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Sprinkler systems

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Sprinkler systems are described as one of the oldest and reliable ‘modern’ fire protection systems (1). The benefits of sprinkler systems are generally well known and there are many published documents that can be found in the literature such as the recent review by the Frank et al (2).


). In general, the reliability of sprinkler system is of the order of 75% to 95 %, depending on factors such as their age and the level of statutory enforcement (3). Compared with other fire protection measures, sprinkler systems have a marked benefit if installed in building. Using data from the US, Thomas (4) concluded that sprinkler systems are generally more effective in reducing fire spread and to a lesser extent civilian fatalities, firefighter injuries and property loses than either fire detection systems, fire-rated construction and fire detection systems combined.




  1. Marrayatt H W, Fire, a century of automatic sprinkler protection in Australia and New Zealand, 1886 – 1986, Australian Fire Protection Association 1988.
  2. Frank K, Gravestock N, Spearpoint M, Fleischmann C.A review of sprinkler system effectiveness studies. Fire Science Review, 2:6, 2013.10.1186/2193-0414-2-6
  3. British Standards Institution, Application of fire safety engineering principles to the design of the building – Part 7: Probabilistic risk assessment, PD7974 – 7:2003.
  4. Thomas I R. Effectiveness of fire safety components and systems journal of fire protection engineering, 12 63-7, 2002.10.1106/104239102034784


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