A new study by the Fire Protection Research Foundation highlights positive opinions of home fire sprinklers by homeowners and most government officials in U.S. states required to fire sprinkler its new homes.
The new report, “Stakeholder Perceptions of Home Fire Sprinklers,” analyzes the opinions of three groups—government officials, homeowners, and water purveyors—following the passage of statewide requirements for home fire sprinklers. Researchers surveyed stakeholders in California and Maryland, where fire sprinklers are required in all new homes. California’s statewide requirement went into effect in 2011. Following a state building code update in 2015, fire sprinklers are now required in all of Maryland’s new homes. All U.S. model building codes include the requirement to sprinkler new, one- and two-family homes, where the majority of fire deaths and injuries occur each year.
Key findings from the report include:
- The majority of homeowners surveyed had a positive view of sprinklers and would seek to include them in their next home
- Most homeowners did not know whether fire sprinklers were part of a home's cost or if they incurred an additional cost for sprinklers, which refutes claims from opponents that fire sprinklers are "expensive" and "consumers won’t pay for them"
- Nearly 70 percent of homeowners noted that their fire sprinklers resulted in a reduction in their home insurance
- When asked about the effects home fire sprinklers have on homes in their jurisdiction, most government officials viewed the technology positively
- Entities overseeing the states’ water resources noted that water quality was “not at all” an issue due to cross-contamination safeguards
- Most of Maryland and California’s water purveyors did not require separate meters for home fire sprinklers. Moreover, the majority of purveyors did not implement separate service or upsized lines to water meters
“Based on our research, there is a deep appreciation of home fire sprinklers by homeowners and local government officials,” says Liza Bowles, president of Newport Partners, which conducted the survey on behalf of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. “Moreover, water purveyors in California and Maryland also expressed little concern for fire sprinkler performance once the state’s sprinkler requirements went into effect. We hope the study allays concerns regarding home fire sprinkler requirements, particularly the notion that home fire sprinklers negatively impact water supplies.”