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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Safety & Services > Fire Sprinklers

Fire Sprinklers Cost


How Much Do Fire Sprinklers Cost?

 
average costAverage Home: $2,000-$6,000 high costLarger Home: $7,000-$16,000

Many states and municipalities have fire sprinkler ordinances in place requiring sprinkler systems in all new construction. Typically, the systems are activated when the inside of a dwelling reaches a certain temperature-- usually at about 155 degrees Fahrenheit.

Typical costs:

  • There are two main types of fire sprinkler systems: Multipurpose systems are integrated with the already existing plumbing systems, while standalone systems have their own plumbing. Multipurpose systems typically have lower costs because they take advantage of plumbing systems already in place. Some contractors may charge or give estimates by the "sprinklered square foot." Sprinklered square footage differs from living area square footage because some areas of the house (like a crawl space) are not considered living spaces but still may require sprinklers.
  • According to the Fire Protection Research Organization's 2009 Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment, sprinkler installation costs homebuilders $0.38-$3.66 per sprinklered square foot, with an average cost of $1.61 per sprinklered square foot. For an average 2,200-square-foot home, expect to pay about $3,542. For a 3,500-square-foot home, expect to pay about $5,635.
  • Fire sprinklers cost 1%-2% of the cost of a new home. In already existing properties, sprinkler systems typically cost $2,000-$16,000. The low end of the range is for homes averaging 2,000 square feet in communities with fire sprinkler ordinances in place more than five years. The high end of the range is for larger homes (in excess of 3,000 square feet) in communities with no sprinkler ordinance or a recently passed ordinance. Communities with a sprinkler ordinance in place for more than five years tend to experience market acceptance, the Fire Protection Research Organization says, which means increased competition and lower prices.
  • The type of piping used in home fire sprinkler systems can significantly affect the cost. Homes that use nonmetallic pipe (like CPVC or PEX pipe) tend to pay less than homes using a mix of metallic (copper pipes) and nonmetallic or exclusively metallic. Nonmetallic installations average $1.18 per sprinklered square foot; a mix of both types costs on average $1.56 per sprinklered square foot; solely using metallic piping typically costs $3.19 per sprinklered square foot.
  • Location can play a role in the cost of fire sprinkler installation. Homes on the West Coast tend to have slab foundations, while in the Midwest and East Coast, basement foundations are more common. Homes with basement foundations tend to have higher costs because basements increase a home's potential sprinklered square feet. Homes with slab foundations average $0.81 per sprinklered square foot; homes with basement foundations averaged $1.81 per sprinklered square foot; and those with crawl space foundations averaged $0.92 per sprinklered square foot.
Related articles: Smoke Detector, Fire Extinguisher, Fire Damage, Homeowner's Insurance

