We’ve all seen those movies where someone lights a match and magically sets off the entire sprinkler system. Everyone runs from the building soaking wet and everything inside is ruined. Well, sprinkler systems don’t actually work like that! It’s just a Hollywood myth. Who knew?
May 19-25 is Home Fire Sprinkler Week. The Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s goal is to increase awareness of the destruction of fire. The Coalition wants to bring attention to the real problem that is residential fire deaths while also highlighting the proactive prevention that fire sprinkler requirements have in saving many lives. Fire sprinkler requirements prevent injuries not just to home residents but first responders and decrease property damage as well.
Fires are unpredictable and can happen fast. In a home fire, there is no time to stop and grab your valuables or make a phone call. They are dangerous and more than 2,500 people in the U.S. die in home fires each year.
Here are some facts to think about:
- More than 400 children under the age of 10 die in home fires every year.
- Kids under 5 are at the greatest risk from home fire death/injury.
- 116,600 children are injured from a fire/burn related incident.
- Certain modern constructions and synthetic home furnishings have reduced the time a family has to escape a home fire to 2-3 minutes.
- Over 80% of children under the age of 15 sleep through smoke alarms for over two minutes.
These alarming facts beg me to ask more important questions:
- Am I doing enough to protect my loved ones?
- Am I doing enough to protect my property?
- Could I escape a home fire in less than 3 minutes?
- Would I hear a smoke alarm in my sleep?
- What can I do to have peace of mind?
While smoke alarms are crucial and cut the risks of dying in a home fire, it may not be enough. They do not suppress the fire. Having a sprinkler system in your home is not a requirement, however, they do help buy time and in a fire- time buys a life!
Here is what you need to know about fire sprinklers:
- A fire sprinkler can control a fire in minutes or less.
- Fire sprinklers are a cost-efficient way to protect your home and family. The price of installation is similar to the cost to update your carpet.
- Sprinklers will not go off just because the smoke alarm is going off. Sprinklers respond to heat, not to smoke. They activate when the temperature reaches between 135°-160°F.
- Fire sprinklers will not flood your home. Typically, only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire, leaving the rest of the house dry and secure. Roughly 85% of the time, only one is activated.
- Fire sprinklers will not ruin the aesthetics of your home. You can mount them flush to the wall or ceilings or conceal them behind a decorative cover.
For more information about how sprinklers work and are installed, visit The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website. You can join the Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition, Fire Sprinkler Initiative®, a project of NFPA®, and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition® (HFSC) for Home Fire Sprinkler Week™ from May 19-25. Live burn demonstrations will be conducted across the state, find a local event near you here.