A study done by the University
of Maryland found that
alarms with a battery
backupoffer a much
better degree of safety
than sprinkler systems
Earlier this month, the Oklahoman published a front-page article, entitled "Home sprinkler systems are effective."
Certainly, sprinkler systems increase safety just like a safe room or a cellar does during a tornado. The question always comes down to consumer choice and affordability. I read the story while listening to Gov. Mary Fallin give her State of the State address. She spoke of personal responsibility in many of the issues facing Oklahoma. This issue is no different.
A study done by the University of Maryland found that hard-wired smoke alarms with a battery backup offer a much better degree of safety than sprinkler systems. They were over 50 percent better than sprinklers due to their response time, sensitivity and the fact that many fires are too small to set off a sprinkler system. If people won't keep a smoke alarm working with a 99-cent battery, what are the odds they'll keep a sprinkler system properly maintained? Sprinkler systems have a downside, including having water in your attic during harsh weather conditions. Sprinkler systems can freeze and then break, causing flooding.
It all comes down to choice. Sprinklers are good for those who want them and are willing to pay for them. I found it interesting to read about the deputy fire chief who wished his house had a sprinkler system. Why doesn't he install one instead of insisting that we all do the same?
You can read the original Oklahoman article here.