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Home fire sprinklers

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When it comes to the safety of your home and family, you would probably say money is no object. Yet cost (real or perceived) has long deterred many homeowners from considering a residential fire sprinkler system to protect their homes. The systems cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 80 percent, have broad support from safety experts and can even qualify you for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. But until now, a perception of high cost has overshadowed those positives.

A new study reveals that the price of residential fire sprinkler systems has dropped significantly, creating an opportunity for safety-minded homeowners to tap the many benefits of sprinklers.

In 2008, the average per-foot cost of a residential fire sprinkler system was $1.61; in 2013, the average per-foot cost has plunged to $1.35, according to a report by the Fire Protection Research Foundation. Multipurpose systems that use a home’s cold-water supply, rather than a separate piping system, are even more affordable – just $1.23 per square foot, the report found.

And costs are likely to drop even lower, one expert says.

“More communities are considering, or have already implemented, fire sprinkler requirements for new, single-family homes,” says Eric Skare, a volunteer firefighter and fire safety systems product manager for Uponor North America (www.uponor-usa.com), an Apple Valley, Minn.-based sprinkler system manufacturer. “Growing demand has resulted in increased competition and lower installed costs for these systems. Manufacturers competing for market share continue to develop lower-cost products to ensure the cost-effectiveness of residential fire sprinkler systems.”

The lower cost is good news for anyone interested in protecting their home with a fire sprinkler system, Skare says.

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