Automatic fire sprinklers

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Sure, why not ban ovens or heaters

Neither should be

Seems to me it would be better just to ban outlets in the bathroom, even GFI's might still be dangerous wouldn't it?
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Why not?
Because cost needs to be considered.
Is the cost of all the systems divided by the number of lives saved ($ / life) a reasonable number.
Of course, the emotional reaction is........ it's worth it if it saves one life or the life of someone I care about.
But expenditures like this don't take place in a vacuum.... could the same amount of money be spent per capita and yield a greater number of lives saved?
California has spent ~$10 billion (& counting) to replace the Oakland bay Bridge. Failure of a single span killed one person. ..... one person in 50 years.
If the entire bridge had failed it possibly could have killed a few hundred?
So the taxpayers of CA are saving lives at $25,000,000 per life?
There are about 2500 deaths & 13,000 injuries per year in the US from house fires. How many of these deaths & injuries might mandatory fire sprinklers prevent?
At what cost?
Could we get more bang for our buck elsewhere? How about a mandatory GFCI retrofit in the US every residential unit as well as commercial space?
I wonder if that would be money better spent.
cheers Bob
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Ok... First off Bob, we are all talking about an additional system on a home which will cost all of maybe $10,000 maximum on an average sized home... If you can not afford that cost on a home which will preserve lives and the home itself in the future and would rather be spending it on a fancier bathroom or kitchen, then you really should be living in a high rise tower with small brick lined rooms and an elevator ride of two minutes up and down...
It is NOT an immediate out of pocket expense to most people as they have a mortgage to build the house in the first place...
Second, fighting a fire costs a LOT more than the $10,000 a residential fire suppression system would cost... Think of a small town which has four fire apparatus... For a big enough fire they would all be at that one house dealing with it... That is an awful lot of water being pumped and diesel fuel to power the pumps... Now your community may have a mutual aid agreement with nearby communities to cover the now empty firehouses or to send additional manpower to a working fire, but that costs quite a bit of money for each truck sent by a neighboring community... Equipment and hoses are frequently worn out or damaged in fighting fires so that can add to the cost as all of that equipment must be replaced for your fire department to be at full functioning capacity...
So why shouldn't the government place a tiny portion of the burden of the costs of such work on the owner of the home by requiring automatic fire sprinklers be installed in homes... The fact that it will cost LESS to finish putting out any fires which have spread to the attics or roofs of fire sprinkler equipped homes and overhaul them AND that such systems will SAVE LIVES isn't enough for you, you feel that there should be no requirements at all...
As for your Oakland Bay Bridge babbling bull, that bridge is older than 50 years... Construction started in 1933, and the bridge was modified in 1989 after another span collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake... Could it be that a 70-something year old bridge which has a high maintenance cost and a history of span failure even AFTER it was structurally upgraded more than 20 years ago should be replaced to make traveling over the Oakland Bay Bridge? You also neglected to mention in your "analysis" that 42 people were killed on a newer structure which was built starting in 1955 which totally collapsed in that same area... Yeah, the Cypress Street Viaduct killed many people in 1989 and it is connected to the Bay Bridge so to say that the highway system over in that area is what it needs to be safety-wise, you are full of it... So should CalTrans just take the risk that another major earthquake won't occur and pancake the entire eastern span of the Bay Bridge and have a major insurance loss in the Billions of dollars range for the structure, never mind the wrongful death and property loss claims for the thousands of cars and people who were killed when the whole thing gave way? Seriously, get a clue... Just because you see no logic to something, that doesn't mean that it isn't there -- just that you are UNABLE to see it past your biases and ignorance...
~~ Evan
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Evan-
What a pleasant reply......my point was, cost of systems (all of them) vs number of lives saved; that is $ per life saved.
Instead of insults, how about commenting on the numbers.
Instead of $10 billion on a new bridge, how about a less expensive bridge (less of a showpiece) , safe but more cost effective?
btw I worked on CalTrans research projects for years. I know the bridge designers at CalTrans in Sac. I also know that the politicians had WAY too much influence on the project, it was not driven by safety & structural engineering.
