At this morning's press conference at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, Ron Hazelton, spokesperson for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and a nationally-recognized home improvement expert, talked about his personal experience with home fire sprinklers.
"I’m a true believer," he said. "I have sprinkers in my home and they're at work right now, while I’m standing here, thousands of miles away. I’ve been up close and personal with home fires, and I've seen the searing heat and choking smoke. And dozens of times, I've witnessed firsthand how a single sprinkler, activiated with a fire is small, can contain or extinguish a blaze until the fire department arrives."
"Here's the story," continued Mr. Hazelton. "The technolgoy exists today to prevent death from fires in homes. We can, and should, have zero tolerance for death by fire in newly constructed homes."
Mr. Hazelton went on to discuss some of the common myths and misconceptions about home fire sprinklers:
Myth: If there’s a fire, all sprinklers will go off, flooding the home
Fact: In 90% of activations, only one sprinkler, the one nearest the fire, operates. And it puts out only about 1/10 the water that firefighters’ hoses deliver when the fire is more advanced.
Myth: Smoke from burnt toast or a cigar can set off sprinklers
Fact: Only the heat from a fire, usually around 150 to 160 degrees, can activate a sprinkler
Myth: Home fire sprinkler systems are apt to discharge accidentally
Fact: Your home's plumbing system is more likely to malfunction than a sprinkler system
Myth: Sprinkler systems are expensive
Fact: According to a recent national cost assessment research project (PDF, 634 KB), residential fire sprinklers average $1.61 per sprinklered square foot to install in new construction
See more "myths and facts" about home fire sprinklers.
"When you sort out the facts from the myths and misconceptions, the story is compelling: home fire sprinklers save lives, reduce property damage, add value to a home, and are reliable and affordable," said Mr. Hazelton.