According to a City of Chicago Life Safety Ordinance, every building above 80 feet must be equipped with automatic sprinklers. That edict dictated compliance by 2017.
It’s hard to believe, but many tall buildings constructed in Chicago in the 20th century still lack automatic sprinklers. As ESD’s Fire Protection engineering team knows, the short-term cost savings of not installing sprinklers hinders long-term benefits for building owners.
The benefits of sprinklers are manifold. Consider just three:
- They lower the chance of death in a fire by nearly 90 percent. In fact, people are statistically safer at work than at home thanks to sprinklers
- Sprinklers reduce property damage due to fire, especially compared to the water damage caused by fire-department hoses
- Sprinklers increase property value
Not persuaded? There are also federal, state and municipal tax incentives tied with retrofitting sprinklers. Today’s sprinklers can be installed with specialty products designed to facilitate installation, conceal piping and preserve the aesthetic, and there’s minimal invasive disruption to the building’s interior with the installation process.