While it’s true that most commercial buildings, and in many cases even residential ones, have some form of fire protection systems installed, not all put a premium on just how important they are. In fact, many often only have such systems installed because of certain bylaws or as requirements for certifications. If owners were given the chance, most commercial buildings probably wouldn’t have any kind of fire protection system installed, except for maybe a fire extinguisher or two.
Such a mindset is wrong, and whether it’s a product of the lack of education or not is debatable. What’s alarming here is that many just simply do not realize how important having fire protection systems, namely fire sprinklers installed, especially in commercial buildings.
It’s More Than Just For Certification
According to the United States’ NFPA, residential fire sprinkler systems increase the resident’s survival expectancy during an accidental fire by as much as 80%. Such an increase in life expectancy should also be expected in commercial buildings.
The reason why fire sprinkler systems are so effective in saving lives is that they’re the fastest to respond and control a fire at its exact point of origin.
While it is easy to raise the point on how fire extinguishers are enough, one has to remember that in fires, it’s not the heat nor flames that are the most dangerous. Rather, the aspect that poses the most hazard to one’s health are the toxic fumes and smoke produced by a fire. And, given how smoke can easily spread and impede your vision, it’s already hard enough to walk around your house, let alone find a fire extinguisher to try and fight the fire back.
Even with fire sprinkler systems, toxic fumes and smoke will still be there, but their production will be significantly reduced to breathable levels, which could easily mean the difference between life and death.
It’s also important to remember that sudden fires can easily spread out to uncontrollable levels in just a few seconds. However, with fire sprinklers, that few seconds could extend to as much as 10 minutes, which is more than enough time for people to evacuate the vicinity and for the firefighters to arrive.
Smaller fires also mean less damage and less damage means less expenses incurred in your investment as the owner of the commercial building.
The NFPA also has no record so far of a fire killing more than two people in both a commercial or residential building where the fire sprinkler system was properly installed and working properly.
Kill Fire, Save Lives
While it is true that fire sprinkler systems are rarely able to kill large-scale fires on their own, as mentioned earlier, they do just enough to save lives, minimize damage and most important of all, prevent the fire from needlessly growing larger.
If you are one of those who tend to ask building and fire officials why your building really needs fire sprinklers, ask yourself first, why not?
The added cost, while certainly a huge factor for the resistance, is not as much as it’s made out to be. In fact, with proper insurance credits, fire sprinkler systems will usually be able to pay for itself in as short as 7 years, which isn’t that long in business years.
So, instead of resisting the requirement for sprinklers, embrace it.
Again, fire sprinklers may not be able to totally kill fires, but it does more than enough to contain it and save lives in the process.
For more information regarding fire sprinkler systems, contact CJ Suppression Inc. in Corona, CA at 888-821-2334 or visit www.cjsuppression.com.
CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, San Bernardino, Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Victorville, Irvine and surrounding areas.