What should be included:
  • An estimate from a contractor or homebuilder should provide details about what is included in fire sprinkler installation. The estimate of the total cost should include parts, design, installation, permits, and increased tap and water meter fees.
  • The National Fire Protection Association provides the standards for the installation of sprinkler systems[1] .
Additional costs:
  • Buildings that depend on local wells rather than municipal water systems can incur additional charges. Sprinkler systems on wells typically require installation of a booster pump[2] which can add $2,000-$3,600 to the overall cost.
  • Communities with sprinkler ordinances typically charge permit and inspection fees. Some communities have flat fees, and others base the fees on square footage or value of the house. Typically, the permit costs are $50-$350, but some communities charge as high as $800 in permit fees.
Discounts:
  • According to Fire Protection Research Foundation, communities with sprinkler ordinances in effect for more than five years tend to have lower costs for implementing the systems. In communities with a sprinkler ordinance for more than five years, homebuilders typically pay lower fees as a result of greater competition.
  • Some communities offer a credit to contractors to offset the cost of installing a sprinkler system. For example, the state of South Carolina[3] offers up to a 25% credit on costs directly related to installation of a sprinkler system.
  • Many insurance companies offer discounts for fire sprinkler installations, which come as a percentage off the basic premium. To qualify for the discount, fire sprinkler systems must meet the National Fire Protection Association Standard. Economists from the National Association of Home Builders[4] found that most insurance companies offer discounts[5] of 5%-15% for fire sprinkler systems.
Shopping for fire sprinklers:
  • The Fire Sprinkler Initiative offers a state-by-state breakdown[6] of fire sprinkler requirements. The National Fire Protection Association offers an interactive map[7] of communities with fire sprinkler requirements in the building code.
  • Fire Team USA, which provides fire protection training, has a fire sprinkler cost calculator[8] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Life safety
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Cas123 in NEW BRIGHTON, PA.Posted: January 3rd, 2021 05:01AM
The purpose of home sprinklers is life safety- to allow extra time to escape, while preventing flashovers and reducing the speed of the burn and smoke. I wonder if it is possible to just get this into one area of the home- kitchen, living room. To make it more affordable?
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New Jersey fire sprinkler cost?
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Robalino21 in Jersey city, NJ.Posted: August 17th, 2020 07:08PM
Getting bids now for a 3 story residential rental property in jersey city, nj. The 3 apartment 3900 soft building has a shared roof in the designs so was told I needed a system. How much can I expect to pay per square foot for basic install? Do I need a backflow preventer? 1 or 2? Quote of 31K blew my mind.
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not accurate or even close
Amount: $10,000.00
Posted by: Fire guy in Wailuku, HI.Posted: August 7th, 2020 10:08AM
fire sprinklers save lives!! a quality installer can not survive off the figures shown here, $1-$2 per sf I would be scared of the "garbage" that gets installed. for quality materials you are looking at $3-5 per sf and another $3-4 per sf for a quality installer. the numbers on here are for inferior products installed by NON_CERTIFIED plumbers!! help people get accurate information about cost for life safety, residential homes should start at $6-8 per sf new construction including labor and materials, anything less than that is just a lie!
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Alterations to a 3rd floor attic
Amount: $13,000.00
Posted by: Ken Killian in Buffalo, NY.Posted: October 2nd, 2018 02:10PM
I received two quotes on a sprinkler system for a 3rd story attic/livable area of 900 sq. ft. and the quotes are $13,000.00 and $18,000.00
Not even close to your estimates
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Bad job
Amount: $50,000.00
Posted by: Alex Estragan in Naples, FL.Posted: February 5th, 2018 10:02AM
Contractor: ————————————
I had the system installed in my home after it was built. I payed 49,635 for it in a building of 10,000 sq feet of living space. Two months after I had it I had a fire in my utility room, no sprinkler activated because that head was not connected to the system. Thankfuly the one in the hall next to it activated. In January this year a pipe in the system burst causing 12,000 in damage. So far this investment was not worth it at all.
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Fire Sprinklers for large homes in Seattle area
Amount: $10,000.00
Posted by: Dudette in ISSAQUAH, WA.Posted: January 23rd, 2018 06:01PM
Contractor: Redhawk, Moore, Monarch Plumbing
Got three quotes and two were around 10,000 just for the sprinkler design and installation (3900 sq/ft). The third bid was for 13000. An extra 7K for installation of a water storage tank, captive air tank, booster pump and backflow preventer since I'm on a well.
The Seattle area cost per sq/ft is much higher than in other areas it seems.
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Industry Standard Labor Rates ~ Fire Sprinkler
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: FT in Ft. Myers, FL.Posted: February 20th, 2017 07:02AM
Contractor: IFP
After seeing the cost of so many different jobs run wild. I was wondering if there was a Labor rate book for Fire Sprinklers. Much like they use for the Electrical Trade.
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Do a fire sprinkler system
Amount: $10,000.00
Posted by: Ava Liu in Hoffman Estates, IL.Posted: September 9th, 2016 10:09AM
Contractor: Ava
I have a restaurant which need to have a fire sprinkler system
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A Hidden Cost
Amount: $10,000.00
Posted by: a user in Santa Barbara, CA.Posted: August 7th, 2015 09:08AM
My house burned in a brush fire. A sprinkler system would not have saved it. The fire department watched it burn and did nothing to prevent it.It burned to a fine ash that was pretty easy to remove. If I had a sprinkler system I would have had a partially burned mess that would have cost at least 10,000 more to clean up, maybe 20,000. I think in many cases the sprinklers can do as much damage as the fire even if they put it out. Probably lobbying on the part of the industry and fire department butt covering and laziness are the reason we have this ridiculous requirement in single family homes and even metal ag buildings.
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Fire Protection
Amount: $10,000.00
Posted by: a user in Renton, WA.Posted: April 14th, 2015 06:04AM
Building a 3000sq/ft house, got quoted $10,500 - $15000 ($3.50 to $5.00 sq/ft) from 3 different contractors for sprinkler installation with no vaulted ceilings and no exposed beams. Contractors stated that depending on the amount of vaulted ceiling and exposed beams the cost could go up into the $6-$8 range. The numbers in this article are way of for the Puget Sound Region.
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Fire protection
Amount: $30,000.00
Posted by: a user in West springfield, MA.Posted: September 12th, 2014 05:09PM
Contractor: Absolute fire protection inc
This company is the company to hire for any size job very professional
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External Resources:
  1.  www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=13D
  2.  www.hydronicseng.com/hydraul.htm#Booster Pump
  3.  www.sctax.org/NR/rdonlyres/BE8C9596-37C3-40DC-96AD-8507AC73F863/0/TC52.pdf
  4.  www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=82243&channelID=311
  5.  www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentTypeID=3&contentID=82243&subContentID=...
  6.  www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/Legislation/Sprinkler-requirements-by-state.aspx
  7.  www.nfpa.org/fsi-map/index.php?p=mapview&PHPSESSID=rsrgebc75bf41bgp8d0nirhfe6
  8.  www.fireteamusa.com/Resources/FSCC.xls
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