Video uploaded with permission from Orange County Fire Authority.
It is the official position of Portland Fire & Rescue that all citizens of Portland should be protected against death, injury, and property loss resulting from fire in their residences. All homes are encouraged to be equipped with smoke alarms and automatic fire sprinklers, and families should prepare and practice emergency escape plans.
Sprinklers in Homes
Much emphasis is placed on protecting businesses from fire. But what actions do we actually take to protect our families, homes, and possessions from being damaged by fire? Millions of Americans have installed smoke alarms in their homes in the past few decades, but a smoke alarm can only alert the occupants to a fire in the house ... it cannot contain or extinguish a fire. Residential sprinkler systems can!
The Solution: Sprinklers
Residential fires take a high toll of life and property. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in the United States in 2007 there were:
414,000 residential fires
2,895 civilian fire deaths
14,000 civilian fire injuries
$7.5 billion in property damage
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's United States Fire Administration conducted studies concluding that installing residential fire sprinkler systems could have saved thousands of lives, prevented many of those injuries, and eliminated hundreds of millions of dollars in property losses.
What Are Home Fire Sprinkler Systems?
Using quick response sprinklers and approved piping, homes can be built and even retrofitted to include low-cost automatic sprinkler systems connected to the domestic water supply.
Sprinkler systems are a low-cost reliable safety option that would attract many buyers and provide homeowners assurance of a safer environment for their families, protection of their investment and irreplaceable family possessions, and lower insurance rates 5 to 15 percent.
Advantages of Home Sprinkler Systems
Fast Response: Residential sprinklers react automatically to fire due to their improved sensitivity.
Low Cost: At the present time, cost of a home sprinkler system is targeted at approximately $1.00 to $1.50 per square foot in new construction. It is hoped that the cost will decrease as the use of home fire protection grows. It is also possible to retrofit existing homes with sprinkler systems.
Small Size: Residential sprinklers are smaller than traditional, commercial, and industrial sprinklers, and can be aesthetically coordinated with any room decor.
Minimal Installation Work: When homes are under construction or being remodeled, a home sprinkler system will require minimal extra piping and labor.
Low Water Requirement: These systems will require less water than the systems installed in industrial or commercial establishments and can be connected to the domestic water supply.
Currently, residential or home sprinkler systems are not a mandatory requirement in Portland, Oregon homes. Portland Fire & Rescue cares about your health and safety and wants you to understand that the most effective fire loss prevention and reduction measure for both life and property is the installation and maintenance of home fire sprinklers.
Home fire sprinkler systems offer the optimum level of fire safety because they control the fire immediately in the room of origin, help limit the spread of fire, and often extinguish it before the firefighters arrive.
WANT TO LEARN MORE? Click here to take a true or false quiz that will test your home fire sprinkler system's I.Q.!