How Much Does a Home Fire Sprinkler System Cost?

Stephanie Shaykin
Updated April 1, 2022
A fire sprinkler system located on the ceiling of a room
Photo: Nadtochiy / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $1,000 on a home fire sprinkler system

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A typical homeowner will spend a national average of $600 to install a home fire sprinkler system. Some local building codes require home fire sprinkler systems–for a good reason. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a fire sprinkler system can control 96% of fires and reduce property damage by about 70%. Additionally, the risk of a fire fatality is 81% lower with the system installed.

How Much Does a Home Fire Sprinkler System Cost Near You?

Safety statistics aside, it’s a good idea to install an indoor sprinkler system in your home to stay up to local codes and requirements. But what you pay for the system will depend on your location:

StateCost Range
New York$200–$1,500
North Carolina$200–$1,000

How Much Does A Residential Fire Sprinkler System Cost Per Square Foot?

3 home types compared by costs for home fire sprinkler systems, including high rises

It costs roughly $0.50 to $4 per square foot to install a sprinkler system in an unfinished home that’s still under construction. The cost to outfit a 2,500 square foot new construction home would be at least $1,250.

This price rises to $2 to $7 per square foot covered when installing the system to an existing home. For high rises, expect to pay at least $4 per square foot covered.

Many home fire sprinklers have dedicated pipes connected to the primary water source (also known as a standalone system). Other systems are connected to and share household plumbing, known as multipurpose systems. Most homeowners prefer to install multipurpose systems, as they are generally less expensive at around $1 per square foot.

Living in a community with a sprinkler ordinance will often lead to lower installation costs, as multiple businesses compete to install residential fire sprinklers.

Fire Sprinkler System Cost Factors

Additional cost factors to consider include the size of your home and the system you install. You should weigh these lifetime costs against the on-going protection unlocked by installing a fire sprinkler system.

  • Square footage: Larger homes require more coverage.

  • Add-ons: Smoke detectors and heat sensors will add to your overall project cost (more on this below).

  • New home vs. adding to an existing home: Adding a sprinkler system is easier (and more affordable) in new construction homes.

  • System design: Standalone systems cost more than multipurpose systems because they do not use the same residential piping.

  • Pipe material: Plastic piping is most common and less expensive than copper.  

  • System features: You may need to install a backflow preventer if connected to municipal water supply, or a booster pump or storage tank if you have well or private water access.

Additional Home Fire Protection Features: A Breakdown

A fire extinguisher behind the front door of a house
Photo: photo_chaz / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

When you factor in the cost to keep your home safe, consider additional fireproofing safety measures. These add-ons will increase your total investment, but most homeowners can justify the cost when considering whole-home protection and peace of mind.

Fire Extinguishers

New fire extinguishers cost anywhere between $20 to $100 and are available at most home improvement stores. The NFPA recommends inspecting and maintaining your fire extinguisher annually.

The best location for an extinguisher is in an accessible and visible area for quick and easy access. Make sure you have the right kind of fire extinguisher for your needs.

Smoke Detectors

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a working smoke alarm more than doubles your chance of surviving a house fire.

Make sure to check the batteries every three months and replace your smoke detector every 10 years. New batteries cost about $5 to $10, and replacement smoke detectors run from $10 to $65 on average.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide can cause illness or even death in high doses. However, it's invisible, odorless, and colorless, which means you need a detector to know it’s there. Newer models will last up to seven years and range from $15 to $150 on average.

Heat Sensors

Heat sensors detect significant temperature spikes in addition to smoke. The sensors will typically run anywhere from $60 to $100 per sensor.

Fire Blankets

Fire blankets cost $10 to $100 on average. Most non-flammable blankets are designed for up to 900 degrees and can put out small fires with ease. One blanket will typically last around seven years.

Private Fire Hydrants 

Private fire hydrants cost between $3,000 and $7,000, and are built on a homeowner’s personal property. The price varies based on the hydrant’s classification, which depends on how many gallons per minute it can handle.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Fire Sprinkler System Yourself?

Installing a home fire sprinkler system is hardly a weekend DIY because it involves intricate wiring and piping. You also need contracting, plumbing, and electrical experience for this job, which could lead to flooding and water damage when done improperly. A local fire sprinkler company will help ensure your indoor fire system is installed to work when it’s needed most.

FAQs About Residential Fire Sprinklers 

How do fire sprinklers work?

A home fire sprinkler system reduces heat, flames, and smoke within seconds. Fire sprinkler systems hide in walls with sprinkler heads running along the piping throughout your home.

When the air surrounding a sprinkler reaches a specific temperature, the heads closest to the fire activate and release anywhere from 10 to 25 gallons of water per minute.

Why should I install a fire sprinkler system in my home?

The NFPA model codes and International Residential Code (IRC) mandate that all new one- and two-family homes have fire sprinkler systems. However, all municipalities are different. The best way to determine if your municipality requires fire sprinklers is to contact your state fire marshal’s office. 

Plus, why exclude key safety measures? A sprinkler system can be the first line of defense in putting out a fire and alerting your family of emergencies. 

What other projects should I do at the same time?

While on the subject of prevention and safety, it’s wise for homeowners to also consider adding smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers where necessary. A home security system will also help protect your home. Many home security companies offer fire and smoke protection and carbon monoxide detectors in some of their packages. If the system detects carbon monoxide or smoke from a fire, it will automatically contact the monitoring station to alert the authorities.

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