Sprinklers can save lives, homes and businesses. They provide protection from fire damage, and most importantly, they give people a greater chance of getting out if there is a fire. By reducing the damage and severity of a fire, they can also save you money.
1. Added protection for your property
A working smoke alarm will alert you to a fire, but a sprinkler system can control the spread of a fire and even put it out.
2. Targeted and effective
Only sprinklers within close proximity to the fire will be activated, meaning water will only be released in the places directly affected by a fire. They are activated by high temperatures, often around 68°c. This means they won’t be set off in error by your toaster!
Installing sprinklers is roughly the same cost as carpeting the same area. Get a quote from a local installer at British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA).
Fitting sprinklers can also save you money because insurers will often offer premium discounts to properties with sprinkler systems, and policy excesses may be lower.
4. Sleek design
Sprinklers are compact and elegant. Miniature sprinklers are the size of a 50p piece. Concealed sprinklers are almost invisible. They’re recessed, flush with the ceiling, and covered by a flat plate (ideal for clean areas, areas with restricted headroom, or where vandalism is a potential problem).
Finding someone to fit a sprinkler system
Find a local sprinkler installer at the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA).
The BAFSA is the professional membership association for sprinkler installation, dedicated to making sure that sprinkler systems are installed to the highest professional standards.
Maintaining a sprinkler system
Ensure your fire sprinklers are maintained by a competent contractor by including the sprinkler system in your building’s planned maintenance schedule.
This is particularly important if your building’s design relies on sprinklers for life safety reasons, or if your fire risk assessment’s findings are essential for life safety. In such circumstances, a defective sprinkler system could render the building unsafe for occupation and could result in us taking enforcement action.
Getting sprinklers in your home
The Residential Sprinkler Association is a not-for-profit organisation that gives support to the residential sector of the UK fire sprinkler industry. See their website for advice on sprinklers in the home.
Who are sprinklers for?
Everyone. Although there are some organisations, groups and property types that could particularly benefit from sprinkler installations. These include:
- hotels, bed and breakfasts and hostels
- large warehouses
- complex and deep subsurface structures such as basements
- homes in rural areas
- heritage buildings
- residential care homes
- homes provided for vulnerable or elderly people (who may live alone, have mobility issues, or hearing or sight difficulties and may not be able to quickly escape from a fire).
Read the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) guidance on fire safety for specialist housing.
"It is recognised that 85% of small and medium-sized businesses that suffer a serious fire either never recover or cease trading within 18 months."
Additional benefits for businesses
There is a compelling business case to be made for the installation of sprinklers in any commercial premises. The cost of installing sprinklers is far less than the recovery cost of loss of production or interruption to business continuity and productivity in the event of a fire.
How do they work?
Sprinklers react to heat detected at ceiling level. The sprinklers douse the fire with water, localising the fire and restricting the spread.
Did you know?
Sprinklers are triggered one by one where the rise in temperature occurs – they don’t all go off together throughout a building like in the movies!
You can find out more about sprinklers from these organisations.
- The National Fire Sprinkler Network encourages the greater use of fire sprinklers to save lives and protect property and the environment.
- The NFCC publishes specialised housing guidance on recommended standards for housing for vulnerable people.
- The Business Sprinkler Alliance advocates greater resilience by improving protection against fire through the use of sprinklers in commercial and industrial premises.