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American Fire Sprinklers: The Facts

American Fire Protection Systems, Inc. (AFPS) has been providing quality fire protection services for over 28 years. Our areas of specialization include all phases of fire protection. Here are some of the facts related to fire safety and industry

  • The first automatic fire sprinkler can be traced back to 1874.
  • Fire, unless controlled, can cause extensive damage to life and property. Fire sprinklers are the number one method for controlling the spread of fires, especially in their early stages.
  • Since sprinklers react to the temperature in individual rooms, in case of a fire, only one fire sprinkler head goes off NOT the entire sprinkler system.
  • It is very rare that a fire sprinkler activates accidently.
  • Insurance premiums can be reduced if fire sprinklers are installed.
  • Of the 200 US communities that have residential fire sprinkler laws, 100 are in California. In a downtown Fresno community which has a sprinkler law in effect, during a 10 year period, the fire damage has been limited to $42,000
  • As per the NFPA statistics, during the years 1983-87, property damage in hotel fires was 78% less in structures with Fire sprinklers than it was in structures without sprinklers.( Average loss per fire was $10,300 in unsprinkled buildings whereas it was limited to $2,300 in structures with fire sprinklers)
  • According to NFPA survey, in 1988 about half of all hotels and motels had fire sprinkler systems.
  • In completely sprinkled building where the fire sprinkler system was operational, the NFPA has no record of a fire killing more than two people. The only exceptions are explosions or flash fires or where industrial fire brigade members or employees were killed during fire suppression operations

Myths and Facts about Automatic Fire Sprinkler System

Though automatic sprinkler systems been around for over 100 years, they have been at the center of much misunderstanding:

Myth 1: "Water damage from a sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage."

Fact: If a fire is not extinguished, both the fire and smoke can cause tremendous damage. Damage caused by a home fire sprinkler system is lesser than the damage caused by fire or by water from fire-fighting hose. Fire hoses release 50-125 gallons per minute whereas quick response sprinklers release only 8-24 gallons of water per minute.

Myth 2: "When a fire occurs, every sprinkler head goes off."

Fact: The intensity of the fire activates individual sprinkler heads. Most home fires are usually brought under control with just one sprinkler head. 90% of all fires are controlled with less than six heads.

Myth 3: "A smoke detector provides enough protection."

Fact: In case of a fire, smoke detectors provide a warning system. But they can do nothing to control a growing fire or protect those who are unable to escape on their own. Sometimes battery operated smoke detectors fail because of dead batteries. Though the percentage of homes in America that were "protected" with smoke detectors increased from zero to more than 70%, the number of fire deaths in homes did not significantly decrease.

Myth 4: "Sprinklers are designed to protect property, but are not effective for life safety."

Fact:  American Fire Sprinklers provide a high level of life safety. Property losses are 85% less in residences with fire sprinklers compared to those without sprinklers. A wise combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems can lose by at least 50%

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