Environmental Impact of Sprinklers

Fire and the Environment

Building fires can have a significant impact on the environment.

  • As combustible materials burn they release carbon dioxide and other toxic gases.
  • Uncontrolled fires burn significantly more of a building and its furnishings.
  • Firefighter intervention in an uncontrolled fire requires a large amount of water to extinguish the flames.
  • The waste water from firefighting often contains pollutants from the burnt material in the home, which can end up in waterways.
  • Larger fires subsequently lead to disposal of more material and reconstruction of a greater degree of the home, ultimately embodying more carbon.

Fire Sprinklers minimise the environmental impact

Sprinklers are effective in minimising the environmental impact of building fires.

  • Fire Sprinklers control the spread of fire significantly reducing its size and damage (up to 97%*).
  • Reducing the size and amount of combustible material consumed by the fire subsequently reduces the carbons and toxic gases released (by 97.8%*).
  • Firefighter intervention in a sprinkler controlled fire requires much less water resulting in a fraction of the waste water (up to 91% less total water used*).
  • Smaller fires result in less disposal of damaged material and less reconstruction consuming less carbon overall.

*FM Global (2010)

Peak heat release from home fire (kW)*
  • Sprinklered
  • non-Sprinklered
Total water used to extinguish fire (L)*
  • Sprinklered
  • non-Sprinklered
CO2 Emmissions
  • Sprinklered
  • non-Sprinklered