Local fire district demos benefits of sprinkler systems in homes

Local fire district demos benefits of sprinkler systems in homes

JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - 90% of the time it only takes one sprinkler to save your home from going up in flames. The St. John's Fire District is spreading that message of safety.

St. John's Fire Marshall James Ghi says a sprinkler system is like having a firefighter in your home.

Saving a life could come down to a matter of seconds.

Over the weekend, the firefighters conducted a demonstration showing how quickly a room could burn without a sprinkler system. Both rooms had the same furniture but only one was equipped with a sprinkler.

"The smoke detector will sound at the smallest amount of smoke," said Ghi.

Flames appeared within 10 seconds.

Ghi said, "The sprinkler heads are activated by head."

Ghi says a sprinkler system helps to control a fire.

"Not only does it allow time to get out of a home, it also limits property damage," said Ghi.

According to the National Fire Protection Association sprinklers lower the chance of damage to your property by 69%.

"Prices average about $1.32 per square foot when you're building a new home. The price will be a little different when you have an existing home and you want to add a sprinkler system," said Ghi.

Some companies give insurance discounts for installing a sprinkler system. A study by the National Fire Protection Association shows a discount can be as much as 13%.

"That'd be a great benefit, it would save the insurance company money, it would save the property owner money. It just makes sense," said Ghi.

Ghi says some newer homes don't always do as well as some older homes during a fire. He says the metal pieces used to hold together newer homes are more likely to melt causing a collapse during a fire.

Ghi said, "All the elements of the building are being attacked by fire and they're not normally designed to withstand the effects of a fire in a residential home."

Ghi says a sprinkler system is an investment worth making not only to help save our home but also to help make you safer in the event of a fire.

The National Fire Protection Association also reported that a sprinkler system in your home could cost anywhere from $1,600 to $21,000.

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