The statistics are clear: automatic fire sprinkler systems save lives. In fact, 80 percent of the 2500 people killed in house fires annually in the United States would have survived had a sprinkler system been activated. That is to say, 2000 lives may have been saved if a fire sprinkler system was in place.
So why is there still so much resistance?
One of the main reasons is there is a lot of confusing information out there. Home owners are skeptical about it’s maintenance, cost, and the hazards that could come with owning a sprinkler system. And there is also a bit of false comfort created with fire alarms.
The Hollywood Effect
We all love a good movie! And there is almost nothing more dramatic than a fire, fire fighters, and sprinklers. But Hollywood goes for glamour and action, and the truth about automatic fire sprinklers isn’t really eye catching.
What’s depicted in Hollywood is often that automatic fire sprinklers are extremely sensitive for disastrous results. Fire sprinklers are seen to be set off from a wee bit of smoke or even a pulled fire alarm. This leaves consumers with the perception that the smallest thing can set the sprinklers off and that they are as sensitive as a smoke alarm.
Automatic sprinkler systems are designed to help put out fires. Individual sprinkler heads are triggered only when air reaching the sprinkler head is at a fire specific temperature, generally between 155 to 165 degrees.
But that’s not all, Hollywood loves drama! If there was an oven fire, all the fire sprinklers go off. Yikes! No wonder consumers are hesitant about installing them. Since fire sprinklers are triggered by heat, they will only go off if they are close to the fire. They don’t discharge simply because the other sprinklers in the home were discharged.
Hollywood’s erroneous depictions are not the only challenge that prevents consumers from installing sprinklers. Consumers are wary about the cost of installing sprinklers in their home and whether the cost is a necessary one if there are smoke alarms in place.
Automatic Sprinklers are Not Just for the Wealthy
New construction is one of the best ways to ensure that automatic sprinklers are installed from the get-go. Sprinkler companies would benefit by fostering relationships with construction companies and helping them develop financially accessible ways to offer automatic sprinklers as a home upgrade.
According to the Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment Report (2013), the average cost of installing home fire sprinklers is 1.35 cents a square foot. This cost is similar to upgraded flooring or a whirlpool tub.
Additionally, home owners with automated sprinklers installed often benefit from a reduction in home insurance premiums. They will also reduce their own property loss in the event of a fire. Educating builders on the added value of automatic sprinklers will help increase the number of homes with this additional protection. It really is a win/win.
A discussion about the fears of fire sprinklers wouldn’t be complete without mentioning accidental discharge. Don’t let this concern stop your customers from protecting their home. Instead, offer them the additional insurance of a Shutgun shut off tool, shutting off fire sprinklers fast in the case of accidental discharge.
Although rare, when accidental discharge does happen, the damage can be devastating. When a sprinkler head is accidently activated, water is released at pressures as high as 170 psi and up to 75 gallons per minute. This capacity is great for containing or extinguishing fires, but without the right tool, can cause a great amount of water damage. Fast shut off is critical to prevent extensive damage to homes and businesses. “The Shutgun is insurance for homeowners and building managers and it has proven its value in real life situations,” says Technicraft Product Design President, Greg Patterson.
On September 24th to 27th, Technicraft Product Design will be exhibiting their line of products at the American Fire Sprinkler Association. Increase your sprinkler sales, by including a Shutgun Tool Shut off system in every package. Empower your customer and alleviate the fear of accidental discharge, by showing that all it takes to stop the water flow is a one-handed squeeze.