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(Canada.com)   Calgary considers mandating sprinkler systems in every new house. They must be really love their lawns   (calgaryherald.com) divider line 138
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2603 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Dec 2009 at 3:31 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-12-15 04:32:29 PM
It also estimated that based on fire-fatality statistics, $38 million would be spent on house sprinklers for every life saved.

Gosh, how could this not make sense?
 
2009-12-15 04:33:23 PM
Earl of Chives: The funniest story I've EVAR heard in a "hey we live in a pretty sick world" kinda way is the contractor charged with murder when a bunch of kids got roasted to death in a school fire. Turns out the guy just shoved the sprinkler heads into the drop ceiling. No actual plumbing used to save a couple bucks.


Dead kids is funny to you?
 
2009-12-15 04:34:12 PM
fluffy2097: this seems like a great idea until 20 years down the road after years of non use, and begins leaking into your walls. Or if you loose heat during a blizzard and the pipes burst.

I mean seriously, are house fires REALLY frequent enough to warrant the extra expense of a sprinkler system? If you were really concerned about natural disaster you could build yourself a cement bunker and worry about none of it.


You're up against the type of mentality that governs the climate debate. No expense is too great!
 
2009-12-15 04:34:36 PM
William Shakesbeer: TheUnknownOne: 5. The chance of an accidental activation of a sprinkler head is estimated to be 1 in 16,000,000.

Does this include accidental physical damage to the head (struck by an object being moved, negligently used as a clothes hook, etc)? I have to believe that kind of event is a greater concern than a thermal "false positive".


Accidental would refer to the sprinkler head activating through no outside means, so it doesn't include people doing dumb things like hanging their clothes off of them (which, incidentally, is what a major cause of accidental activations in hotels is).

But in the context of this article, it's kind of moot anyway. Residential heads are typically concealed, so you can't hang anything off of them, And it's really, really hard to accidentally hit them when they're almost completely flush with the ceiling, hidden behind a plate.
 
2009-12-15 04:36:32 PM
Neat, when I move back there in 10 years I'll be able to biatch about how much more expensive houses are compared to how expensive they were.

Also, I think this is a good idea.
 
2009-12-15 04:40:06 PM
beoswulf: It would be far more productive in the States to crack down on the illegal conversion of single family units into multiple apartments.

Fires caused by shiatty wiring (extension cords + space heaters + hot plates,) blocked exits and even the use of candles to save on electricity costs have been responsible for most of the recent firefighter casualties in NYC.

/Not sure if Calgary has that problem.


We have a lot of illegal basement suites, some are better than others.
 
2009-12-15 04:41:07 PM
The_Fuzz: Or, and here is a crazy idea, they could make builders follow some sort of rules, lets call it a "building code" that requires them to use some sort of material that wont burn like Micheal Jacksons hair (to soon?). They could maybe not build wooden houses 3 stories tall smashed up against each other creating a perfect chimney.

Unfortunately everyone wants a 3 story box with 5000sq feet using every last inch of the property line.


How's your cave?
 
2009-12-15 04:42:06 PM
That's farking idiotic. Enjoy your insane property damage premiums.
 
2009-12-15 04:42:38 PM
darkmayo

We have a lot of illegal basement suites, some are better than others.

Enforcement is there though - just takes one b*tchy neighbour and you'll find the oven getting dragged out of basement by bylaw officers.

/srsly
 
2009-12-15 04:43:52 PM
A pretty sound rule for a city with mild climate that rarely dips below freezing point.
 
2009-12-15 04:45:04 PM
darkmayo:

I certainly dont mind the extra cameras and a little more police/transit presence on the C-Train line, too many farkwits ride the train and hang around the stations being cool/thugs.


That's true. But once you're a few blocks from the train, it's really not their problem any more.
 
2009-12-15 04:47:20 PM
beoswulf: It would be far more productive in the States to crack down on the illegal conversion of single family units into multiple apartments.

Fires caused by shiatty wiring (extension cords + space heaters + hot plates,) blocked exits and even the use of candles to save on electricity costs have been responsible for most of the recent firefighter casualties in NYC.

/Not sure if Calgary has that problem.



not really no.

everyone in Calgary is mega rich, barely has to work and blows sunshine out their asses. The sunshine being the primary cause of most of their house fires.


/tired of hearing about how great Calgary is.
 
