Canadian Consulting Engineer

Sprinklers found to halve chances of someone dying in a fire

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the U.S. has found new convincing evidence that sprinklers save ...

September 14, 2005   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the U.S. has found new convincing evidence that sprinklers save lives.
The NFPA’s updated report “U.S. Experience with Sprinklers and Other Fire Extinguishing Equipment” was released on September 9. It states that sprinklers reduce the chances of someone dying in a fire by one-half to three-fourths, compared to fires where sprinklers are not present.
The study also found that in nearly all cases where sprinklers failed to activate, it was due to errors of human judgement, including 65 per cent where the systems had been shut off before the fire.
Sprinklers were found to be present in most health care facilities, high-rise hotels and high rise office buildings, and to a lesser extent in department stores and manufacturing facilities.
Home sprinklers are less common, but in the 2006 editions of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code and NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code and NFPA 1 Uniform Fire Code require fire sprinklers in all new one and two-family dwellings.


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