Home Fire Sprinkler Systems Save Lives!


      The US has a fire problem.  Go to any media outlet, and it is likely that you will easily find a story like this: Kentucky fire kills family   In 2011, there were 1.3 million structure fires in the United States. These fires lead to the death of more than 3000 civilians and firefighters.  This amounts to one death every 2.5 hours, and 85% of the fatalities occurred in residential (house) fires.

The fires in 2011 caused more than 17 BILLION dollars in property damage, and lead to more than 17,500 injuries which required medical attention. (fire sprinkler initiative) 


According to the  US Fire Administration the most common cause of residential fires by far is cooking.  This is followed by carelessness, electrical appliances, and smoking.  Education can limit the number of casualties.  (Click here for fire safety tips from the National Fire Protection Agency)   The most effective prevention, however, is a working smoke detector AND a home sprinkler system.

Currently, only two states in the US (CA and Maryland) have wide-spread laws which require the installation of fire suppression systems in new residential construction.  In CA, the law applies to all new construction statewide, in MD, it varies by county and municipality.

In 2013, anti- sprinkler bills have been introduced to the house and senate by MN and SD .

This legislation has been filed despite the fact that the US Fire administrator recommends that each home in the United States be protected by both a smoke detector and sprinkler system

Protect yourself and your loved ones.  Contact your legislator today to support mandatory fire sprinkler installation in all new construction homes in your city.

Additional resources:

Educational video    

Click here for resources and information you can use to educate your community members about the importance of fire sprinklers in all new construction homes!


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4 Responses to “Home Fire Sprinkler Systems Save Lives!”

  1. barnold120 Says:

    Thank you very much for this interesting post. My hometown in Illinois has had several recent home fires, including one last week that killed an entire family with school-aged children. It’s terrible. I had honestly not heard of the MD law requiring “fire suppression systems”–is that only referring to sprinklers or is there another mechanism? I think of old-time sprinklers in office buildings, schools, factories, etc, but honestly not for modern homes. Is some of the push-back and anti-sprinkler bills because of the aesthetic element, personal property, or something else? Are new sprinkler systems still just the traditional little silver knob things on the ceiling or is there a new design? Thanks again.

  2. dmd4b8 Says:

    I believe that Baltimore city is actually exempt from this law. If you click on the link in my blog it will send you to a listing of Maryland cities and counties which require sprinklers.

  3. dmd4b8 Says:

    The fire suppression system I referenced is a sprinkler system. If you go to this website, you can see a brochure meant for contractors that details the types of sprinklers available.


    Many people do have concerns that the sprinklers can be tripped easily, or that they all go off at once. These are common misconceptions, and are addressed at some of the sites I have linked to. Some of the contractor push back is due to the supposed increased cost of building a new home with a sprinkler system, but the cost is only an additional $1-2/sq ft. Retrofitting an existing house is considerably more. Personally, if I ever build, I will have a sprinkler system. Thanks for your questions.

  4. prelan Says:

    Thank you for bringing up this important topic. I currently run a burn registry for patients afflicted with burn injuries in New York. One of the questions I ask patients as part of the survey is whether they have smoke detectors or other fire prevention strategies in place. While smoke detectors are a mandatory per fire district in New York, often the problem is not that the patients did not have one installed, but that they were not working or not checked. This weekend we had Daylight Savings Time, and we use that as a suggested time for the public to check that their detectors are indeed working. Batteries need to be checked at least twice a year. Because what good is a smoke detector if it’s not functional? Also, based on our registry data, we have noted that many smoke detectors are not hardwired to an alarm system or fire company. This too can lead to decrease response time, and severe inhalational or skin burn injury. Requiring smoke detectors in new residences is just a tip of the iceberg- the responsibility still ultimately falls on the homeowner. In my opinion, education of the public is the best prevention.

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