2009-12-15 04:47:43 PM
The indident that is causing this knee jerk reaction, the five houses that burned as mentioned in TFA, was literally a perfect storm of circumstances.

The city was in the middle of a high-wind blizzard which had drifted feet of snow across many main roads leading to the houses. The wind made the fire spread shockingly fast and the virtually impassable roads didn't allow the firefighters to arrive and operate in a timely fashion.

It was the kind of thing that might happen once every two or three decades, but good 'ol Calgary city coucil (aka the gang that can't shoot straight) figures this is a good time to get some "we love public safety" publicity.
 
2009-12-15 04:52:53 PM
fluffy2097: this seems like a great idea until 20 years down the road after years of non use, and begins leaking into your walls. Or if you loose heat during a blizzard and the pipes burst.

I mean seriously, are house fires REALLY frequent enough to warrant the extra expense of a sprinkler system?

Residential sprinkler systems are typically installed using special CPVC piping. It doesn't deteriorate.
Typically, it will outlast about anything else in your house, including you.

/in the sprinkler biz for 28 years
//getting a kick out of all these ill-informed replies, etc.
 
2009-12-15 04:56:41 PM
rastjr: Earl of Chives: The funniest story I've EVAR heard in a "hey we live in a pretty sick world" kinda way is the contractor charged with murder when a bunch of kids got roasted to death in a school fire. Turns out the guy just shoved the sprinkler heads into the drop ceiling. No actual plumbing used to save a couple bucks.


Dead kids is funny to you?


Absolutely not! After I read that story back in 1983, I dropped out of school and I've since devoted my life to inventing a better sprinkler system.


/I'm also thinking of getting metal legs.
//derp
 
2009-12-15 04:57:23 PM
radioman_: Safe, yes, but a nightmare if it goes off when there's no fire - and often they do. One town in my county mandates residential sprinklers in new construction. Firefighter friends tell me the horror stories of ruined floors and walls from false alarms.
Alarms don't set off fire sprinklers, nor does smoke; temperature does.
A sprinkler systems' worst enemy is being exposed to freezing temps, of course. That will cause activations/bursting. Systems installed in anticipated freezing temperatures typically are of dry pipe design for that very reason.
Your friends at the FD reflect the typical jealousy exhibited towards fire sprinkler systems by some in the firefighting service.
They see them as threats to their livelihood, when in fact, a properly maintained sprinkler system will have the fire out BEFORE the Weeners units arrive - and they know that.
 
2009-12-15 04:58:02 PM
The Decider: this seems like a great idea until 20 years down the road after years of non use, and begins leaking into your walls. Or if you loose heat during a blizzard and the pipes burst.

Dupont Washington found this out the hard way when we had a cold snap a couple days ago.

Link (new window)


Oh hey, this just happened in my building last weekend! I live on the third (top) floor and a new guy moved in below me. He probably turned off his heat (to save money, I guess) because normally I'm sitting happily at 70-74 degrees all winter long from the unit below me. But ever since this guy moved in, my heat was coming on a lot at 67 (65 at night). Fast forward a few months and I get a call from the fire department. A fire sprinkler trunk had burst in the building. Oh crap, I think, it was in the attic and I'm screwed. I rush home in the ice and snow and ta-da: the burst trunk line was in the unit below me, Mr. No Heat. There's ice coming down the walls, ice down the stairs, ice everywhere. It was probably 10 outside when this happened. The next day I'm back up to 70-74 without having to use my heat.

/cool story, etc.
 
2009-12-15 04:58:08 PM
moparedtn: fluffy2097: this seems like a great idea until 20 years down the road after years of non use, and begins leaking into your walls. Or if you loose heat during a blizzard and the pipes burst.

I mean seriously, are house fires REALLY frequent enough to warrant the extra expense of a sprinkler system?
Residential sprinkler systems are typically installed using special CPVC piping. It doesn't deteriorate.
Typically, it will outlast about anything else in your house, including you.

/in the sprinkler biz for 28 years
//getting a kick out of all these ill-informed replies, etc.


You know what's even better about all these misinformed excuses like, "OMG my sprinkler pipes are going to freeze or corrode and flood my house!!!11!"?

The fact that if these claims were true, they would apply also to standard plumbing. Yet no one is complaining about being forced to have running water in their house because they're afraid their water pipes are going to corrode and burst.
 
