Eight out of 10 fire deaths occur in the home. Installing fire sprinklers in residential homes can help save lives.

This home fire timeline shows the progression of a fire with or without sprinklers. Find additional resources on the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website.

How Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems Work

Residential fire sprinkler systems protect you and your home from the threat of fire 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and 12 months per year.

They complement smoke alarms and provide an early fire warning, which can allow you to escape from the fire and minimize damage to your home.

Residential fire sprinklers are designed to activate at the following temperatures:

  • ordinary temperature ratings from 135F to 170F (57C to 77C) where maximum ambient ceiling temperatures do not exceed 100F (38C)
  • intermediate temperatures from 175F to 225F (79C to 107C) where ambient ceiling temperatures are from 101F to 150F (39C to 66C)

They apply water at a minimum rate of 18 gallons per minute from any single operating sprinkler head, and not less than 13 gallons per minute from multiple head activation by design.

Maintaining Your Sprinkler System

As with any mechanical system, periodic maintenance is necessary. Follow these guidelines:

  • Contact your monitoring company if your system is monitored.
  • Test your system monthly. Open the test valve and listen for the bell or warning device to ring. If the bell or warning device does not ring, contact a sprinkler technician as soon as possible.
  • Schedule an annual system flush and backflow valve test by a certified technician.
  • Know your sprinkler system shut-off valve location and communicate this to all occupants of your home.
  • Ensure you have replacement sprinkler heads and a sprinkler head wrench on hand.
  • Any extensions or alterations of your sprinkler system must be approved by the Building Department prior to any work being done.
  • Contact the Fire Department if any activation of your sprinkler system occurs. Do not turn off the sprinkler system in the event of a fire. Let the Fire Department do this.
  • Do not do anything to your sprinkler system that would hinder its performance, such as painting or hanging objects from a sprinkler head.
  • Never turn off or disconnect the system from its water source.

Phone the Fire Department at 604.465.2412 for more information.

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