One of the best ways new homeowners can protect their families is by installing a residential fire sprinkler system. There is no better tool at saving lives and protecting property than fire sprinklers. Nearly 3,000 people perish in home fires each year, more than all other natural disasters combined. The National Fire Protection Association recently revised its Life Safety Code to require all new one – and two-family homes constructed in the U.S. to include a fire sprinkler system. Tyco Fire and Building Products, a world leader in fire protection technology, recently introduced Rapid Response (www.tyco-rapid, the industry’s first branded fire sprinkler system designed specifically for homes. Roy Marshall, a retired state fire marshal and president of the Residential Fire Safety Institute, says: «In 30 years of fire service, I have never pulled a lifeless body out of a home where fire sprinklers were installed. I urge homeowners to ensure the next home they build has a fire sprinkler system. Your family’s safety depends on it.» Still, fire sprinklers fall victim to some common myths: Myth #1: The entire system could go off accidentally and ruin my house. All the sprinklers in a system do not activate at once. Only the sprinklers closest to the fire activate, and quickly suppress the fire while it is still small.

In 90 percent of cases, fires are controlled by a single sprinkler. Myth #2: Smoking or burning toast can set off sprinklers. Fire sprinklers are activated by extremely high temperatures, not by smoke. Only a threatening fire can generate enough heat to activate a sprinkler. Myth #3: The water from the sprinkler system will create more damage than a fire. The average property loss in a fire contained by sprinklers is $2,200, while the average loss in a home fire without sprinklers is $45,000. Myth #4: Smoke detectors are enough fire protection for my home. Smoke detectors are excellent at detecting smoke and alerting homeowners, but they cannot suppress a fire, as sprinklers can. Myth #5: Fire sprinklers will ruin the look of my new home. Fire sprinklers are less obtrusive and no more noticeable than light switch plates. Myth #6: Fire sprinklers are expensive. A home fire sprinkler system costs roughly 1-1.5 percent of the cost of building a new home, or less than $2 per square foot. Systems often pay for themselves in home insurance discounts over the life of a mortgage. More families are opting for safety and are choosing to install fire sprinkler systems in their new homes.

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