I read with interest in a recent Fence Post the "facts" about residential fire sprinklers authored by one Bob Ruffatto. Mr. Ruffatto seemed pretty confident that if we all check our smoke alarm batteries tonight, we can all sleep comfortably. The problem is that, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 62 percent of all reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
In 2011, there were 3,005 residential fire fatalities. Fire does not discriminate between a new or existing home. I'll acknowledge that today's homes are built pretty well. It's not the home I worry about, it's the content that ignites during the fire and it is the toxic gases that kill the family members.
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The time to escape a fire in today's residential environment is less than three minutes. For that reason, my wife and I built a new home four years ago that included residential fire sprinklers. Have you ever read about a smoke alarm extinguishing a fire?
Sprinklers cost too much, according to homebuilders, and of course, they want to hold down the cost of the new home. Until it comes to granite counter tops. Our fire sprinkler system cost almost the same amount of money as the homebuilders quote for granite counter tops.
So don't be fooled by those people who are misinformed. Think about this fact, if you had a cure for a problem that killed three times more people in the last 10 years than the number of American military heroes who have sacrificed their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan during that same period, would you want to know what that cure is?
My wife and I know the cure. Residential fire sprinklers save lives.