Sprinklers in all homes?

Topic on Radio 2 just now, ex- Fire Chief supporting the idea of all new or refurbished homes having sprinkler systems fitted.
Thoughts? Would save more lives than Part 'P' ...
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The risk of water damage from a faulty system may be greater than the cost of fire damage. Alarms effectively save lives. Property is replaceable.
Basic prevention and stiff penalties for arsonists are needed. Not keeping commercial rubbish next to the building would go a long way in reducing commercial fires.
John
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I believe that the sprinklers have proved heavily positive in the water damage vs fire damage stakes in actual usage.
Remember that sprinkler systems don't "go off" due to electrical signals. They have a heat sensitive "tap" that ruptures in the event of high temperatures. Sprinkler heads only activate if the fire is close to them. You don't get the whole house flooding just because of some computer glitch.
Christian.
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Jesus I hope they don't do this. our neighbours seem to use the smoke alarms (it's a rented property) as an indicator that something is slightly over done in the over/toaster/whatever the hell they are trying to cook with. I have a strong suspicion given the frequency with whcih the smoke detectors go off over there (it's a semi so we can hear it *all*!) we'd become waterfront property!!
cheers dan.
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Dan delaMare-Lyon wrote:

They're pretty good on bacon, and some years back we had a couple which could detect garlic. We quickly learned to leave the covers hanging open when the batteries were removed to remind us to put them back afterwards.
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Indeed. They appear to have a very bad installation of smoke alarms. You should not install a smoke alarm anywhere near a kitchen. The kitchen should have a heat detector interlinked with smoke detectors in hallways or other living spaces.
My system has been in 2 years. It has gone off once, when the toaster was actually on fire.
Christian.
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I would disagree about "not install anywhere near a kitchen". We have one just outside ours in the loung. It has a silence button. Ours has gone off twice in the last 6 months - both times when I was attempting to super-heat oil (aka cook a fry up) - plonk the silence button and it shuts up bleeping every few minutes to remind you to press the silence button again to re-enable it (it does it itself automatically I think after about 30 minutes)
I think what you actually need to do is get in the mindset of not setting things up precariously (like wedging oversized slices of bread in the toaster) and wandering off - causing the problem in the first place!
I actually have 4 somke detectors in a 2 bedroom house. Lounge, hallway to stairs, top of stairs (lit one) and top of staircase (as the stair cranks round 90 degrees and up some more). It's a little OTT, but, given our escape options - I'd rather know something is wrong well ahead of time!
(plus father is an ex senior FSO for cambs fire service - so he sited them!)
Cheers Dan.
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Well you shouldn't disagree.

Ours has gone off

super-heat
bleeping
Every false alarm totally destroys the integrity of the system. You get into the mindset of "i need to press the silence button" rather than "i need to get the **** out of here". On the other hand, if it really was belching out loads of black smoke into the other rooms, then it is probably OK as it is. After all, you don't have one actually in the kitchen, which would be the really bad idea.
General cooking should never set off the system, even frying or toasting.
Christian.
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Could not agree more. I live in the city and alarms are constantly sounding. Nobody, including myself, takes a blind bit of notice anymore and even in public buildings I tend to look at my watch to see if it is on the hour, if it is I assume it is a test.
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On Fri, 11 Nov 2005 10:17:11 GMT, a particular chimpanzee named "Dan
produced:

There are a lot of misconceptions about sprinklers, largely from TV and films. 1. They are only set off by a fully developed fire, of 65C or more. I don't know how much heat is generated by a cigarette lighter held directly underneath as one often sees in films. 2. They are _not_ operated by smoke (which is why you would still need smoke detectors). 3. Only the sprinkler head in the vicinity of the fire is set off. It doesn't set off the whole building, as seen in films & TV. 4. The amount of water coming from a sprinkler head is far, far less than that from a fire hose. 5. They are a very robust mechanical device, with no moving parts. The failure rate of a sprinkler head going off accidentally is IIRC one in a million or of that order of magnitude. I don't think there's a reported case of a sprinkler head not operating when needed. 6. Residential sprinklers can be recessed under flush covers, which look no more obtrusive than a downlighter, and certainly less than a smoke detector.
--
Hugo Nebula
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wrote:

The only type of sprinkler which would make sense would be the high pressure low volume systems which produce a mist rather than a lot of "watering can" water. These are popular in the USA where a combination of aluminium mains cable, low voltage, high current and wooden houses make house fires a more common occurrence than they are in Europe.
The amount of water damage produced by HPLV sprinklers is very small.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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You forgot "volunteer fire brigades"....
--
"Other people are not your property."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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wrote:

Sprinklers are to stop big fires taking h9old in big buildings - particularly those with many people who will take som etime to evacuate.
Houses never cause big fires. Even a well-burning house is pretty small by the scale of stuff the brigade deals with regularly. Also houses contain a small number of people who are usually capable of walking out of the door in under a minute. The issue is one of _warning_ and giving early notice that there actually is a fire.
A policy of encouraging / distributing smoke detectors would have done far mor than part P or sprinklers ever would. But then that was never the idea of part P, was it.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Sprinklers stop small fires getting bigger. Automatic alarms are excellent at alerting occupants, but do nothing if the building is unoccupied.
House fires may be small beer to the brigade, but a gutted house means a family made homeless for months and all possessions lost, which is very upsetting for the people and a financial cost to insurers and local authorities who have to provide emergency accommodation. A sprinkler can extinguish a fire at an early stage and whilst it remains contained in one room, meaning reconstruction of the property is quicker and cheaper.
My concern would be that decreasing mains water pressure (to reduce leakage losses) could make sprinklers less viable in taller buildings, where fire deaths are a higher risk.
Owain
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Phil wrote:

I own a high-rise flat in Australia which is sprinklered - the layout of rooms (bedrooms off the lounge) would not be acceptable in any UK building above two storeys.
Domestic sprinkler systems are designed to give a low volume spray not a drenching. See http://www.domesticsprinklers.co.uk
--
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
saying something like:

"Monkey World for a secure unit for monkies" <holds head in hands>
--
Dave
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Several years ago, an American town decided that it was cheaper to install sprinklers in every building than it was to maintain a fire brigade. When I last heard, it was also proving to be more effective at saving both lives and property.
Colin Bignell
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Phil used his keyboard to write :

Ordinary low pressure sprinklers would likely cause more damage than a fire would do. I once saw a demo of a high pressure system which controlled fire by producing an extremely fine water mist. This type of idea might be worth thinking about, as it used very much less water than conventional 'area flood' sprinkler systems and seemed much more effective.
--

Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 20:33:25 GMT, "Harry Bloomfield"

High pressure mist is also used in fire hoses, especially in the USA where it has been the preferred method of dealing with domestic fires for decades. It is particularly good at flame knockdown.
Years ago I was involved in some trials of fire suppression in passenger aircraft. High pressure mist was very effective in providing a clear fuselage for escape and the amount of water used was very low - in the order of a few liters.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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ex- Fire Chief now working for a fire sprinkler company ?
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