(Family Features) – Having a fire is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. If a fire started in your home would you be able to escape unharmed? Would your children?
In a fire, heat and smoke quickly build and spread, room to room. The smoke doesn’t make any sound. It is filled with poison gases that can kill. Research shows you may have as few as three minutes to escape a home fire.
The best way to protect your home and your family from a fire is to have three things: working smoke alarms on each level to warn you of a fire, even late at night; a fire escape plan that you’ve practiced; and an installed home fire sprinkler system.
Most families know about the importance of smoke alarms and fire drills. But not everyone is familiar with home fire sprinklers. “That’s a concern,” says Meri-K Appy, the president of the nonprofit Home Safety Council. “Fire sprinklers provide the ultimate fire protection. They are available for homes, but too often people don’t know to ask for them when they build or move.”
Recent Home Safety Council research revealed that only eight percent of adults in major cities across America live in homes protected by fire sprinklers and 41 percent of those surveyed don’t know that fire sprinklers are a safety option for their home.
The Home Safety Council and the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) have teamed up to help raise awareness of fire sprinkler technology for homes to help save lives. Together, the organizations have developed online animations that simplify the life-saving technology so more families will understand how it works and know it is available.
To see home fire sprinklers in action, visit MySafeHome.org, the Home Safety Council’s virtual home safety tour – it’s free. Go to the “Living Room” to see videos comparing a fire burning in a home protected by sprinklers with one that is not. You’ll see the fire quickly grows out of control in the room without fire sprinklers and fills the room with deadly smoke. In the home with fire sprinklers, the fire remains small and contained.
About Home Fire Sprinklers
Home fire sprinkler systems are installed behind the walls like plumbing. Sprinklers are connected to a constant water supply, so they are always ready to help you. Only the heat of a fire will cause the sprinkler to flow – not smoke.
If a fire starts, the sprinkler closest to it quickly puts it out, or keeps the fire small until the fire department arrives. That quick response controls heat and deadly smoke. With a fire under control and confined to just the area of the room where the fire started, you have more time to get your family outside to safety – and survival.
Even with fire sprinklers, every home needs smoke alarms and fire drills for full protection. But nothing else can do what fire sprinklers do when fire strikes. “Smoke alarms are important to alert people of a fire, especially when they’re asleep and most vulnerable,” says Appy. “But only sprinklers work automatically to control – even put
out – a fire when it’s small. They’re the very best protection a family can have against the tragedy of a home fire.”
If you are buying a home or moving to a new building, choose one with a fire sprinkler system. If you are building a new home or doing a major remodel of your existing home, consider having a home fire sprinkler system installed. Talk to your local fire department for help finding a qualified home fire sprinkler installer.
To learn more, visit MySafeHome.org.
Home Safety Council