Fire Protection Cost

In this guide

Fire protection technology
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to install fire protection?

According to the US Fire Administration, there are more than 1 million residential fires each year, and more than 50% of these fires are caused by everyday activities such as cooking or heating your home. Fire can spread in just seconds, giving you only enough time to escape, which makes fire prevention and fire protection important things for every household to have. Remember that fires can not only get out of control quickly, they can also cause darkness, thick black smoke which can disorient you, and fumes and super heated air that can scorch your lungs. No one is safe once a fire breaks out in your home, but fire protection systems can go a long way toward ensuring that everyone makes it outside safely.

The average fire protection costs around $510 on average, and consists of smoke and CO detectors, fire extinguishers, retardant blankets, and heat sensors for a 1500 sq.ft. home. Not every system will be suitable for every household; your existing systems, the type of structure your home has, its size, and what type of heating systems you have installed can all impact both the type of fire protection you need, and the cost.

Fire protection technology

There are several different types of fire protection technologies available. To find what the best solutions are for your home, you can arrange a fire inspector from your town or city fire department to pay a visit and make recommendations based on your home size, setup, and type:

Smoke detectors 1

Smoke detectors 1 are the most important piece of fire protection equipment you can have in your home. More than 70% of fire related deaths occurred in homes where there were no smoke detectors 1 installed. It’s recommended that hardwired smoke detectors 1 be installed on every level of the home, both inside bedrooms, and outside of sleeping quarters. Typical smoke detectors 1, which detects both smoke particles and ions cost roughly $55 for a pack of six.

Fire sprinkler systems 2

Sprinkler systems 2 are designed to activate when temperatures reach a certain level in your home, or smoke particles are detected. They can help reduce the spread of fire, containing it and giving you time to get out of the house while you wait for the fire department to arrive. In fact, 80% to 90% of house fires can be put out by a single sprinkler head. Most sprinkler systems 2 are hooked up to your home’s water supply, but you may require a storage tank of up to 550 gallons if you live in an area with well water or a low water supply. Installing a sprinkler system 2 is easiest during new construction, but can be added to existing homes as well. The cost of fire sprinkler systems 2 per square foot to install in new homes is roughly $1.00 per foot, while the cost to install in an existing home is between $5 and $6 a foot. Retrofitting a 1,500 square foot home would therefore cost roughly $7,500. Installation is different for every home; a detailed plan is typically drawn up for each residence, which can be affected by things like crawl spaces, closets, attics, and other areas that vary from home to home. Typically, you will need one sprinkler head for every 12x12-foot area of space on each level of your home.

Heat sensors 1

Some fires burn very hot very quickly before they produce enough smoke particles or ions for your smoke detector 1 to discover. In this case, a heat sensor 1 can alert you, your alarm company, or the fire department of a fast burning fire minutes before your smoke alarm goes off. There are several different types of heat sensors 1. Some will only detect a rapid rise in temperature, while others will react only to certain, set temperatures. They may have integrated alarms, or they may send a signal to your home’s security system. Some temperature monitoring systems can also monitor things like humidity, as well as temperatures of the house as a whole so you can make adjustments as needed for animals or children. These install easily, usually by mounting 3 on a wall near an area you want to monitor the heat in. A heat sensor 1 that can detect by heat and smoke, and which allows remote monitoring either by you on your smartphone or by another company is around $55 to $65. It’s recommended that you have at least one per floor, installed outside sleeping areas.

Fire blankets

A fire retardant or flame smothering blanket is a good thing to keep on hand, particularly near children’s bedrooms. While a flame smothering blanket is not meant to be used to put out large house fires, it can help you smother flames on clothing, or in small areas that may be blocking your exit from a room. A typical flame retardant blanket costs around $75.

Fire extinguishers

Roughly 50% of house fires start in the kitchen while someone is cooking. Other fires may start small near an appliance such as a furnace or dryer. A fire extinguisher may be able to help you put out or control a small fire when it starts, or it may give you enough time to exit the house safely. Fire extinguishers should be kept on each floor of the home, typically near kitchens or heat sources. An extinguisher is good for about six years before needing to be replaced, and a Pro level model costs around $45.

