The research, underwritten by a federal Fire & Prevention Safety grant, demonstrates several areas of improved awareness of fire sprinkler life-safety benefits. It also underscores the importance of ongoing education and outreach to overcome common myths and misconceptions about home fire sprinklers.
“It’s certainly encouraging to see 59% of homeowners say fire safety is very important to them and that the majority would rather buy a sprinklered home,” said HFSC President Lorraine Carli. “But we are also reminded of how much awareness work there still is to do. For example, just half the homeowners recognize the increased fire hazards associated with lightweight residential construction to residents and firefighters, and only about a third understands how open design increases the danger of a home fire.”
The common myth that all the fire sprinklers spray water at once when a fire breaks out remains a roadblock to homeowner interest. But when homeowners were told that sprinklers operate independently and that just one sprinkler is typically needed to control a fire, approximately three-quarters became more interested in a sprinklered home. Nearly 70% had their interest boosted when they learned smoke cannot set off a fire sprinkler.
HFSC provides free information and educational materials for consumers, fire service officials and a variety of professions that play a role in home ownership. The survey was conducted online in May 2014 among 1,026 U.S. homeowners. HFSC will publish additional findings on its website HomeFireSprinkler.org, through Facebook and on Twitter at @HFSCorg.