Instead of overspending on this particular bridge design, how about another lane on the 5 between LA & SF? That might save way more lives..... year after year.
Or individual safety upgrades throughout the state; tree removals, extra guard rails, crash barriers.
My point is...... expenditures do not take place in a vacuum.
Fire sprinklers MIGHT be a wise expenditure but maybe there are other choices that will save more lives for less money.
cheers Bob
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Evan-
Now to consider the economic costs of fire sprinklers in new construction.
Before the "Great Housing Boom & Bust", the US built about 500,000 new homes per year.
At $5k to $10k per house for fire sprinklers we're talking about $2.5 billion to $5 billion per year. Yes, the cost is financed over 30 years but it is still capital ( the money was borrowed, someone loaned it) that could be applied to other uses in society.
According to the CDC numbers ~2500 people are killed in house fires in the US every year. Most people live in the "old homes", so how many of these 2500 people will be saved by this switch in new construction?
So what is the cost per life saved?
btw good luck suing the state of California for "wrong death" because a bridge or freeway falls on someone. The number of people killed by freeways & bridges over time is vanishingly small.
Spending money on "low return" so called "life saving" schemes is the real tragedy.
Technology like smoke detectors is way more cost effective, as are other potential ideas.
Do you think that air bags are a good thing? And cost effective?
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/25466.php
cheers Bob
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$10,000. may seem like no big deal to those who can afford a new home your right they will spend 40k on a kitchen but what you are effectively doing is killing the ability to obtain a lower end house they are now out of range for exactly the people who need the protection in the first place instead of being able to afford a home they must settle for an old home or trailer home with all its problems instead of possibly knocking down an old home and rebuilding and living in a safe new home. like I said what have we been doing to protect those in older homes when it comes to affordable options to protect them jack Shit. Habitat for humanity has to cut down how many homes they can build every year because of all the new requirements. so 3- 5 family's each year in a city which has habitat which would have had a safe new home do not. Check the stats on how many low end new homes have been built since ICC went into effect in many states.
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Nick,
Did you imagine when you started this thread it would explode into so much conversation?? And did you notice that we have a lot more lurkers that have now decided to participate??
It just boggles the mind some times. ( @@ )
And for my .02 cents on the topic. I have seen the CONTROLLED video of a fire with out sprinklers and then with. And yes it is impressive. The problem I see is that fire does not always do it the Controlled way. Sprinklers will only help is certain situations, not all.
The problem as I see it is that it will take another 40 years in order to get enough stats to decide if the decisions that were made in 2010 were actually a good cost effective thing to do. Right now the decision was based mostly on projections of what it would be IF. I would think it would have been by far better if the law would have read like this. ===============================================Sprinklers in new homes are a voluntary install. If you voluntarily decide to install there will be a tax incentive to do so or $XXX.00. If you choose not to install there will be a small tax that will be applied to a escrow account that will help all Fire Departments in your state or you local area. ===============================================I know my wordage is not the best (not going to spend the time to use my legal format) but you should get the idea.
That would be a law that I could support. Clean, simple and effective. Unlike what was done which for the most part once again crammed it down the throat of the Pennsylvania people. Oh, then there is the thought that maybe this is a way of "job creation" that they keep talking about.
Les
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residential sprinklers have been mandated since at least the 80s. For certain things (high-rises, nursing homes, hospitals and other places where the fire strategy is "defend in place" we have numbers from the early 1900s. All of the studies show (1) less damage- water, fire and smoke (2) NO-- as in not a single) multiple fatality fires (3) fires are kept small and often put out before the FD gets there (4). only the head(s) closest to the fire are set off and (5). the chances of accidental discharge a vanishingly small (and usually secondary to bad installation instead of the head itself). The question that is really at the center is the risk/benefit analysis comparing savings with costs of installation and upkeep. That I don't have a good answer for.
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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)

