McCaleb said he agreed to put fire sprinklers in his townhouses as a compromise with the fire department. “Even though there is a firewall, I am concerned about safety, and I think it was the smart thing to do,” he said.
Young and Barnes think the advantages are greater when it comes to sprinklers for home fire protection.
In 95 percent of the cases, Young said, water from one sprinkler head can put out a small fire with little water.
Firefighters typically use roughly 10 times as much water as a fire sprinkler would use to contain a fire, a Fire Protection Research Foundation study found in 2010.
Another advantage is fire sprinklers are environmentally friendly. The sprinklers reduce the amount of water runoff and pollution, reduce fire damage by up to 71 percent and decrease water usage to a home fire by as much as 91 percent, an FM Global and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition study reported.
Young said he installs fire sprinkler systems in an average of 50 homes each year.
The average cost is $1.50 to $1.65 a square foot to install a fire sprinkler system.
Firefighters encourage all people to also have a working smoke alarm in their homes. Smoke alarms should be checked each month and the battery changed once a year.
Firefighters offer free smoke detectors to people who don't have one. They also will install the detectors. For information, call 216-7303.