2009-12-15 04:59:01 PM
eKonk: For new construction, sprinkler system installation is a similar cost to flooring - assuming you have an adequate water supply. Most people on a public water system have such a supply, but typical residential well systems are not capable of keeping up.

It's a good idea - if the insurance companies drop rates for sprinklered houses to reflect the decrease in fire damages they will experience.


All true. For those applications that aren't on an adequate, dependable public water supply, there are systems consisting of pumps and storage tanks specifically made for residential application.
Fill the tank and it's ready to go.
 
2009-12-15 04:59:13 PM
Earl of Chives: rastjr: Earl of Chives: The funniest story I've EVAR heard in a "hey we live in a pretty sick world" kinda way is the contractor charged with murder when a bunch of kids got roasted to death in a school fire. Turns out the guy just shoved the sprinkler heads into the drop ceiling. No actual plumbing used to save a couple bucks.


Dead kids is funny to you?

Absolutely not! After I read that story back in 1983, I dropped out of school and I've since devoted my life to inventing a better sprinkler system.


/I'm also thinking of getting metal legs.
//derp



Good for you.
 
2009-12-15 05:00:26 PM
kvinesknows:


/tired of hearing about how great Calgary is.


Winnipeg is awesome, because the people are so friendly.

/Oh...
 
2009-12-15 05:00:52 PM
EggFool: darkmayo:

I certainly dont mind the extra cameras and a little more police/transit presence on the C-Train line, too many farkwits ride the train and hang around the stations being cool/thugs.

That's true. But once you're a few blocks from the train, it's really not their problem any more.


Well depends, if it looks like shiat is going to happen the person monitoring the camera can get the police engaged, suspects identifed and arrested. I have seen it happen, some loud abusive drunk was trying to cause fights, he got off the train at the same stop I did and about a block away a police van picked him up and I assume threw him in the drunk tank.
 
2009-12-15 05:01:36 PM
krazydiamond: One of the first Fark threads I ever commented upon was a thread of a similar nature. I argued then in favour of sprinklers being part of the building code but have since changed my mind. The upkeep cost is substantial and I don't think the common benefit (reduced risk to firefighters and the community) is worth imposing the cost on others. I would probably still install one in my home, but it should be a choice.
Upkeep costs?
Other than annual testing and inspection, there is none.
 
2009-12-15 05:01:37 PM
stirfrybry: The_Fuzz: Or, and here is a crazy idea, they could make builders follow some sort of rules, lets call it a "building code" that requires them to use some sort of material that wont burn like Micheal Jacksons hair (to soon?). They could maybe not build wooden houses 3 stories tall smashed up against each other creating a perfect chimney.

Unfortunately everyone wants a 3 story box with 5000sq feet using every last inch of the property line.

How's your cave?


My cave is awesome, thank you. Actually live quite happily in a 1000sq foot bungalo.
 
2009-12-15 05:03:54 PM
greatgodyoshi: I'm fairly certain there was a city (state? I don't remember) in the US, within the last year or so, that was considering this.

Some parts of the country already require these. Parts of California, for instance.
 
2009-12-15 05:03:58 PM
moparedtn

a properly maintained sprinkler system will have the fire out BEFORE the Weeners units arrive

Hey, that's the kind of sexist talk that's discouraging women from going into firefighting!

/joke
//filter
 
2009-12-15 05:04:01 PM
darkmayo:
Well depends, if it looks like shiat is going to happen the person monitoring the camera can get the police engaged, suspects identifed and arrested.


Was he acting creepy on camera? Was he even on the train? I thought he just jumped her on the street...
 
2009-12-15 05:04:40 PM
Fine Homebuilding magazine had an article in a recent issue (Nov 09 I think) about just this very thing. Sprinklers are part of the newest code requirements for residential construction, to take effect in 2011.

The method of install they seemed to like uses PEX pipe, which doesn't burst when frozen, and is able to be connected to the house's main water supply, as opposed to needing its own separate system.

Also, NIST did a study a couple years back about cost/benefit. See article here (new window)for a complete rundown. In brief, the cost (avg. $1.50/sq ft) is far outweighed by the benefits:

1. Near elimination of fire fatalities;
2. 57% reduction in injuries;
3. 32% reduction in direct and indirect damages, lost work, etc.;
4. Average of 8% reduction in homeowners' premiums.

