The Pros and Cons of Installing a Fire Sprinkler System

Whether you’re a home owner or a business owner, having a fire sprinkler system installed seems like a good thing, right? Not necessarily. While the system has definite advantages and can help protect your property, it also carries several disadvantages including causing collateral property damage. In conjunction with a fire risk assessment, consider the pros and cons of a fire sprinkler system before you have one installed in your home or business.

Pros

  • A fire sprinkler system acts as a detection system and as a suppression system. Fire sprinklers only activate when they reach a particular temperature. This can be an early warning in addition to helping suppress the fire itself.
  • Fire sprinkler systems give people inside the building more time to escape.Every second counts when evacuating a burning building. Because fire sprinklers help fight and contain fire, it buys precious time to escape.
  • Fire sprinkler systems help protect first responders.Occupants of a burning building aren’t the only ones who benefit from a fire sprinkler system. These systems also help protect firefighters by reducing the damage done to the building’s supporting structures and hence, keeping the roof from falling in.
  • Fire sprinkler systems reduce water damage associated with particular types of fire fighting methods. Sometimes a, “surround and drown” firefighting method is used, resulting in large quantities of water being pumped into a burning structure. A fire sprinkler system can help reduce the instances of the usage of this method thereby preventing unnecessary water damage.

Cons

  • Fire sprinkler systems are expensive.A recent estimate put the average price of a fire sprinkler system at around $3.70 a square foot. Depending on the size of the home or business, the total cost can easily be thousands of dollars.
  • Fire sprinkler systems cause water damage. Electronics such as computers and phone systems are especially vulnerable to water damage. Businesses especially can take heavy losses in water damage done by fire sprinkler systems.
  • Fire sprinkler systems are often dependent on electricity. Fires often cause power outages and if the fire sprinkler system relies on electricity, it is quickly rendered useless.
  • Fire sprinkler systems can give a false sense of security. Perhaps the most dangerous downside of all, having a fire sprinkler system may give property owners a false sense of security causing serious lapses in other fire safety measures.

Before making an investment in a fire sprinkler system, make sure you have thoroughly considered both the pros and the cons of what that system can do for you.

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