It is sad that there are still quite a few misconceptions about fire protection systems that are continually being perpetuated in this day and age. Although these life-saving systems have and will continue to prove their worth, some people still believe the hype behind the fallacies that are still in circulation.
Here are just a few (more) myths about fire sprinkler systems that need to be clarified:
- “Water damage from fire sprinkler systems is worse than the fire itself.” – People seem to believe that in the event of a fire, every single fire sprinkler will go off at the same time and drench the entire building. In reality, sprinkler heads are actually activated on an individual basis so, unless the whole building is aflame, it is very rare that every sprinkler will be activated at once. To be exact, six or fewer fire sprinkler heads are actually required to control approximately 90-percent of fires. These systems actually cause less damage than traditional firefighting as sprinkler systems only release up to 24 gallons of water per minute, compared to the 125 gallons that can be released by a firefighting hose every minute.
- “Smoke alarms are enough protection.” – While smoke alarms are incredibly important aspects of overall fire protection systems, they are simply not enough on their own. They alert occupants of a fire, which can give people the necessary time to evacuate the building, but they do not do anything else nor do they anything to extinguish the flames. Fire sprinkler systems are absolutely crucial for the reduction or extinguishing of flames, while also reducing heat and smoke. Smoke alarms do cut the chance of death in a fire by 50-percent, but fire sprinkler systems reduce the risk by a whopping 80-percent.
- “Fire sprinkler systems do not protect people, only physical property.” – This could not be further from the truth, as fire sprinkler systems save lives while also reducing property damage. In combination with other fire protection systems and equipment, sprinkler systems can reduce the loss of life by more than 50-percent.
- “When the smoke alarms go off, the fire sprinklers will be instantly activated.” – Every individual sprinkler is calibrated and designed to only activate when triggered by the heat from a fire. They do not activate in response to smoke, smoke alarms, or steam.