Many states have been trying to pass laws that would require new homes to have fire sprinkler systems installed in them. And while there are currently not any states who actually have this requirement in place at this time, this has gotten some people wondering if it is something that they should do on their own in their homes. If you are building a new home or are remodeling your existing home, you may be toying with the idea of installing a fire sprinkler system to protect your home and family in the event of a fire. Learning the pros and cons of doing this will help you make an educated decision as to whether it is best for you to install residential fire sprinklers.
Cons of Installing Fire Sprinklers in Your Home
- The Initial Cost
The biggest downside to installing fire sprinklers in a home is the cost of them. It can be costly to purchase and install this system. The National Construction Estimator estimates that the average cost to a consumer for installing a fire sprinkler system in their home is about $3.70 per square foot. That means that it would cost close to $7500 to install this type of system in a 2000 square foot home. Building or renovating a home is already expensive. If you are on a tight budget, you may not have the funds for this type of project.
- Ongoing Maintenance
The second disadvantage to residential fire sprinklers is that they require ongoing maintenance, testing, and inspections. It is recommended that a fire sprinkler system be inspected annually to ensure that the system is functional and will work in the event of a fire. On occasion, sprinkler heads will need to be replaced due to rust or other damage. And the heads may need to be cleaned to remove dirt, dust and other buildup. Unfortunately, inspecting and repairing fire sprinkler systems is not cheap. This task must be done by a trained professional, and this comes at a cost. If you are barely staying afloat as it is, or have trouble remembering home maintenance needs, installing fire sprinklers that need routine maintenance may not be a great choice for you.
Pros of Installing Fire Sprinklers in Your Home
- Fire Sprinkler Systems Can Save Lives
The biggest benefit to installing a fire sprinkler system in your home is that the system can help save the life of your family and pets. A fire can quickly spread in a home. In 2006, 2,620 people died because of home fires and 12,925 were injured. The US Fire Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency believe that most of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented had the home had a fire sprinkler system. If a fire breaks out, the sprinklers are activated, spraying water immediately over the fire. This can put it out or prevent it from spreading, buying you and your loved ones time to escape. You can’t put a price on this.
- A Decrease In Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
The other advantage to installing fire sprinklers in your residence is that it can help you save on the costs of your homeowner’s insurance. It is estimated that you can lower your homeowner’s insurance bill by five to ten percent by installing fire sprinklers. Yes, it can be costly to install these sprinklers. However, you can recoup some of this money simply by lowering your insurance costs. And since a well-maintained sprinkler system can last for decades, you will reap this reward for many years, helping to curb the cost of the system in the long run.