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The original item was published from 5/18/2018 2:21:31 PM to 5/20/2018 12:00:07 AM.

News Flash

Fire & Rescue

Posted on: May 18, 2018

[ARCHIVED] SFMO: Home Fire Sprinklers Can Buy Extra Time in Home Fires

Fire Sprinkler

To commemorate Home Fire Sprinkler Day (May 19) and bring attention to Building Safety Month, the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is raising awareness of the life-saving capabilities of residential home fire sprinklers.

Home fire sprinklers can provide valuable peace of mind to homeowners residing in newly constructed or renovated homes that were constructed with modern building materials which can burn faster and hotter than “legacy” building materials.

“In the event of a house fire, fire sprinklers can help contain the fire, giving residents time for escape and limiting property damage that occurs until the fire department can arrive to fully extinguish the flames,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak.

The SFMO shares the following facts about home fire sprinklers:

  • Sprinklers are activated by the high temperature of fire—typically between 135°F – 165°F. Cooking fumes or signaling smoke alarms cannot activate sprinklers.
  • Home fire sprinklers activate individually. Only the sprinkler head closest to a fire activates.
  • Accidental sprinkler discharges are rare.
  • According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire sprinklers can reduce the risk of dying in a fire by 80 percent.
  • Home fire sprinklers can contain a fire with a fraction of the water that would be used by fire department hoses.
  • Home fire sprinkler systems can be installed in new or existing homes.
  • Working smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers are a winning combo in saving lives.

If you have a home sprinkler system, the SFMO offers these tips to ensure your system is working properly:

  • Conduct a monthly visual inspection of all sprinkler heads to make sure nothing is blocking them and nothing is hung from or attached to them.
  • Do a bi-annual water flow test on the sprinkler system to ensure all water flow devices are working properly.
  • Keep home fire sprinklers clear and free of objects that can interfere with their proper use.
  • If your sprinkler system has a tank, do a monthly test to ensure it is full.
  • If you have a pump-powered sprinkler system, start it each month to ensure it works and does not trip any circuit breakers.
  • Make sure not to paint over your fire sprinkler heads. This can inhibit them from working properly.

For more information about home fire safety or to download a copy of our home fire safety tip sheet, visit our website.

About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: TDCI protects the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, Tennessee Corrections Institute, and TennCare Oversight.

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