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Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Test Your Home Sprinkler System's I.Q.



The installation of residential sprinkler systems has become a well-recognized safety measure that saves both lives and property. Here are five statements about home sprinkler systems. Are they true or false?

  1. When one sprinkler goes off, all the sprinklers activate.
    False! Only the sprinkler over the fire will activate. The sprinkler heads react to temperatures in each room individually. Thus, fire in a bedroom will activate only the sprinkler in that room.
  2. A sprinkler could accidentally go off, causing severe water damage to a home.
    False! Records, which have been compiled for well over 50 years, prove the likelihood of this occurring is very remote. Furthermore, home sprinklers will be specifically designed and will be rigorously tested to minimize such accidents.
  3. Water damage from a sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage.
    False! The sprinkler system will limit a fire's growth. Therefore, damage from a home sprinkler system will be much less severe than the smoke and fire damage if the fire had gone on unabated or even the water damage caused by water from firefighting hose lines.
  4. Home sprinkler systems are expensive.
    False! Current estimates suggest that when a home is under construction, a home sprinkler system could cost 1%-1½% of the total building price.
  5. Residential sprinkles are ugly.
    False! The traditional, commercial-type sprinklers as well as sprinklers for home use are now being designed to fit in with most any decor.

To learn more about home or residential sprinkler systems and why Portland Fire & Rescue encourages all homes to be equipped with smoke alarms and automatic fire sprinklers, visit



February 23, 2010


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