I'm not sure that alt.security.alarms suddenly has more lurkers, the whole thread has been cross posted to ASA and AHR, most of the replies probably originate from alt.home.repair.
Anyway I saw this in a local (Southern California) newspaper this morning
http://www.ocregister.com/news/fire-284695-homes-sprinklers.html
Doug
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?

Right, it is not an immediate out of pocket expense, it is a finance payment that will be huge over time. On a 30 year mortgage at 4%, that is $47.47 for 360 months or $17,186. Adding that much to the cost of a home can be devastating to the small house market for lower incomes.

Multiply $10000 times the number of houses in the town. Is that not greater than the cost of fighting a few fires every year? While you may be able to justify the cost over one house, you cannot over an entire town.

Because it is not a tiny cost and putting sprinklers in every house would not eliminate the fire department. They still need that equipment and people to operate it. Put some real numbers together and lets talk. Right now you are blowing silly scenarios out your ass with no facts to back it up.
The fact that it will cost LESS to finish putting

Let's see the numbers. I have doubts, but I'm sure you can remove them.
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Ok Ed,
If someone can not afford an extra $18k when building a house, they should be building a house... They should be living in the public project housing in a nasty city on welfare...
I hear people piss and moan about houses and the market, too many idiotic people bought "investment properties" with not one clue how to either "invest" nor rent them out...
Don't cry over the market -- you are supposed to buy a house because you want to live there for a very long time, not because you want to upgrade to the next biggest and best thing when you have paid down your mortgage enough to have 20% down on another house you aren't able to afford...
Buy a house that you can afford and live within your means, not a house which has a mortgage payments you can't really afford if you were honest, those 2 shiny new leased cars in the garage/driveway and the lastest and greatest shiny electronic toys...
~~ Evan
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Evan-
So everyone should live their lives according to the plan that you endorse?
cheers Bob
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?

There are people like that, but there are many hard working people buying or building modest homes that plan to live in them for life and $48 a month extra is difficult. I can not only name you a half dozen families in that category, I can also show you their unburned houses that have never had a fire.

I agree, Evan, but not everyone lives like that. Building a 5000 sq. ft. McMansion? Perhaps a fire abatement system is not a big deal, but for a modest two bedroom ranch house, it is. There have been many houses built like that over the years. How about Habitat for Humanity houses?
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It is the smaller houses that are "more affordable" and therefore more often found in very densely laid out neighborhoods where the houses are closer together which should have said systems...
The McMansions on huge lots are less of a risk of causing any damage to neighbors...
Remember, this was about protecting everyone else from your house, the bonus is that the occupants of the houses thus equipped with fire sprinklers enjoy increased odds of survival if a fire happens...
~~ Evan
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On Jan 10, 5:49pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

You obviously know nothing about firefighting or automatic sprinklers. You offer no basis for your statements, which over forty years of fire service experience tells me are completely untrue, but you expect your readers to except them as gospel. Just how many times have you crawled down a long snotty hallway looking for other peoples children at 0dark30 in the morning? How much water does a modern interior attack line flow per minute? How many seconds of flow does it take to knock a room and contents that has flashed over? Do you have the faintest idea?
I have been on fire attacks were the fire flow exceeded twenty thousand gallons a minute and were the loss was limited to less than forty percent of the buildings value in spite of the fact that the de- watering operation took hours. I have been on many house fires were the fire flow exceeded five hundred gallons a minute and the loss was limited to less than a quarter of the buildings value. The amount of loss to the building of origin is immaterial though as long as the fire is held to that structure and does not spread to other properties the state has done it's job. -- Tom Horne
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On Jan 10, 12:10pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Agreed, that kind of installation should be up to the builder or homeowner
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On Jan 10, 1:10pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

That is a perfectly legitimate exercise of the police power of the state. Not every state action that places a burden on an individual is rampant nannyism. If the state action is designed to protect it's citizens from each other rather than themselves it is a normal function of state government and indeed the entire reason that state government exists. "Your right to swing your arms ends were the other fellas nose begins." Justice Holmes
Requiring sprinklers is no different than requiring a non combustible roof. It is a measure to protect your neighbors from your carelessness so that when you have a fire; that 's right I said when. on average every American family has one accidental fire during the head of households lifetime; the cost of that fire will be born by you rather than your neighbors or your community. That is not nannyism but rather the legitimate exercise of the police power of the state. Fire protection is an exercise of the state's police powers that is carried out by the local governments of each state. The reason that firefighters make an aggressive interior attack on a fire in your home is so that it will not get large enough to become a threat to your neighbors homes who, at least at that moment, are not having an uncontrolled fire that could burn down their homes. When they attack the fire they cut large wholes in your roof and break out all of your windows even though that increases your losses. This is done to vent the superheated gasses that would cause injury or death to the firefighters and delay or prevent the attack on the fire. All of that is quite deliberate. The value of your home is sacrificed to keep the fire from spreading beyond the building of origin. The requirement for sprinklers is a decision by the state government to take advantage of the available technology to shift the cost of fire protection from the public to the owner of the building were the threat will originate. -- Tom Horne
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wrote:

See how it affects your home insurance rate and that will tell you.
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On 1/10/2011 7:30 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Does anyone here have some real on hands experience with fire sprinklers going off? Some years ago I did a job at a place that makes the sprinklers and systems. I told them I heard insurance companies don't like them due to all the water damage.
He replied, that's Hollywood for you! His and most sprinklers give off more of a heavy mist than a heavy drenching like you see on TV. And also if one sprinkler goes off, it doesn't trigger all the sprinklers... again, that's Hollywood.
I'm not saying this is fact, just what I was told. Actually I believe one won't set them all off, but the heavy mist instead of a downpour? Any first hand knowledge?
There are real sprinklers, and there are Hollywood sprinklers.
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...and then there are frozen pipes.
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