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Fire Sprinkler Retrofitting Guide, Part 1

Posted on: April 30, 2012

Knowing the Importance of Fire Sprinklers

Do you have a fire sprinkler system in your building? If you’ve been reading our blog, you know that we agree with the millions of people who believe that a working fire sprinkler system is one of the most important things you can have in your building to keep it safe from fires. In fact, over the last few decades, fire sprinkler systems have maintained an impressive 97+% effectiveness rating when it comes to controlling fires in manufacturing plants, hospitals, and storage facilities across the country and around the world.

Unfortunately, there are still people who think there are cons to fire sprinkler installation, and that these outweigh the pros. This is largely due to misinformation about fire sprinklers. One of the most commonly believed myths about fire sprinklers is that when one goes off, they all go off, flooding the interior of your building—this is not what happens! Instead, each sprinkler is individually activated by high temperatures (155°F and up) in its vicinity. Usually, one or two sprinklers are enough to put out almost any fires in your building, minimizing water waste and damage. In fact, there’s so much support FOR the use of fire sprinklers that we don’t see how anyone could object to their use!

  • Each sprinkler operates independently of other sprinklers.
  • Loss records from FM Research indicate that the probability of a sprinkler accidentally going off, or going off due to a manufacturing defect, is only 1 in about 16,000,000 – you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting soaked by a fire sprinkler accidentally going off!
  • A NIST study reports that fire sprinkler systems can reduce your chance of dying in a building fire by as much as 82%!
  • Aside from fire fighter and explosion fatalities, there has never been a multiple loss of life (3 or more people) recorded in a fully sprinklered building.
  • Smoke detectors do not control fires; fire sprinklers control fires and slow or stop the production of lethal smoke and toxic fire gases.
  • Sprinklers are affordable, often costing only $1-2 per sq ft!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we help you decide how to choose a sprinkler design standard, how to identify reputable installers and how to manage bids and insurance! And remember, if you need fire sprinkler service in New Jersey, Delaware or Philadelphia, call Confires!

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