Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Our Mission: Safer Stronger Communities - Safe Effective Firefighters.

Sprinkler Facts and Figures


Installing a sprinkler system is like having a firefighter in every room of your home!


National Information and Statistics

  • From March 2013, all new build dwellings in Wales will have to install sprinkler systems
  • In 2010 to 2011, 388 people died and 7400 injured (in fires) in Great Britain (CLG figures)
  • Almost three times as many people over the age of 50 die in domestic fires in the UK each year, than those under 50 (CFOA People Strategy)
  • The percentage of UK residents over the age of 65 is increasing (DCC Infrastructure Plan)
  • Fire in the home is a major cause of fire deaths and injuries in the UK. Your chance of experiencing a serious fire in the home in your lifetime is around 1 in 5
  • There have been no deaths/multiple fire deaths in the UK as a result of a fire in a dwelling with a working sprinkler system
  • Automatic sprinkler systems are used more than any other fixed fire protection system and more than 40 million sprinklers are fitted worldwide each year
  • ;Sprinklers offer builders more freedom designs and encourage innovative, inclusive and sustainable architecture

Water v Fire

  • MYTH: Water from the sprinkler causes more damage than the fire.
  • FACT: Sprinklers attack the fire quickly and directly so less water is needed. As they also operate the fire alarm, the flow can be quickly turned off when the fire is out.
  • Sprinklers use typically 60 litres/min of water to control the fire. This is between 1/25th and 1/100th of the water used by each fire service hose - so in the event of a fire water damage is minimised. In fact, sprinklers use even less water than this because they tackle the fire immediately, when it is still small. Smaller fires need much less water to control them
  • Houses which suffer major fires are seldom able to be lived in afterwards and are often demolished. Rooms protected by domestic sprinklers can usually be back in use within a few hours, and the rest of the house is usually unaffected

The Design

  • Modern domestic sprinklers are small, neat and concealed above the ceiling, and visitors are seldom able to spot them.
  • They are available in a variety of finishes and colours to suit any decor, and are concealed
  • Sprinklers are not difficult to install in homes or dwellings of any size

The Cost

  • The approximate cost of installing a domestic sprinkler in a new build 3-bedroom property is £1,500. In comparison, the cost of installing fire protection measures to meet Building Regulations is around £1,200 (fire doors, compartmental wall etc.) 
  • Domestic sprinkler are not expensive, costing typically less than 2% of the cost of an average new house, or about the cost of carpeting a house and are designed to last at least 50 years

The Standard

  • Sprinklers should be installed to British Standard 9251:2005 for residential and domestic occupancies and BS EN 12845:2003 for non-residential premises.

Myths Squashed!

  • Sprinklers do not 'false alarm' - they will only operate if there is an actual fire
  • Only the sprinkler head(s) directly affected by the fire is triggered
  • The odds of winning the lottery are greater than the 16 million to one chance of a sprinkler malfunction
  • Operational smoke detectors can only warn of fire and depend on someone calling the fire service. Sprinklers not only warn of fire they also act immediately to extinguish the fire, even if no one is present
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