Your indoor plumbing is an essential part of modern life for a number of reasons. Here's one you might not have considered – it could save your life. In the unfortunate event you experience a house fire, a sprinkler system can reduce the chances of a fatality by 80 percent by automatically soaking the area where a fire is detected. If you home doesn't already have a sprinkler system in place, you can install one with the help of an experienced plumber. Read on to learn more.
Faster Fires, Increased Danger
There were 369,500 house fires in the United States in 2013, according to the National Fire Protection Association. That's a whole lot of homes that go up in smoke. More tragic still, 2,755 people died in the blazes. While the number of fires is down by over 50 percent from the 1970s, the percentage of fires that result in death is similar – there was at least one fatality in .8 percent of residential fires in 1977, which has barely dropped to .7 percent today.
There are a number of explanations for the still-too-high death ratio – faster-burning construction materials, synthetic furnishings that catch fire quickly, and more open floor plans that allow fires to spread rapidly. The upshot is that homes tend to burn faster than ever, which means extreme danger to you and your family. Fortunately, with the help of a good plumber, you can reduce the danger and protect your home with a residential sprinkler system.
Retrofitting into an Existing House
If you have a new home, chances are good that you already have a sprinkler system installed. The U.S. Fire Administration urges all new construction to include sprinklers, and your local building code probably mandates the feature. Homes that are more than a few years old, however, are less likely to have sprinklers built in – ask a plumber if you aren't sure about yours. It's more complicated to install sprinklers into an existing home than to build them in during construction, but a good plumber can hook up pipes to your plumbing system and run the sprinkler lines without causing too much disruption in your home’s infrastructure.
According to the NFPA, sprinklers in new homes cost about $1.35 per square foot of coverage. There aren't statistics for retrofits, due to the wide variation in home layouts and other factors, but most homeowners could expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand dollars to low five figures to have a system installed. That's a small price to pay when your family members' lives are at stake.
Let an Experienced Plumber Keep You Safe
Not only can a sprinkler system save your life and reduce property damage in the event of a fire, it can also substantially reduce the risk to firefighters who come to battle the blaze. If you are interested in installing a sprinkler system in your house, contact an expert plumber today.