Chimney cap spark arrestors

If you have a wood burning fireplace or wood stove in your home, do you also have a chimney cap that can stop sparks from spreading to your roof installed? Chimney caps are important parts of fire prevention systems. They help prevent debris and small animals from getting into your chimney, and they stop sparks from flying out and potentially igniting your roof, siding, or nearby trees. This is particularly important if you don’t burn your wood at very high temperatures; lower temperature fires tend to put out more sparks. A typical chimney cap with installation is around $1,200.

Carbon monoxide detector

Fire is only one hazard that can cause injury or death; carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be given off during a fire or from other sources such as furnaces and heat pumps 4. Carbon monoxide detectors 1 do not detect smoke, but they do register a rise in carbon monoxide, giving off an alarm before levels reach dangerous heights. They cost roughly $20 each, and should be put on each floor of the home, near bedrooms and heating appliances.

Labor

There are many parts of a home fire protection system that you can install or add yourself. Carbon monoxide detectors 1 and heat sensors 1 are both wall mounted and easily installed by most homeowners. Fire extinguishers and fire blankets can be placed near the areas where they are intended for use.

A smoke alarm system should be hardwired to your electrical panel by a qualified electrician at a rate of $65 to $85 an hour, assuming two to three hours work for a total of $130 to $255. Fire sprinkler systems 2 are usually installed by companies who specialize in the design and installation. Labor is generally included in the $5 to $6 a square foot cost of installation. Expect the design and build process to take three to four weeks to complete a 1500 sq.ft. installation at $7,500 to $9,000. Chimney caps are generally installed by companies who deal with chimney cleaning and repair, and labor is usually included in the cost of the installation of the cap, generally taking three to four hours to complete. Total costs for chimney cap installation ranges from around $1,000 to $1,200.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Smoke masks

Smoke masks and fire evacuation hoods can help prevent you from breathing in toxic fumes as you leave the home. They can be placed inside or just outside of bedrooms for easy access, and there should be one per occupant of the home. They cost roughly $60 per hood.

Thermal imaging detection

If you want to know where your pets or children are during a fire, or you want to see exactly where the fire is so you can best avoid it on the way out, you will need thermal imaging detection. Thermal imaging can give you an accurate view of the temperatures of the room, with fire showing a different temperature than a person or cooler areas of the room. Thermal imaging can cost between $500 and $4000 depending on the scope, range, and size of the equipment.

Smoke alarms for the deaf or hard of hearing

Smoke alarms won’t protect if you if you can’t hear them. That’s why Deaf or Hard of Hearing persons should invest in alarms which flash bright lights when they go off to alert you to the presence of smoke or fire. A single smoke alarm with a built in light costs around $80. They should be installed exactly like regular smoke alarms; on each level of the home, inside and outside of sleeping quarters.

Additional considerations and costs

  • The type of piping as well as the configuration of your sprinkler system 2 can affect the final cost. PVC pipe is less expensive than copper, but more likely to melt in the event of a hot fire. Speak with your sprinkler installation company about which type of pipe will be best for your home.
  • Smoke alarms are only good for 10 years; replace your entire system every 10 years to ensure they are in good working order.
  • CO monitors do not detect smoke and are not a substitute for working smoke detectors 1. Install both for the greatest protection.
  • Keep your pets off of cooking surfaces and heat sources to help prevent accidental fires or their spread.
  • Visit the website for the National Fire Prevention Association to get the most up to date information available on fire safety for your home.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Detectors: (Also known as Sensors) Device that responds to a physical event or change in the environment by emitting an output signal
2 Sprinkler systems: Set of equipment used to irrigate lawns
3 Mounting: A support on which something is attached or hung
4 Heat pumps: A device used to heat or cool the air in a home by moving hot and cold air to where it is needed. The unit pulls hot air from inside the home in the summer and directs it outdoors, leaving the inside air cool, and pulls heat from outdoors in the winter and directs it into the home, thereby warming it

Cost to install fire protection varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Athens, GA
-9%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Snellville, GA
+16%

Labor cost in your zip code

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