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Consider a fire sprinkler system for your next home improvement project
Sprinkler systems this time of year are often associated with beautiful green lawns and outdoor fun, but for safety’s sake the West Chester Fire Department is encouraging property owners to think about sprinklers for inside their homes.
In collaboration with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, West Chester fire officials are joining efforts this month to increase public awareness about the importance of and advancements in home fire sprinkler technology.
“Installing smoke alarms is a critical first step in keeping your family safe,” said Scott Brooks, loss prevention captain. “In an emergency, a home fire sprinkler system is often your best, and sometimes your last, line of defense against disaster during the critical moments from the time a blaze starts to when first responders arrive on scene.”
Fire spreads through a house faster than ever before thanks to the synthetic materials used to build new homes and home furnishings, said Brooks. This means people have less time to safely exit a burning structure. Home fire sprinkler systems have been shown to reduce fatalities by 80 percent and can reduce property loss by 70 percent according to figures provided by the NFPA.
“Home fire sprinkler systems have never been more cost effective for new homes or remodeling projects. In some instances, sprinklers are similar to or cheaper than the cost of home improvement projects like new floors or granite countertops,” Brooks said.
A 2013 report commissioned by the Fire Protection Research Foundation found the average cost nationwide of installing a home fire sprinkler system was $1.35 per square foot in new homes, representing about 1 percent of the total cost. That cost is down about 16 percent from findings in the Foundation's 2008 report.
The West Chester Fire Department encourages everyone to make time this month to take the NFPA’s home fire sprinkler quiz. The quick, 5-question quiz dispels myths about home fire sprinkler systems and encourages people to become advocates for the technology.