Please note: This safety advice is offered as guidance only. If in doubt, Get out, Stay out and get the Fire and Rescue Service out!
Shopshire Fire and Rescue Service believes that the installation of sprinklers in our homes could save lives, prevent injuries and reduce damage to property should a fire occur.
Along with well-positioned and maintained smoke alarms, fire actions plans and fire prevention awareness, installing sprinklers in the home is another effective way of reducing the risk of death or injury by fire.
What is a domestic sprinkler system?
Sprinkler systems work on the principle that the most efficient way of fighting a fire is to discharge water onto the seat of the fire at the earliest moment possible. This system can be best described as a small network of water pipes connected to a water supply with sprinkler heads activated in the event of fire. Each sprinkler head is a heat-sensing device, during a fire only the heads affected by the heat operate.
Frequently asked questions
Do sprinklers go off accidentally?
Although it is possible it happens very rarely. As long as a sprinkler is not exposed to freezing, overheating or mechanical damage there should not be any problems.
What damage could the water do?
The amount of water used by the Fire and Rescue Service is 10 times more than that delivered by the sprinklers. This system delivers the water when the fire is in its early stages. Without the early action of the sprinklers the fire spreading and the extinguishing of the fire by the Fire Service may cause greater damage. During a fire only the sprinkler(s) closest to the fire activate, limiting the amount of water needed to suppress it.
Will special tanks and pumps be needed?
Sprinkler systems are increasingly less demanding in terms of water flow. In most cases they operate from the household water supply and there is no need for special tanks or pumps. Additional water tanks and pumps may be needed in areas where the water supply is poor.
Will I have unsightly pipes around my home?
Advances in technology mean that sprinklers now blend into your decor. The pipes arehidden out of sight behind ceilings. Sprinkler heads are available in a range of coloursand styles.
What about maintenance?
Like the plumbing and heating system in your home, a sprinkler system will need looking after. If the pipes are allowed to freeze there is a risk they may burst. However, if your sprinklers have been properly installed to a recognised standard, with a built in maintenance programme, it will be protected from freezing. No system is foolproof and you may accept this slight risk against improved fire safety.