Chicago Residential high-rise buildings over 75 feet tall, built before 1975 are required to install fire sprinklers per NFPA 101: Life Safety code before January 1, 2015. Not only will this protect the lives of residents, but it will also protect against property damage. Between January 1, 2007 and September 5, 2011, 413 people were killed in high-rise fires. In addition to the loss of life, each fire cost an average of $16,591 in property damage.
Installing fire sprinklers earlier rather than later will result in an earlier return on investment (ROI) by providing a discount of 5-25% on the fire protection portion of homeowner insurance premiums. The ROI will happen even sooner if a fire event takes place. Fire sprinklers contain or extinguish fires 99.76% of the time (NFSA). Furthermore, the water used to extinguish the fire using fire sprinklers is far less than a fire hose, reducing the amount of water damage.
Residential high-rise owners must now take the first step in protecting their property from fire.
What key items should you consider when hiring a fire sprinkler contractor?
• Bondable, reputable installer.
• Cost-conscience construction planning.
• Training for in-house staff.
• Respectful installation crews, providing minimal disruption to residents.
• References from similar facilities.
What affects the cost and schedule of fire sprinklers?
• What type of construction material is the building made of?
• Is it a historic building?
• Are there elevators?
• Is the building fully occupied?
• Will the residents occupy their units during installation?
• Is there a location for equipment and materials to be stored?
What are the benefits of installing fire sprinklers early?
• Protection - between January 1, 2007 and September 5, 2011, 413 civilians died in fires in Illinois. Home fires can become deadly in as little as 3 minutes; a fire sprinkler can control a fire in less than 30 seconds, before significant property damage or bodily harm occurs.
• Insurance Savings - residents save between 5% and 25% on their homeowner's insurance premiums with a fire sprinkler discount.
• Protecting Property - in Illinois, over a 4 year period, the average fire cost a homeowner $16,591. A fire sprinkler will contain the fire quickly. Additionally, fire sprinkler heads work individually. They are designed so only the sprinklers closest to the fire activates. A fire sprinkler head can contain a fire with far less water than a fire hose, so water damage is minimized.
• Save Money - if property owners wait until the last minute, they may not get their system installed before the deadline. Scheduling a fire sprinkler installation early reduces the likelihood of receiving non-compliance fees. Additionally, it allows for earlier insurance discounts. Most facilities will see a return on investment (ROI) within 5-10 years from insurance discounts. They will see their ROI even faster if a fire event takes place. Additionally, fire sprinkler installation can be completed gradually over the next three years, providing an easier payment schedule.
Links to Fire Sprinkler Resources