Home Fire Sprinkler Week runs from May 17-23 in Ontario, and Haldimand County Fire Department has a issued a few important safety reminders for residents.
While there are no questions about the importance of early detection provided by smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (which are required in all households under the Fire Protection & Prevention Act), automatic sprinkler systems can provide even further protection against fires.
Home fire sprinklers will activate, contain and likely extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water directly on the fire. 90% of fires are contained by the operation of just one sprinkler head.
During a structure fire, the fire department likely uses eight-and-a-half times more water than an automatic sprinkler system will to contain a fire. Home fire sprinklers use only a fraction of the water used by fire department hoses; a sprinkler uses 38L-98L per minute compared to 1 fire department hose line at 946L per minute.
The largest factor to keep in mind in terms of early detection and early suppression is the construction materials being used in newly built homes. It is a fact that there is a significant flame-spread difference in new construction compared to older construction. Most structure fires of new home construction reach total loss before the local fire department arrives.
“Although automated sprinklers aren’t required, they are certainly worth considering as an added protective measure,” said Richard Geerdink, Fire Prevention Officer. “Approximately 400 Canadians die in fires each year. Installing both smoke alarms and fire sprinklers reduces the risk of death in a home fire by approximately 82%,” Geerdink added.
The Haldimand County Fire Department encourages all residents to practice fire safety, be aware of risks and have protection measures in place (e.g. smoke/CO alarms, fire extinguishers, 72 hour emergency kit). Many resources are available on the Fire Prevention page of HaldimandCounty.ca, including activity books for children.
Residents who have questions about fire prevention may also contact the Fire Prevention Bureau directly at 905-318-5932 for guidance. Assistance is available for low-income or vulnerable residents who need support obtaining fire/CO alarms or batteries.