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Home Fire Sprinkler Systems - Why You Should Install One

How Much Does a Home Fire Sprinkler System Cost?

Eight out of 10 fire deaths occur in the home, according to the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. But until recently, fire sprinklers were found only in commercial buildings.

The U.S. Fire Administration says all homes should be equipped with automatic fire sprinklers, in addition to smoke detectors. And a growing number of cities and towns are passing ordinances mandating sprinklers in residential construction. Still, many Americans are wary of home sprinklers, or think they don’t need them.

Read on to learn a little more about residential fire sprinklers and why they are worth the investment. After all, you can’t put a price on life.

Facts and Figures

  • More than 2,500 people in the United States died during a fire in 2010, and another 13,275 were injured, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Sprinklers could have prevented many of these deaths and injuries.
  • Fires in the United States resulted in $6.6 billion in property damage in 2010.
  • The combination of working smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers reduces the likelihood of death from fire by more than 80 percent, according to the USFA.
  • Home fire sprinklers can contain (and may extinguish) a fire in less time than it takes for the fire department to arrive on scene, according to the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC).
  • Contrary to popular belief, water damage from a sprinkler will NOT be more extensive than fire damage. According to the HFSC, 90 percent of fires are contained by the operation of just one sprinkler. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire.
  • Modern residential sprinklers look very different than their old and ugly commercial predecessors. They can be mounted flush with walls or ceilings. Most people who enter your home will not notice them.

Cost of Home Sprinkler Systems

Home fire sprinklers were once very pricey, but the use of plastic piping is bringing down the cost. Currently, the average price to install sprinklers in new construction is about $1.61 per square foot, or $2,898 for an 1,800-square-foot home.

Retrofitting an existing home is also possible, although it is typically more expensive than installing sprinklers in new construction. The price is difficult to estimate because it varies widely based on factors such as the age and layout of your home.

The good news is, installing residential sprinklers will reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Discounts usually range from 5 percent to 15 percent per year.

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