Evaluating Fire Sprinkler System Cost: Part 1

Fire sprinkler systems are required by most local codes and ordinances because they have been proven to provide very necessary protection while also being simple and affordable to install.  For building owners and business operators, it is greatly worth the fire sprinkler system cost of proper installation because the financial benefits of protection are substantial.

If you own or are planning on purchasing a building that isn’t already properly equipped, retrofitting the building with an effective fire sprinkler system is a sound investment.  The National Fire Sprinkler Association conducted research regarding fire sprinkler system cost savings.  They found that properly installed fire sprinkler systems resulted in significant savings through continuous business operations, Life Safety Code compliance, liability avoidance, insurance discounts, federal legislation provisions and income tax deductions.

Fire Sprinkler System Cost Savings:

Continuous Business Operations 

In the unfortunate event of a fire, an unsprinklered building will experience major shut downs and considerable revenue loss. Owners of buildings will lose income from rent, manufacturers lose inventory and production space, and hotels lose bookings.  Most businesses that experience a major fire loss never reopen.  This causes detriment to owners, occupants, patrons, and the community at large.

Fire sprinkler system cost is very minimal compared to losses caused by fire damage. To limit the impact of fires and contain damage to only a small area, a sprinkler system should be installed.  With an effective fire protection system in place, rooms can be reoccupied quickly to minimize any loss of revenue.  Items that may get wet from sprinkler activation can dry out and be fine, but items that are burned to ash can never be recovered.

 Fire Sprinkler System Cost Savings:

Life Safety Code Compliance 

The Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) outlines requirements for sprinkler protection in existing buildings such as office buildings, co-ops, condominiums, high-rise apartments and hotels.  The code was added to the 1991 edition of NFPA 101 and has been adopted by American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  The Life Safety Code requirements for fire sprinkler systems are recognized as a minimum established level of expected care that is owed to occupants and patrons. To avoid liability, building owners must provide that level of care by having a fire protection plan in place and investing in the fire sprinkler system cost. 

Fire Sprinkler System Cost Savings:

Liability Avoidance

 Even if codes do not require fire sprinklers, it is becoming increasingly important for building owner to invest in fire protection for legal liability reasons.  Public expectations for a “reasonable level of care” have directly related to fire loss settlements in recent court cases.  Building owners have been required to pay in excess of $1 million per life lost in fires where sprinkler systems were not adequately in place.

As already mentioned, the Life Safety Code has required sprinkler systems in certain buildings for nearly 20 years and the document as been accepted an American National Standard.  To avoid liability and deliver the minimum level of expected care to people in and around the building, fire sprinkler systems should be installed during construction or retrofitted to an existing building.

Fire sprinkler system cost savings greatly outweigh the investment.  To ensure continuous business operations, comply with the Life Safety Code and avoid liability, it is worth the fire sprinkler system cost to protect lives and limit losses.

We will provide more information about fire sprinkler system cost savings through federal legislation, income tax incentives and insurance discounts in upcoming posts.  For questions or to schedule a fire protection system consultation, contact AIE today.

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