Humans – Fire Sprinklers’ Worst Enemy

There’s no doubt about the impact fire sprinkler systems have as part of a building’s fire protection system. They can easily control fires, keeping them from spreading or extinguishing them altogether before fire fighters can arrive. Estimates from reports by the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association show that death rates were 87% lower in properties with sprinklers present than where there were no automatic extinguishing systems.

That’s a staggering difference.

However, the reports also show that fire sprinkler systems operated 91% of the time that the fires were big enough to activate them. What happened the other 9% of the time? It probably comes as no surprise that human error is to blame, and not the simple yet effective design and operations of fire sprinkler systems.

Top Five Reasons for Fire Sprinkler Failure

Why Fire Sprinklers Fail 64% The System is Turned Off
17% Someone Turned Off the Sprinkler System Too Soon
7% Damaged Fire Sprinkler System Components
6% Lack of Maintenance
5% Wrong Kind of Sprinkler System for the Type of Fire

What does this tell us? In the 7% of cases where damaged components prevented the system from working properly, the majority was from explosions or by structural collapses caused by the fire itself, which excuses the system from properly doing its job.

However, if the other 4 reasons for failure, ALL of which are from human error, were eliminated, that 9% error of cases where the fire sprinkler system failed to properly handle the job would drop to less than 1%.

Contact Best Defense and let us help ensure your fire sprinkler system is ready to help when you need it. Don’t have an automatic extinguishing system? Contact us for a FREE estimate on having one installed.

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