Fire-Matic Systems, Inc

Providing Fire Sprinkler & related systems since 1970
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What you want to know about fire sprinkler systems

- All sprinkler heads in the building go off at the same time causing water to flow where there is no fire?

ANSWER - Only one or two sprinkler heads closest to the fire will activate. In the majority of fires, only one sprinkler head will put out the fire

- Will smoke set off the sprinkler System?

ANSWER - Fire sprinklers and smoke alarm systems are designed to activate according to different conditions. Sprinkler heads are individually heat activated, usually  the room temperature must exceed 135 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoke alarms, when activated, give only an audible warning sound, they do not cause fire sprinklers to flow water.

- Water flowing from an activated sprinkler system will cause more damage than the fire?

ANSWER - A residential sprinkler system can extinguish a fire in the room of fire origin's with less than 300 gallons of water. If there is no sprinkler system, then it will take over 3000 gallons of water from fire department hoses (on average) to fight the same fire that was now spread out of the room of fire origin.

- Smoke alarms are all that is needed to save people from a building that is on fire?

ANSWER - Smoke alarms provide early warning for building occupants but they do not ensure a safe exit from the building. Buildings equipped with both smoke alarms and fire sprinklers have a survival rate of over 90%.

- Smoke alarms will put the fire out?

ANSWER - This is a dangerous and misleading statement that is many times made on the basis that smoke alarms will awaken the people in the home and they will then get the fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Citizens should only use fire extinguishers to fight small incipient fires. The number one priority when you hear a smoke alarm or a fire alarm is to get all members of the family out of the building. Do not fight the fire!

- Fire sprinkler systems are not reliable?

ANSWER - Laboratory testing and a 50 year installation/activation history clearly shows that fire sprinkler systems exceed a 95%.

- Fire sprinkler systems are expensive?

ANSWER - In residential construction, the cost of installing a fire sprinkler (NFPA 13D) system for an average 2000 sq.ft. home is less than 1/2 the price of a package of chewing gum per day over the term of the mortgage.

- Insurance costs will go up due to fire sprinkler system ruptures and leaks?

ANSWER - a) Sprinkler head failure rate is one in 16 million. b) Domestic plumbing ruptures and leaks are over a 1000 to 1 ratio compared to sprinkler system ruptures and leaks c) If an insurance Company wants to place a surcharge on your policy because you have a sprinkler system, there are other insurance companies that value the reliability and effectiveness of fire sprinkler systems and will reduce your policy premiums if you have fire sprinkler , especially in rural or unprotected areas in our country.

- Sprinkler heads are ugly?

ANSWER - New designs are smaller, lower profile, can be color coordinated to the interior design and can be completely concealed.

- Homeowners will have to pay an expensive yearly testing fee?

ANSWER - Not required under NFPA 13D sprinkler standards.

- Fire sprinkler systems cause taxes to go up?

ANSWER - Not when local government practices fiscal diligence. If the NFPA 13D system is kept to its original cost effective design intent, the taxes in fact should go down, especially in communities that can maximize all the benefits afforded by using fire sprinkler community . Some progressive local governments offer tax incentives to encourage homeowners to install fire sprinkler systems in their dwellings.

- People will install fire sprinkler systems on a non-mandatory basis?

ANSWER - A 200 year Fire Service History clearly shows that safety equipment and safety systems are rarely installed when left to good intentions. Getting fire sprinklers installed in a community so that all of the trade-up advantages can be maximized usually requires mandated legislation or local ordinances. A spotty, hit and miss application of fire sprinkler system installation is not the most cost-effective way of achieving all of the benefits afforded from fire sprinklers. And from a life safety, property conservation point of view, there will be no significant change in these horrendous statistics until fire sprinklers are required by law to protect those who cannot adequately protect themselves. The fire record in the United States is still one of the worst when compared to all of the other industrialized nations of the world.