In short, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
 
2009-12-15 05:04:50 PM
Earl of Chives: The funniest story I've EVAR heard in a "hey we live in a pretty sick world" kinda way is the contractor charged with murder when a bunch of kids got roasted to death in a school fire. Turns out the guy just shoved the sprinkler heads into the drop ceiling. No actual plumbing used to save a couple bucks.

moparedtn: radioman_: Safe, yes, but a nightmare if it goes off when there's no fire - and often they do. One town in my county mandates residential sprinklers in new construction. Firefighter friends tell me the horror stories of ruined floors and walls from false alarms.
Alarms don't set off fire sprinklers, nor does smoke; temperature does.
A sprinkler systems' worst enemy is being exposed to freezing temps, of course. That will cause activations/bursting. Systems installed in anticipated freezing temperatures typically are of dry pipe design for that very reason.
Your friends at the FD reflect the typical jealousy exhibited towards fire sprinkler systems by some in the firefighting service.
They see them as threats to their livelihood, when in fact, a properly maintained sprinkler system will have the fire out BEFORE the Weeners units arrive - and they know that.


Obviously, I didn't type "weeners" in my response.
The fark-filter has gone prude!
 
M-G
2009-12-15 05:05:09 PM
Nothing new here. Many cities have such codes in place, and the NFPA is pushing for wider adoption (new window).
 
2009-12-15 05:06:32 PM
moparedtn

Upkeep costs?
Other than annual testing and inspection, there is none.


www.hollow-hill.com

/hot
//how is 'none' the same as 'annual testing and inspection'?
 
2009-12-15 05:06:41 PM
ErinPac: TheUnknownOne: Some facts about sprinkler systems:

1. They do not go off from an alarm being pulled (unless it's a special deluge system, which are rare and only used in high-risk buildings where there's a real chance of a RAPIDLY spreading fire, or chemical hood systems like over a restaurant oven).

2. They do not go off from smoke.

3. In a typical fire, only one or two sprinkler heads fire. Contrary to Hollywood depictions, holding a match up to one head four floors down does not make every head in the building go off. Individual heads activate based on localized heat.

4. Sprinklers output far less water, and thus do far less water damage, than fire hoses.

5. The chance of an accidental activation of a sprinkler head is estimated to be 1 in 16,000,000.

Our dorms used to have them go off semi-regularly, and they usually soaked a whole floor, not one dorm (though also not the whole building) - I know they gave us information on optional insurance for the water damage. I doubt residential ones would be as nice as they might be in offices (though hopefully better than the dorm ones were).

Still not too worried about the one in my basement, but also doubting the residential ones are quite so nice as these stats - looking too close at what the average house seems to be put together with is scary.

Sprinkler heads go off individually, by temperature.
As an aside, in the colleges we service, 99% of the "accidental" activations of sprinkler systems winds up being some idiot students' doing. Go figure.
 
2009-12-15 05:07:12 PM
EggFool: Winnipeg is awesome

It's not often I see these three words placed together.
 
2009-12-15 05:08:06 PM
How about just not building houses three feet from each other. That might help as well.
 
2009-12-15 05:08:37 PM
greatgodyoshi: I'm fairly certain there was a city (state? I don't remember) in the US, within the last year or so, that was considering this.

Minnesota. The state fire marshal was pushing for it but it seems to have gone nowhere. The Minneapolis Star Tribune was pushing him on how many lives it would save and he couldn't come up with any data supporting his case.

I would've asked him myself as he's in my office several times a year but I've not spoken to him for any length of time and I'd rather that not be the first conversation I have with him.
 
2009-12-15 05:08:39 PM
mechgreg: TheUnknownOne: Some facts about sprinkler systems:
3. In a typical fire, only one or two sprinkler heads fire. Contrary to Hollywood depictions, holding a match up to one head four floors down does not make every head in the building go off. Individual heads activate based on localized heat.


I have designed a few sprinkler systems as part of my job and I have always found that hollywood cliche hilarious. If the sprinkler system going set off every sprinkler you would either need gigantic sprinkler piping or you would have a system that didn't work very good since the water would be going everywhere not the specific place you need it.

As far as spriklers in homes go I am not so sure how good they would be from a life safety point of view. I mean would they be that much better than having a smoke detector in every room of your house?

It's not an either/or proposition.
You should have both detectors and sprinklers, of course, although having detection in every room is serious overkill.
 
