Sprinkler Systems in Homes Save Lives

February 8, 2012

From the moment a smoke alarm sounds, occupants of a house have only a minute and a half to get out before they are overwhelmed and unable to escape, according to The Co-operators and Guelph Emergency Services.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire sprinkler systems reduce fire-related deaths and injuries by 80 percent, and reduce damage by 71 percent. With fires killing 400 people in Canada each year and many more being seriously injured, sprinklers can make a huge difference.

“As an insurance company, we see first-hand the tragic consequences of house fires, and we know what a difference fire sprinklers can make,” said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. “If sprinkler systems were installed in every newly built home, Canadians and their property would be much better protected.”

The Co-operators provides an insurance discount for homes equipped with sprinklers and supports making the installation of fire sprinklers mandatory in all new residential homes built in Canada.

The cost of installing fire sprinklers in a new home is one to one and a half percent of the total cost of the house.

A video by the company shows a side-by-side burn of two identical rooms – one with sprinklers and the other without. Viewers can see how quickly a modern content fire grows out of control, and how quickly sprinklers can extinguish fires and limit damage. Smoke alarms sound 13 seconds after the fires are ignited. The fire in the sprinkler-protected room is suppressed in 45 seconds, while the room without a sprinkler continues to spew toxic smoke and ultimately reaches flashover a minute and a half into the demonstration.

To view the video, visit The Co-operatorsYouTube channel or Facebook page.

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