The cost to install home fire sprinklers in 51 homes in 17 communities averaged $1.35 per sprinklered square foot, down from the $1.61 average in 2008, according to a report conducted by Newport Partners (Newport) and released by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (the Foundation) an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association. (Sprinklered square feet is a measure of total area of spaces with sprinklers.) The new report, Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment – 5 Year Update, provides a national perspective on the cost of installing home fire sprinklers.
The primary purpose of the 2013 study was to review current home fire sprinkler costs against a 2008 benchmark study, Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment, also commissioned by the Foundation and conducted by Newport, to better understand the relationship between adoptions, various elements of cost such as installation and materials, how efficiency in design or installation may be introduced and more.
In 2008, sprinklers were becoming more common in one- and two-family homes but adoption was not widespread. Fire sprinklers in homes have steadily increased in recent years, driven in large part by building codes, outreach and education. Two states - California and Maryland - have sprinkler requirements in place for all new one- and two-family homes with numerous other jurisdictions in the process of partial or full adoption of the provision.
The current study examines 51 homes in 17 communities throughout the U.S. selected on the basis of geography, regulations, housing types, sprinkler systems and materials, and water supply situations. The 2008 study examined 30 homes in 10 U.S. communities.
“There is concrete data that shows home fire sprinklers save lives and reduce losses from fire,” said Kathleen Almand, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation. “However, objective cost information is difficult to find. Our latest research project provides these costs based on actual data.”