Residential Fire Sprinklers

Homeowners install smoke alarms to be alerted that a fire is present in the home. Few, however, actively install a system that can extinguish a fire promptly, saving family members and belongings from injury or damage.

For centuries, commercial businesses have relied on emergency sprinkler systems to put out flames. The same technology can be installed at home to act fast should a fire start in the home.

According to the report, "National Fire Protection Association Fire Loss in the U.S. 2007," 414,000 fires occurred in 2007 resulting in 2,895 civilian deaths from the fires. Residential sprinkler systems may have been able to prevent many of the casualties in these events.

Residential sprinkler systems use specialized piping and specialized sprinklers attached to the home's water supply. Improved sensitivity in many home sprinkler systems enable the emergency system to react quickly should a fire occur. What's more, sprinklers are activated individually. That means if a fire is present in the kitchen, only the kitchen sprinklerr head will deploy based on the presence of heat. Sprinklers in other rooms in the house will not go off.

Many newer homes are being built with residential sprinkler systems in place. The sprinkler heads are designed to be unobtrusive so they blend in with a home's interior design. Plus, plastic plumbing enables the systems to be less expensive than in the past. Homeowners can also retrofit existing homes with a sprinkler system for about $1.50 per square foot.

Some homeowners argue that a sprinkler system will cause more damage to the home than a fire, but research has indicated that smoke and fire damage are greater than interior damage from a sprinkler.

These sprinkler systems may help homeowners save money in the long run. Not only will it save on potential damage to human life and belongings, but also insurance rates may drop if the home is equipped with a residential sprinkler system.

Leading Cause of Home Fires

* Cooking fires are a major cause of home fires. Ignition of food and cooking utensils tops the list.

* Smoking and leaving the cigarette unattended or falling asleep while smoking attributes to many fires each year.

* Heating equipment can cause fires. Heating equipment fires are most prevalent during the winter months when auxillary heating methods, such as space heaters, are used to keep warm.

* Electrical systems or electrical appliances can be overloaded and cause a fire.