There’s a lot of misinformation when it comes to automatic sprinkler systems in a home, school, or really anywhere. Most of it is due to Hollywood movies, where they love to have someone set a match at one sprinkler, which then causes all of the sprinklers to recognize it and go off as well. This is not actually the case, instead just that sprinkler goes off (sometimes not even that). This is because sprinklers react to a temperature in a room, and a tiny light from a match does not produce the kind of temperature a sprinkler would worry about. And this is just one of many things people should be aware of when it comes to automatic fire suppression sprinklers.
The first and most important lesson to take aware from this is to never install a fire suppression sprinkler system by yourself. One mistake can end up messing up the sprinklers and causing them to work when you don’t want them to, and not work when you really need them. Automatic sprinklers should always be installed by someone who has had the training to do it.
Fire sprinklers actually have a very small chance of ever going off when you don’t want them to. Because they read temperature with a glass bulb that applies pressure to a pipe, they can only ever go off one time before needing to be repaired and they are very stingy about when they go off, only at a certain high enough temperature. A fluid in the glass bulb expands it as it is heated up and then it pops, which lets the water free.
Thanks to the consistency and proven power of fire sprinkler systems, over 99% of homes and places with a sprinkler system had the fires controlled by just that system, installing one actually provides lower insurance premiums. And cost about the same as a new carpet might in a home.
All of this together suggests that fire sprinklers are one of the safest things to have installed in a home, and they should be done by a professional. But if you just can’t afford it, or install it, at least make sure your smoke detector is up to date.