Sprinkler systems reduce the amount of heat, smoke and flames that are produced from fires. NFPA reports that sprinkler systems also reduce the chances of dying in a fire by about 80 percent. Many companies install sprinkler systems in their commercial offices to enhance fire-safety efforts.
In a home fire sprinkler system, a network of piping filled with water under pressure is installed behind the walls and ceilings, and individual sprinklers are placed along the piping to protect the areas beneath them.
Because the water is always in the piping, the fire sprinkler system is always “on call”. If fire breaks out, the air temperature above the fire rises and the sprinkler activates when the air temperature gets high enough.
The sprinkler sprays water forcefully over the flames, extinguishing them completely in most cases, or at least controlling the heat and limiting the development of toxic smoke until the fire department arrives. Only the sprinkler(s) nearest the fire activate. Smoke will not activate sprinklers.
Sprinklers are so effective because they react so quickly. They reduce the risk of death or injury from a fire because they dramatically reduce the heat, flames and smoke produced, allowing people the time to evacuate the home.
Home fire sprinkler systems release approximately 10-25 gallons of water per minute. In a home without sprinklers, a fire is likely to grow to dangerous levels by the time the fire department is able to arrive.
In less time than it typically takes the fire department to arrive on the scene, sprinklers contain and even extinguish a home fire. That not only reduces property damage, it saves lives.