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Barriers and incentives related to the installation of home fire sprinklers
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Barriers and incentives related to the installation of home fire sprinklers



Home fire sprinklers save lives and property. Here, the barriers and incentives related to their installation. For more information visit www.firesprinklerinitiative.org

Home fire sprinklers save lives and property. Here, the barriers and incentives related to their installation. For more information visit www.firesprinklerinitiative.org



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  • Talk briefly about home fire death statistics to emphasize first bullet. 85% of structural fire deaths occur in the home. Fire death risk is reduced by about 80% when sprinklers are presentNFPA 1, NFPA 101, NFPA 5000 since 2006 edition. IRC since 2009. Subsequent editions of the code will continue to require sprinklersCommunity based barriers, are not insurmountable. Two research studies reveal information that supports thisTalk about the water conservation and meter studyTalk about the incentives study
  • -Explain importance of providing this information to this key group of stakeholders
  • - Explain that the methods to accomplish the tasks will be explained in the following slides
  • -Explain that this is a very rough indicator by saying how few fires there were (in comparison with how many fires there are every year) and the wide variability in the numbers that were used to calculate the average. Cite the wide range from 100 gals. To 41,000 gals and talk about possible contributing factors. Also explain that these averages mimic the average amount of water used from the Scottsdale and the FM study (basically these other studies also revealed that sprinkler systems used up to 91% less water than manual fire suppression/firefighter methods) 
  • -Scottsdale report results - Fire hoses, on average, use more than 8 1/2 times the water that sprinklers do to contain a fire. According to the Scottsdale Report, a 15-year study of fire sprinkler effectiveness, a fire sprinkler uses, on average, 341 gallons of water to control a fire. Firefighters, on average, use 2,935. The report may be downloaded from the site.FM Global Study results – Combination fire sprinkler and manual fire suppression resulted in 50% reduction. Additional analysis indicated that the reduction in water use achieved by sprinklers could be as much as 91% if the results are extrapolated to a full sized home. Add as a s side note: the wastewater from the non-sprinklered fire represents a serious environmental concern. To obtain this report you must complete an order form but it’s provided free of charge.
  • Explain that these calculations were based on “worst case scenario” and the next few slides will provide these results.
  • - Explain that this data comes from actual sprinkler designs that were reviewed. Explain that NFPA 13D system typical design is based on two sprinklers flowing at 13 gpm for 10 mins. or a total of 260 gallons per fire. The two results are not that far off.
  • Based on the nationally recognized standards for determining NFF – NFPA, ISO, IFC
  • To identify their value – it is important to be able to determine a direct financial value to the use of incentivesTo understand the impact – The value of incentives reduce the cost of home fire sprinkler systems. Who benefits? Why is that important?To increase the use of fire sprinklers -In areas where sprinkler systems for all new homes may not be required by code or a local ordinance, the issue of incentives is particularly important. Incentives which encourage the use of residential sprinklers, particularly in areas where they are not required, can have a significant impact on how frequently sprinklers are used in new home construction
  • Importantfactors- The characterization is performed at a specific point in time, on an issue – residential sprinklers - which is in the process of rapid change. Thus, the incentives described for the communities reflect the state of affairs as they existed in the timeframe of February through May 2010. Future developments may change the nature of incentives in some of the communities. For instance, the prospect of state adoption of building codes such as the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) could potentially introduce a situation in which incentives for the voluntary use of sprinklers would be re-evaluated as sprinklers become mandatory. Anecdotally within this study, some communities were found to restrict the use of incentives to only voluntary installations, while others still offered incentives even when sprinklers were mandated. In other states, incentives may become even more important to encourage sprinkler use as some states consider legislation which would restrict the ability of jurisdictions to adopt codes or ordinances which require sprinkler systems.Future considerations: In summary, the reader cautioned to keep in mind that the landscape of incentives for residential fire sprinklers could look different a few years into the future.
