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Residential Fire Sprinklers – Buy, Build or Retrofit

Residential Fire Sprinklers – Buy, Build or Retrofit

Buy, Build or Retrofit

If you are buying an existing home, talk to your real estate agent about finding homes with fire sprinklers already installed.
The best time to get fire sprinklers is when you are building. That’s when they are the most affordable and the easiest to install.

Include Fire Sprinklers When You Build Your New Home

The best time to get fire sprinklers is when you are building. That’s when they are the most affordable and the easiest to install.

  • Ask your builder or architect if they have experience working with fire sprinklers and if they know a sprinkler contractor.
  • If they don’t, talk to your local fire department for recommendations.
  • You can also do a web search or look in the Yellow pages.
  • Choose a sprinkler contractor who has NFPA 13D experience (the standard for home fire sprinklers).
  • Fire sprinklers are definitely not a Do-It-Yourself project. They have to be carefully engineered and installed correctly.
  • If your builder does not want to build with sprinklers, contact other builders in your area who will work with you.
  • Your sprinkler contractor will work with you to decide what type of sprinklers are best for your home. You can choose the traditional pendent style or concealed sprinklers.
  • The NFPA13D standard includes guidelines for installing fire sprinklers in areas with freezing temperatures. If freezing is a problem in your area, you might use sidewall sprinklers to avoid running piping in your attic.
  • Sprinklers are installed as part of the construction process, usually right after plumbing and electrical.
  • If you are doing a major home renovation, consider having fire sprinklers installed.

All Homes Can Be Retrofit

You can retrofit sprinklers in existing homes but it’s a little more complicated.

  • The best time to get sprinklers is when you are building, but all homes can be retrofitted.
  • Some homes may present challenges such as the water supply, the age of the home and how it was built.
  • If you are planning a large renovation, talk to your builder or architect about adding sprinklers.
  • Otherwise, talk directly to a sprinkler contractor who has experience with home fire sprinklers.
  • Fire sprinklers are not a do-it-yourself project. They have to be carefully designed and installed.
  • All homes must follow the NFPA 13D standard. Your contractor will know what that means.
  • While all homes can be retrofitted, some are easier than others.

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