Are you a homeowner who's in the midst of remodeling? If so, you have the perfect opportunity to install fire sprinklers in your home. If you've thought about these and decided not to get them because you're worried about damage or being unable to have any sort of flame or smoke -- even from something cooking in the kitchen -- in your home, take another look.
Modern home fire sprinklers are much more sensitive and selective than people think:
One of the biggest worries about having fire sprinklers is that all of them will go off and drench everything you own if any smoke or fire gets near the home. Luckily, modern sprinkler systems are designed so that the sprinkler heads go off separately. Multiple heads can start spraying water at the same time, but that's if those heads are all affected by heat or flames.
So if conditions in your living room set off the sprinklers there, the sprinkler heads in your bedroom and bathroom shouldn't go off unless the heat that triggered the other heads spreads into those rooms.
And that's another thing you should be aware of. These things require a lot of heat -- or flames -- to start spraying. Lighting a match, turning on a gas stove burner, and even lighting several candles would not set off the sprinklers. You would have to do something like hold the candle flames right on the sprinklers to even have a small chance of setting the heads off.
If you're still worried about potential problems, you can look for models where the sprinkler heads retract into the ceiling when they are not spraying. (So, essentially, they'd always be hidden in the ceiling.) These have panels that close them off from the room -- heat from a bona fide house fire will still get through the panels, but heat several feet away contained to some hot, smoky oil in a skillet won't reach them.
If you want more information on what fire sprinklers can do for you, talk to your local fire department and sprinkler installation company or a company like All Type Fire Protection Inc. You can ask them about all the questions you have about what might set off the sprinklers. You'll also be able to find out where you can place the sprinklers so that each covers as much room as possible while remaining unobtrusive.
Having the sprinklers can give you more peace of mind regarding the overall safety of your home. Remember, you can replace water-damaged furniture fairly easily, but it's much harder to replace an entire home.