  • Identify incentives/types - Collectively, the incentives studied in the 16 communities provide a diverse set ofoptions which can be considered by other jurisdictions that seek to encourage the useof residential sprinklers.Characterize incentives - Incentives can target development practices, opportunities toalter the construction of the home, or modify fees or taxes in ways which will benefitdevelopers, builders, and/or homeowners.Estimate the value of incentives - the estimated value of builder-oriented incentives to a typical cost of afire sprinkler system for a new single-family homeIMPORTANT NOTE: It is important to note that this research does not attempt to evaluate theappropriateness of the incentives which were identified. It is assumed that responsibleprofessionals in the fire service, building industry, planning departments and otherinvolved groups have weighed the effectiveness of particular incentives, and regardthem to be safe and appropriate to apply under the right circumstances.Ex: NFPA encourages the use of incentives but generally would not support elimination of smoke alarms as incentives
  • Financial trade-offs: Financial tradeoffs typically apply to a particular house (as opposed to the overall development), and generally accrue to its builder or homeowner.1. Reduced or waived fees2. Reduction of property taxes3. Special financing optionsDeveloper incentives - Examples: reduced impact fees. This incentive value is affected by whether the developer passes the savings down to the builder. Unless policies exist to regulate this, it may not benefit the builder and lose its valueBuilders and homeowners - For the homeowner-oriented and builder-oriented categories aregenerally averages of a few types of incentives which were identified across differentcommunities, which all benefit the same stakeholder group. - Builder: three different types of builder oriented financial incentives which were found indifferent communities were averaged together, since it would be unlikely to find morethan one of these trade-offs offered in a single jurisdiction.Homeowner: Ex: tax incentivesIndirect value - While other types of incentives for residential fire sprinklers besides those characterizedin this report frequently exist, this research focuses on those incentives which ajurisdiction can consider to encourage the use of sprinklers. Therefore things likehomeowner insurance discounts are not covered. Likewise, while residential firesprinklers offer clear community-scale benefits in terms of life safety and assisting thefire service in its mission, such benefits are not directly characterized in this study.
  • Estimated value of incentives : The value of incentives in this research was distilled down to a common metric (e.g., $/building lot) to the extent possible. However, in some cases the nature of an incentive made it infeasible to convert its value to a particular metric. For example, a cul-de-sac with a smaller radius results in some excavation and paving savings per cul-de-sac, but assigning this value to a “per lot” basis throughout an entire development would be problematic and require broad assumptions about the size of the development and number of cul-de-sacs. In cases like this, an incentive may be presented in terms of a slightly different metric in the interest of transparency and usefulness of the information.Note: Because the impact of a benefit to one group like the developer to a downstream entity like a builder is very unpredictable, no attempt was made to accrue all benefits to a single party. In other words, the value of various trade-offs was assigned to the assumed entity who will benefit, and assumptions about how benefits to one group may translate to another group can be made beyond the scope of this study. This approach was selected to yield a transparent and understandable set of findings which should be useful to communities considering the use of incentives.Homeowner incentives: Annually recurring (e.g. reduced property taxes). This figure is the average value inYear 1.Builder incentives: Developer Incentives: Does not include value of reduced cul‐de‐sac widths ($10,752 per cul‐de‐sac) or increased dead‐end streetlength.This comparison is intended to provide a context for the value of incentiveswhen they are offered in a jurisdiction. It is based upon averages of incentive valueswhere they were identified, and the circumstances in any given community will beunique. It is also possible that builders would derive an indirect benefit from othercategories of incentives which could further offset the cost of sprinklers. For instance, abuilder may derive some financial benefit from a developer-oriented incentive passeddown to the builder, or a homeowner-oriented incentive used as a marketing tool to helpsell the home. However, the estimation of such indirect benefits is beyond the scope ofthis study and not included in the $1,949 figure or the 33% cost offset.
  • As the body of knowledge and implementation of sprinkler incentives grows, they can become an increasingly effective mechanism to improve life safety inhomes.

