the best way to handle a fire is to avoid starting one in the first place. While fire sprinkler systems offer a great measure of protection in most cases, knowing how to avoid fires offers even greater protection and peace of mind. Nevertheless, fire sprinkler systems offer an additional layer of protection against fires. To learn more about fire sprinklers, visit Nor Cal Fire Protection