Smoke detectors and residential sprinkler systems save lives! Read more about how to protect your home and family from house fires.
- Every 80 seconds fire occurs in a U.S. Residence.
- Every 34 minutes a civilian is injured by fire in the home.
- Eight out of ten fire deaths occur in the home.
- Young children, older adults, and physically and mentally challenged people are especially vulnerable to the risk of injury or death in residential fires.
- The available time to escape a flaming fire in a home has been significantly reduced from an average of 17 minutes in 1975 to as few as 3 minutes in 2003. The reduction in time to escape a fire is attributed mostly to modern furnishings found in the home.
Smoke Detectors save Lives
If you have a working smoke detector in your home, your chances of surviving a fire in your home are increased by 50%. Follow the manufactures directions for installation, testing and maintenance of the smoke detectors.
You should test your smoke detector at least monthly for proper operation and change the batteries when you change your clocks, once in the spring and once in the fall. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also recommends replacing your smoke detector if it is more than 10 years old. According to the NFPA the detectors have a 30 percent chance of failure after being installed for 10 years. NFPA also recommends that smoke detectors be installed on each level of the structure and in every sleeping area. The smoke detectors should be interconnected so when one sounds they all sound and should have a battery back up system for when there is a power failure the smoke alarm will operate properly.
There are two basic types of smoke detectors on the market today, ionization and photoelectric, each uses a different method for sensing smoke. Ionization smoke detectors are best at sensing a flaming fire. Photoelectric smoke detectors are best at sensing a smoldering fire. Since both types of fires can and do occur in homes it is best to install both kinds of smoke detectors or purchase a combination smoke detector.
Residential Sprinkler Systems save Lives & Protect Property
Residential sprinkler systems are a cost effective way (approximately 1 to 1 ½ percent of the total building cost) of providing an effective fire protection system in your home. Combination residential sprinkler systems are installed using the cold water plumbing supply already in a house, eliminating the need to run a separate water supply for the sprinkler system.
Sprinkler systems are activated by the heat from a fire. Only the affected head(s) operate and flows water on to the fire. Depending on the intensity of the fire, a home fire sprinkler will activate in as little as one minute, or less. In sprinklered residences, 90% of fires are contained by the operation of just one sprinkler head.
The early activation of the sprinkler system contains the fire before it has time to grow, and most of the time extinguishes the fire prior to the fire departments arrival. This minimizes the production of deadly carbon monoxide gas, the primary cause of fire deaths. This also reduces fire and smoke damage throughout the home, helping to protect the structure and its contents.
When both fire sprinkler systems and smoke detectors are installed in a home, the risk of dying in a fire is reduced by 82%, when compared to a residence without either.