Home Sprinkler Report Finds Meager Insurance Discounts

The International Code Council's Sept. 21 approval of a residential fire sprinkler requirement for all new one- and two-family homes and townhouses doesn't settle the dispute about their cost, and a new report from the NFPA-sponsored Fire Protection Research Foundation adds fuel to that fire. The cost of sprinkler systems to the homebuilder ranged from 38 cents to $3.66 per sprinklered square foot, with an average of $1.61 per sprinklered SF, according to the "Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment," which is dated Sept. 10, 2008, and has been posted by NFPA. (Newport Partners of Davidsonville, Md., prepared it.)

The researchers collected three building plans and cost data for each of 10 case study communities (nine U.S. communities and one in Canada). They found one, Wilsonville, Ore., that offers a credit to offset the cost of sprinklers; there, total sprinkler system costs to the builder averaged $1.49 per sprinklered SF. The total cost for sprinkler systems to the builder ranged from $2,386 to $16,061 for the 30 houses.

The authors checked for homeowners' insurance premium discounts, asking five insurers in each location that had significant market share in that states. While they said their discounts ranged from 0 to 10 percent for home sprinklers, averaging 7 percent, actual quotes showed annual discount savings averaged only $22 -- 3.42 percent of the annual premium. "The difference in this discount compared to the average percentage discount found in the survey is likely due to the disconnect between generally quoted ranges and the real discounts allowed on real policies. As sprinkler systems become more common in given areas and this discount becomes a more common topic in the consumer-insurance agent dialogue, it is anticipated that actual discounts would more closely track with general ranges," the study states.

The ICC vote took place in Minneapolis and changed the International Residential Code (IRC), with the sprinkler mandate set to show up first in the 2009 IRC. Advocates of the change said 46 states use the IRC as the basis for regulating new home construction.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Everything You Need to Know about Incident investigations

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2020

    November December 2020

    Featuring:

    • COLD STRESS
      Managing Cold Stress
    • TRAINING: FALL PROTECTION
      Providing Training for Fall Protection
    • PPE: HEARING PROTECTION
      Eight Tips for Hearing Testing Day
    • FACILITY SECURITY
      Incorporating COVID-19 Protections into Safety Programs
    View This Issue