Costs and Benefits of Installing Fire Sprinkler Systems in Residential Kitchen

April 10, 2018
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People tend to undervalue the need for fire sprinklers in their homes, mostly because they lack information about them and their cost.

Although fire sprinklers are an added expense for every homeowner, research shows that they significantly save lives and property by over and above 65%. This has caused the fire experts and environmental officials to campaign for the installation of fire sprinklers in all newly built homes. If this goes well, in the near future fire sprinklers will be necessary for all households.

Before we dive in into the cost and benefits let us briefly look at the basics of fire sprinklers.


What are fire sprinklers?

They are water-discharging devices that go off when there is fire detection. Many fire sprinkler systems guarantee an effective service when it comes to dealing with fire in your kitchen. They do not soak your furniture and valuables in water and are smartly designed to save property in case of an emergency.


Installation of sprinkler systems

The first step of installing a sprinkler system is making certain that the electric wiring is done right. Electricity is one of the major causes of fire in houses making this step very important in any installation. After ensuring that everything is in order, technicians then go ahead to test the installed system to guarantee that it will work effectively when needed.

Some of the commonly used sprinklers include:

  • Wet fire sprinkler: They are constructed with steel pipes and are able to expel pressurized water when the sprinkler head is switched on. They are the most commonly used as they are easy, dependable and cost-effective. However, they can’t be put up in cold areas since they are prone to freezing.
  • Dry fire sprinkler: It is full of compressed air which gets released when the sprinkler head is switched on. This, in turn, changes the pressure in the pipes pushing the water to occupy the system. It is more costly because of usage of larger pipes and also due to constant maintenance.
  • Foam fire sprinklers: As the name suggests, these use foam to put out fire in buildings.
  • Deluge fire sprinklers: They are linked to water supply through a deluge valve. The valve opens by the functioning of a heat or smoke detection system.


The benefits of using sprinklers

Fire sprinklers have numerous advantages among them being:

  • They help reduce injuries

Many firefighters' lives have been safeguarded with the help of this device. This is because sprinklers reduce the intensity of fires even before firefighters start their job. A firefighter looking to enter a burning house to save people will be safeguarded from the all-consuming flames if there are sprinklers installed. Additionally, people are able to escape/evacuate the building before the firefighters can get to the scene because of fire sprinklers.

  • Fires are stopped before they can destroy property

Fire sprinklers go off releasing water immediately there is a heat variation. This lowers the amount of damage that could be caused to your property and saves you a lot of losses.

  • They are the most suitable protection method

Sprinkler systems have proved to be more efficient than extinguishers and smoke alarms. This is because a sprinkler will only require you to exit the building as it does its work. Also, neither does it require you to know how to operate it nor does it rely on you to be on-hand for the service to work.

  • Unnoticeable

Sprinkler heads coated with powder are able to blend in with the building’s paint theme, therefore, you will hardly notice them unless they are at work. This ensures that they match the interior of a kitchen thereby maintaining the attractiveness of your specific space while keeping you safe in case a dangerous fire occurs.

  • You don’t have to wait for the firefighters

In case of a fire, the fire sprinklers will greatly suppress the fire giving you time to exit the building. Mostly, when a blaze occurs in buildings with sprinklers, the firefighters get to the scene when the fire has already been put off. This makes fire sprinklers very reliable as opposed to traditional methods such as fire extinguishers or hosepipes.

  • Sprinkler activation is selective

Unlike what you see in the movies, fire sprinklers go off in the exact room where the fire is spotted. All other areas will remain completely dry. Therefore, do not worry that if you install a sprinkler your sofa will get soaked because of the fire in your kitchen area. This will not be the case.

What costs are incurred from installing sprinklers?

As much as we appreciate the benefits of sprinklers in safeguarding us from fire calamities, they come at a cost. Here are some of the expenses incurred:

1. Installation

This process depends on factors such as the kind of pipes that will be used (plastic or copper) and where you are situated, which might be in urban areas using municipal water or in the rural areas where water from private wells is used. Wherever you are, the cost of installation doesn’t come cheap with its the price starting from $1.35 per sprinklered square feet. The ‘sprinklered’ square feet covers the total area needing to be covered by sprinklers. The range for total costs for system design, planning and installation varies from $1,695 to $21,000 in Ontario depending on brands, amount of sprinklers (the bigger the house the more it costs) and complexity of installation. To reduce cost of sprinkler system is recommended to install it during your kitchen renovation project.

2. Maintenance

Average annual maintenance fee for sprinkler systems in Ontario costs between 35$ to 60$. This, however, doesn’t include the allowance for water wreckage. This clearly shows that installing a fire sprinkler is a huge but worthwhile investment, one that requires you to plan for beforehand, so that you can get the best system that will work efficiently for a long time.


Conclusion

As much as we need fire sprinklers, raising the installation expenses would mean that the cost of saving a life would shoot up to at least $38 million. This will, in turn, raise the cost of living, making it difficult for others to find affordable housing. Nevertheless, every life saved is priceless.

Also, research indicates that most fatal fires are caused by cigarette smoking and by kids playing with fire-matches in the kitchen. Hence, it is vital for all individuals to make sure that they are careful when dealing with fire itself or the devices that produce it.

Be sure to invest in a fire sprinkler system to guarantee the safety of all things valuable to you.

 


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