A Guide for Water Purveyors

Understanding Water Supply for Home Fire Sprinkler Systems

Information for Water Purveyors, Local Officials and the Fire Service

  • Types of sprinkler systems
  • Water connections and supply
  • Water usage
  •  Environmental benefits

Water Purveyors Brochure

This guide:

  • Clears up confusion about home fire sprinkler systems
  • Describes fire sprinkler technology and life safety
  • Shows how sprinklers prevent deadly flashover
  • Explains how fire sprinklers work
  • Outlines the national standard, NFPA 13D, and its system requirements
  • Provides an overview of water connections, flow and usage
  • Discusses the design of stand-alone and multipurpose systems commonly used in homes
  • Addresses both public and private water supply
  • Details the environmental benefits of fire sprinkler systems

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Home Fire Sprinklers – Good for Communities

Fire sprinklers have been saving lives and protecting property for more than 100 years. Home fire sprinklers and commercial sprinklers are similar because they both respond quickly to a fire. Yet the systems have significant differences, and water supply is chief among them.

Fire sprinklers offer the ultimate fire protection for homes, where people are at greatest risk of fire injury and death.

Sprinklers make up for human error. And they operate automatically, even if residents are asleep when a fire starts.

Sprinklers react while the fire is still small, controlling the flames and smoke with 90% less water than the fire service would use if sprinklers weren’t installed. They reduce fire damage by 97% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98%. Sprinklers also reduce wastewater pollution. (FM Global)

Fire sprinkler systems improve community infrastructure and protect residents and firefighters for generations to come.

Nine out of every 10 structure fire deaths happen at home. Fire sprinkler systems provide fast and automatic protection that prevents injuries and saves the lives of residents as well as firefighters. Sprinklers also protect property.

  • Sprinklers are connected along a network of piping, typically hidden behind walls and ceilings.
  • Each sprinkler operates individually – they do not flow water all at once.
  • Sprinklers operate in response to the high heat of a fire, not to smoke or smoke alarm activation.

In the majority of home fires, only one sprinkler controls the blaze. In this video: Water purveyors and members of the fire service discuss their experience with home fire sprinkler systems:

  • Life safety and property protection
  • Water connections, supply and usage
  • Community improvements
  • Environmental benefits of fire sprinklers

HFSC Board of Directors

HFSC education programs are supported in part by Fire Prevention & Safety Grant funding awarded as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFC) under the purview of the Grant Programs Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


*“Automatic Sprinklers: A 10-Year Study 
A detailed history of the effects of the automatic sprinkler code in Scottsdale, Arizona