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Safety alert regarding antifreeze in residential fire sprinkler systems

State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy announced today that the Office of the State Fire Marshal continues to strongly emphasize the importance of residential fire sprinklers as one of the most effective ways to prevent fire injury and death in the home and other residential occupancies.  In Washington, residential fire sprinklers have successfully prevented fire injuries and deaths and have protected communities from large fire losses.
 
Recently, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issued a safety alert regarding the use of antifreeze in residential fire sprinkler systems following a research study that confirmed potential problems.
 
NFPA recommends that residents with a fire sprinkler system contact a sprinkler contractor to check and see if there is antifreeze in the system and what measures to take. Residential fire sprinkler systems containing antifreeze should be drained and the antifreeze replaced with water.  Sprinkler piping can be protected by other means such as insulation, pipe wrap, and setting the temperatures in the house to prevent freezing. These fire sprinkler systems should not be disconnected.
 
In new residential construction, there are options for fire sprinkler installations that do not require antifreeze.  Alternative sprinkler layout and designs and insulation over piping can provide the necessary protection from freezing conditions.
 
NFPA study results and recommendations can be viewed here.
 

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