Windsor fire department pushing sprinkler systems
Windsor Fire and Rescue and the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association have teamed up to educate people on the value of home sprinkler systems.
The two organizations say they increase safety — but they're not cheap.
A sprinkler system costs between two and five per cent of the cost of a new home - that's up to an additional $10,000 on a new $200,000 home.
A retrofit costs much more.
Firefighters say the price tag is worth it.
"They've been proven that they are far more effective than traditional firefighting efforts," deputy fire chief Brian McLaughlin said.
The Ontario Fire Marshal says that a study out of Vancouver found that in the last 11 years there hasn't been a single fire death in a home with sprinklers.
Sprinklers take just seconds to douse a fire in some cases. When it comes to minimizing damage, the savings are high.
"The damage in an non sprinklered house would average about 45 thousand dollars in damage, where as a fully sprinklered house is about 25 hundred," said Chris Logan of Wallace-Kent Sprinkler Systems.
Firefighters said, for example, the damage done in the $1-million Dollarama fire in Windsor earlier this year would have been much less had sprinklers been installed at the store.
Although installers say they're becoming more common - especially in places like Boblo Island, where it's hard to get to - they aren't an easy sell.
Nathan Rock has been installing sprinkler systems for 13 years. He says the feedback isn't always great.
"Most people that have put them in have been made to do so, so as far as feedback is concerned it's not always a positive thing," he said.
There there can be maintenance work involved, too. But the Ontario Fire Marshal says the odds of a sprinkler going off because of a defect are one in 16 million.