Residential Sprinkler Myths vs. Facts

Sprinkler Myth: Smoke from things like cigars or burned toast will activate the sprinkler.

Sprinkler Fact: Only the high temperature from a fire will activate the sprinkler.

Sprinkler Myth: Home fire sprinklers waste a tremendous amount of water. It's better to have the fire department put out the fire.

Sprinkler Fact: The high heat, flames and smoke require a tremendous amount of water from fire department hoses - more than 10 times the water flow per minute of sprinklers

Sprinkler Myth: Sprinklers are too expensive to install.
Sprinkler Fact: Nationally, a conservative estimate for sprinkler installation is 1% to 1.5% of the total building cost, or average of $1.61 per sprinklered square foot. In areas where installations are common, that cost is well below $1. The life-saving benefits are priceless.

Sprinkler Myth: A smoke alarm provides enough protection. I don't need sprinklers.

Sprinkler Fact: Smoke alarms alert occupants to the presence of danger, but do nothing to extinguish the fire. Home fire sprinkler systems respond quickly to reduce heat, flames, and smoke from a fire. Smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by 50%; sprinklers by about 80%

Sprinkler Myth: A small fire will activate all the sprinklers in the home, with the water causing more damage than the flames.

Sprinkler Fact: Only the sprinkler closest to the fire activates. 90% of the time one sprinkler contains the fire. An uncontrolled fire will cause far greater destruction and smoke/heat damage than water damage from an activated sprinkler.