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Frequently Asked Questions

Home Fire Sprinklers FAQs

If one sprinkler goes off, do they all go off?

Only the sprinkler(s) closest to the fire will activate.

If I burn the toast will the sprinkler activate?

Sprinklers are activated by heat. Smoke from any source including cooking will not activate the sprinkler.

Will my sprinklers leak?

Leaky sprinklers are very rare. Sprinkler systems are less likely to leak than the other plumbing in the home.

Is post-fire water damage from sprinklers worse than fire damage would be without sprinklers?

A residential sprinkler flows 10 to 26 gallons per minute for approximately 10 minutes (depends on how soon responding firefighters turn off the system). The fire department uses hoses that flow 250 gallons per minute or more; often 10 times the water used by a residential sprinkler. The property loss in a home with residential sprinklers is only a fraction of the loss in a home with no sprinklers.

Won't the fire department be able to put out the fire and save my things?

Smoke and heat destroy home contents that are not close to the fire. Residential sprinklers reduce this damage dramatically by limiting the fire (especially before the arrival of the fire department).

Will my sprinklers freeze in the winter?

The national installation standard provides guidance for proper installation in cold regions.

Since I have smoke alarms, why do I need fire sprinklers?

Smoke alarms are essential, but a residential sprinkler system will control the fire and allow occupants additional time to escape. The best protection from fire is to have both smoke alarms and a residential sprinkler system as well as a fire escape plan.

Are fire sprinklers difficult to maintain?

Little maintenance is needed. Regular flow tests and inspection of valves are required. These tests can be done by the homeowner or a sprinkler contractors.