Residential Fire Sprinklers

Published on March 1, 2012
Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Residential Fire Sprinklers - Water Usage and Water Meter Performance Study"
Author: Yunyong Utiskul, Ph.D. and Neil P. Wu, PE
Date of issue: February 2011

Foreword

When mandates for sprinkler requirements in one and two family dwellings are discussed at a local or state level, a number of issues come up with respect to water supply requirements. Often, these issues are true barriers to residential sprinkler requirements because the water authority is not knowledgeable about residential sprinklers systems and how they are different from commercial fire sprinkler systems. There are two related issues: one is total water usage during sprinkler actuation at a fire scene (fire flow) in comparison with water usage by the fire service; the other is conventional water meter performance during sprinkler actuation.

This report describes the results of a study on water usage and water meter performance during residential sprinkler system actuation in residences, designed to provide guidance information on this topic in a format suitable for water utilities and local jurisdictions. It includes the results of a survey of fire departments on their average use of water at fire scenes at single family homes; fire flow calculations for a variety of single family home fire sprinkler systems and a study of the performance of conventional residential water meters in maximum and minimum fire sprinkler flow scenarios.

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