Fire sprinklers save lives - and save on insurance

GUELPH, ON, Dec. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - As part of its ongoing efforts to advocate for the installation of fire sprinklers in residences, The Co-operators introduced a homeowners' insurance discount for homes with the life-saving feature. Clients of Co-operators General Insurance Company whose homes are protected by automatic fire sprinkler systems may be eligible for a discount of ten per cent.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, sprinklers reduce fire-related deaths and injuries by 80 per cent, and reduce damage by 71 per cent. With fires killing 400 people in Canada each year and many more being seriously injured, sprinklers can make a huge difference. That's why The Co-operators has called upon governments to make them mandatory in all newly built residential homes in Canada.

"Fire sprinklers really should be included in all new houses as they're being built," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "We know that they make a home much safer, and that is what our discount acknowledges."

Fires behave differently today than they have in the past - modern home contents contain plastics, foams and other highly flammable and often toxic material. From the first sounds of a smoke detector, a fire can get out of hand in two or three minutes - leaving little time for firefighters to arrive at the scene.

Sprinkler systems activate automatically to extinguish the beginnings of a fire. Because they are heat-activated, water damage is very minimal. In fact, according to the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, 90 per cent of fires are contained by the operation of a single sprinkler.

The Co-operators is sponsoring a three-year study by Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, which is investigating the consequences and health-care costs of house fires in Canada, and the potential impact sprinklers could have. The study launched with a side-by-side burn demonstration, where two identical rooms were burned, but only one was protected by fire sprinklers. Search The Co-operators Sprinkler Demonstration on YouTube to see the life-saving difference a sprinkler system can make.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $36 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada and Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of Co-operatives. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE: The Co-operators

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators
519-767-3937