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Answers about Automatic Sprinkler Systems

Get answers and know the facts about automatic sprinkler systems.

Sprinkler system component on a ceiling

When it comes to automatic sprinkler systems, what is fact and what is fiction?

The best way to fight the spread of a fire in your place of business is an automatic sprinkler system. Sprinkler systems can be cost effective. According to the National Fire Protection Association, if you are planning a new building, sprinklers add about $1.35 per square foot to construction costs, about the same as new carpeting, and may also qualify for discounts on your insurance premiums. They are designed to control a fire even when the workplace is not occupied, and are about 95% effective when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association. They greatly reduce property losses by fighting a fire in its early stage.

Despite the evidence proving the effectiveness of sprinkler systems, some people are still skeptical about their value and role in controlling fires. Know the difference between fact and fiction to help you make an informed decision about an automatic sprinkler system.

If a fire starts somewhere in the building, will all the sprinklers go off and spray every room, leading to property damage?

Each sprinkler is individually activated by the heat of the fire. Each sprinkler reacts to the temperature in the room where it's installed, not to the reactions of the other sprinklers in the system.

Does water damage from an automatic sprinkler system cost more than actual fire damage?

Automatic sprinkler system is the best way to protect your business. In an environment with no system in place, a fire can spread through an entire building, potentially damaging a significant amount — if not all — of a business's property. With a sprinkler system, that same fire should be controlled in the room where it started with only a few sprinklers. All the other business property would remain safe.

Is an automatic sprinkler system a pain to install and maintain?

Automatic sprinkler systems are pretty low maintenance. They need to be inspected annually, but their lifespan can last up to 20 years without major repairs or upgrades.

Do automatic sprinkler systems only save your property?

Sprinklers are not only there to protect your property, they also provide a high level of life protection. Statistics have revealed that there has never been multiple causalities due to fire in a building fully and properly equipped with sprinklers. Sprinklers dampening the flames reduces the risk of smoke inhalation and injury.

Do automatic sprinkler systems actually work?

Sprinkler systems have proven to be very effective, with studies showing that most sprinkler systems are between 98-99.8% effective in control of the fire. However, it is imperative that sprinklers be annually inspected to retain their effectiveness.

For information about residential and business sprinkler systems, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and take action to protect your home and business against residential fires.

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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.


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