Home Fire Sprinklers: Economic Incentives and Emerging Technologies

Publication Date : 26/05/2024

Author(s) :

Ryan Silvia.

Volume/Issue :
Volume 3
Issue 1
(05 - 2024)

Abstract :

The debate regarding the cost/benefit of home fire sprinklers remains a significant point of contention between supporters and opponents of the proliferation of this technology. Home fire sprinklers are opposed by many homebuilders’ groups, who see them as too costly for too little benefit and believe that they do not meet the required standards of affordability. With previous research indicating that the cost of sprinkler installation is the chief concern among potential homebuyers, it is reasonable that advocates for home fire sprinkler technology would have an interest in making it as affordable as possible while still maintaining its life safety benefits. The purpose of this article is to research economic incentives or emerging technologies that could potentially drive down the cost of home fire sprinkler installation. The research focused on three main areas: Jurisdictional incentives, insurance incentives, and alternative and emerging technologies. The research indicates that jurisdictional incentives such as financial tradeoffs and on-site and off-site design flexibility have the most potential to reduce the overall costs of home fire sprinkler installation. Homeowners’ insurance discounts are also widely available and can decrease the overall economic impact of sprinkler system installation on the homeowner, especially if they are to own the home for many years. Alternative technologies are currently limited to water misting systems meeting the NFPA 750 standard; these systems can provide equivalent levels of life safety compared to home fire sprinklers, but at a much higher cost. Recommendations made include encouraging jurisdictions to utilize reasonable incentives and tradeoffs to incentivize home fire sprinkler installation, encouraging insurance companies to offer full discounts to NFPA 13D-compliant systems, and conducting additional research into the potential applications of alternative fire suppression systems. Keywords: sprinklers, fire service, fire protection systems, fire suppression technology, home fire safety

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