Barriers and incentives related to the installation of home fire sprinklers Barriers and incentives related to the installation of home fire sprinklers Presentation Transcript

  • Kathleen Almand- Executive Director
    Barriers and Incentives Related to the Installation of Home Fire Sprinklers
  • Fire sprinklers reduce fire death risk
    All model safety and building codes require fire sprinklers in all new homes
    Community based barriers
    Additional benefits of sprinklers - water conservation
    Incentives to increase use of fire sprinkler systems
  • Water usage and water meter performance during residential sprinkler system actuation in residences and to provide guidance information on this topic in a format suitable for water utilities and local jurisdictions
    Residential Fire Sprinklers and Water Conservation
  • Study of water consumption during fire events and resulting impacts on water infrastructure demand:
    Estimation of water used per home fire by responding fire services
    Calculations of the expected water discharged by fire sprinklers per home fire
    Estimation of the reduced water infrastructure demand when fire sprinklers are present in all homes within a community
    Study Tasks – Water Usage
  • Water used by fire service:
    - Average of 3,524 gallons per fire
    - An approximate 10-times increase when
    Fire extended beyond the room of origin
    Increase of fire involvement from visible flame and smoke to fully-involved fire
    Water Usage Results
  • Related studies and results:
    Scottsdale, AZ –Automatic Sprinklers: A 15-Year Study
    -Average 2,935 gallons per fire used by fire services
    -Sprinkler discharged up to 341 gallons per fire
    Available here: http://www.homefiresprinkler.org/FS/FSMunicipalRports.html
    FM Global – Environmental Impact of Automatic Fire Sprinklers
    -Reduction in water usage by fire sprinkler system could be as much as 91% compared to manual suppression
    -Approximately 10 times increase - similar to this study
    Available here:
    Water Usage Results
    • Calculations of the expected water discharged by fire sprinklers per home fire:
    - hydraulic calculations on fire sprinkler designs for typical one- and two-family homes
    - calculations assumed a one- or two-sprinkler operation of highest water flow and greatest system pressure demand
    Study Tasks – Water Usage
  • Calculations based on most probable scenario based on actual sprinkler design plans:
    - single sprinkler operation
    - average system discharge 28 gpm
    - exceeds required minimum flow of 18 gpm
    - system discharge up to 280 gallons per fire
    Water Usage Results
    • Estimation of the reduced water infrastructure demand when fire sprinklers are present in all homes within a community:
    - projected infrastructure demand is reduced at least 47%
    Water Usage Results
    • Evaluation of the performance of water meters when used to supply residential fire sprinkler systems
    • Series of experiments on commercial residential water meters under a range of flow conditions to investigate:
    - pressure loss profiles
    - metering accuracy
    - functional integrity
    Meter Performance-Study Tasks
  • Failure of water meter components
    - Observation of water meter
    - Failure based on reduction in flow rate and/or pressure
    - 20 minute test per flow condition
    Water Meter Performance
  • Water Meter Performance
  • No water meters failed resulting in flow obstruction during any tests
    Post test visual inspections indicated no signs of physical water damage to any meter
    All tested residential water meters are capable of handling the minimum fire sprinkler flows required by NFPA 13D
    All tested meters are capable of handling the expected 28 pgm for single sprinkler operation without failure and with metering accuracy
    Meter Performance Results
  • Incentives for the Use of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in U.S. Communities
    Whystudy incentives?
    Tounderstandtheimpact of thesevalues
    Toincreasethe use of firesprinklers
  • Incentives for the Use of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in U.S. Communities
    Time specific
    Single issue
  • Incentives for the Use of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in U.S. Communities
    Identify incentives/types
    Characterize incentives
    Estimatethevalue of incentives
  • Incentives for the Use of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in U.S. Communities
    Types of incentives:
    - Developer
    - Builders
    - Homeowners
  • Incentives for the Use of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in U.S. Communities
    Estimatedvalue of incentives:
    Homeowner-Oriented Incentives $145
    Builder-Oriented Incentives $1,949
    Developer-Oriented Incentives $1,271
    Typical incentives to home builders offset 33% of system cost
  • Incentives for the Use of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in U.S. Communities
    Future research:
    Identify the most influential types of incentives
    Identify the most impactful stakeholder group to target with incentives.
  • Thank you!
    Maria Figueroa – Regional Director
    Fire Prevention Field Office
    Jonathan Hart – Assoc. Engineer
    National Fire Protection Association