2009-12-15 05:11:33 PM
They do have more Flames then anywhere else.

www.hhof.com
 
2009-12-15 05:12:42 PM
mistersnark: Fine Homebuilding magazine had an article in a recent issue (Nov 09 I think) about just this very thing. Sprinklers are part of the newest code requirements for residential construction, to take effect in 2011.

The method of install they seemed to like uses PEX pipe, which doesn't burst when frozen, and is able to be connected to the house's main water supply, as opposed to needing its own separate system.

Also, NIST did a study a couple years back about cost/benefit. See article here (new window)for a complete rundown. In brief, the cost (avg. $1.50/sq ft) is far outweighed by the benefits:

1. Near elimination of fire fatalities;
2. 57% reduction in injuries;
3. 32% reduction in direct and indirect damages, lost work, etc.;
4. Average of 8% reduction in homeowners' premiums.

In short, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

All very good info except for the pex part.
Pex is that blue or red flexible plastic piping that many homes have for water lines these days.
It isn't, however, approved for fire protection systems.
Typical material for that in residential applications is this:
www.exponent.com
 
2009-12-15 05:13:31 PM
Killer Cars: EggFool: Winnipeg is awesome

It's not often I see these three words placed together.


GIS for Winnipeg is awesome

images.google.com
 
2009-12-15 05:15:49 PM
EggFool: darkmayo:
Well depends, if it looks like shiat is going to happen the person monitoring the camera can get the police engaged, suspects identifed and arrested.

Was he acting creepy on camera? Was he even on the train? I thought he just jumped her on the street...


hmmm.. I guess my kudos to Ctrain cams and such is non sequitur to your original statement since I have no idea if the guy who killed the woman was on the Ctrain as well.
 
2009-12-15 05:16:38 PM
Killer Cars: EggFool: Winnipeg is awesome

It's not often I see these three words placed together.


It is. Well it was when I was there. That grumpy person needs some cupcakes.
 
2009-12-15 05:18:32 PM
The_Fuzz: Killer Cars: EggFool: Winnipeg is awesome

It's not often I see these three words placed together.

GIS for Winnipeg is awesome


How is that not fun?
 
2009-12-15 05:20:53 PM
My college experience:
1. 75 year old dorm never has had a fire.
1.Thousands spent on new fire system installed (millions campus wide). Ugly plumbing running throughout the already cramped rooms
2. Errant football in top floor hallway triggers entire system. Floods entire wing
3. Thousands in damage. Students moved to temporary housing.
4. ??
5. Profit
 
2009-12-15 05:21:50 PM
The_Fuzz: My cave is awesome, thank you. Actually live quite happily in a 1000sq foot bungalo.

Some people would rather live in a large box that's ugly on the outside than a tiny box that's, well, tiny.

For the record, I live in what most would call a McMansion but it's a relatively small development in a small town and it backs onto a ravine. There's about 15 feet to my nearest neighbor (maybe 20) so it's ain't that bad at all.
 
2009-12-15 05:22:40 PM
darkmayo:

hmmm.. I guess my kudos to Ctrain cams and such is non sequitur to your original statement since I have no idea if the guy who killed the woman was on the Ctrain as well.


Me neither. Let's call it a draw...

(3 blocks away - even if he was on the train acting creepy they never would have gotten there in time!) Sinister!!
 
2009-12-15 05:27:41 PM
EggFool: It is. Well it was when I was there. That grumpy person needs some cupcakes.

Heck, I'm fairly happy at the moment and I'll gladly accept some cupcakes. Cookies, too, if you got that.

Thanks!
 
2009-12-15 05:29:03 PM
EggFool: Winnipeg is awesome, because the people are so friendly.

/Oh...


Don't make me kick you in the junk lady...

...I'll do it. This place has made me meaner.
 
2009-12-15 05:29:23 PM
Erom: My college experience:
1. 75 year old dorm never has had a fire.
1.Thousands spent on new fire system installed (millions campus wide). Ugly plumbing running throughout the already cramped rooms
2. Errant football in top floor hallway triggers entire system. Floods entire wing


Stopped reading here. This isn't Hollywood.
 
2009-12-15 05:30:10 PM
be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be be
 
2009-12-15 05:33:55 PM
EggFool: The_Fuzz: Killer Cars: EggFool: Winnipeg is awesome

It's not often I see these three words placed together.

GIS for Winnipeg is awesome

How is that not fun?


I didn't not say that that was not fun.

/not
 
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