Residential Fires and Faulty Sprinkler Systems By Sean Burke on February 06, 2020

A fireFires are one of the most dangerous types of disaster. Fires can cause significant structural damage, but what is even worse is the personal damage they can cause. Fires frequently result in catastrophic injuries or death.

Residential buildings are routinely fitted with sprinkler systems meant to control fires and minimize the risk of injury. Unfortunately, sprinkler systems do not always work as intended. Residential fires involving faulty sprinkler systems can leave victims dealing with physical, emotional, and financial damages.

Individuals in Irvine, CA, who have experienced losses stemming from a faulty sprinkler system can work with the personal injury attorneys at Burke Argos to seek financial compensation for resulting damages.

How Are Sprinkler Systems Meant to Work?

There are numerous sprinkler systems on the market. While the details of each system may vary slightly, each has the same basic function. These systems consist of a heat-detecting element, a sprinkler head that releases water, and a deflector that directs the water to create a spray pattern. When the system detects heat (as from a fire), the sprinkler should turn on and distribute water.

A sprinkler system alone is not meant to completely put out a fire. However, these systems are designed to control a fire by slowing or preventing its growth so that it does not spread beyond the initial area of involvement. Fire sprinklers should keep a fire under control until the fire department is able to respond to the scene and put the fire out completely.

Types of Sprinkler System Defects

Fire sprinkler systems can fail in a number of ways. Common sprinkler system defects include:

  • Inadvertent activation (the system turns on when there is no fire)
  • Broken or leaking pipes
  • Failure to discharge water in the presence of fire
  • Insufficient water discharge
  • Lack of pressure from the water supply, which can lead to drips of water, rather than a strong spray
  • Blockage in the pipe system

Any of these defects can lead to damages or injuries that should have been prevented by a functioning sprinkler system. If property damage or injuries occur, it is important to investigate the cause of the sprinkler system defect so that liability can be determined.

Determining Liability

Individuals who have suffered damages related to a residential fire involving a faulty sprinkler system can work with our Irvine attorneys to ascertain their right to financial compensation. Our legal team will examine code requirements, National Fire Protection Association Standards, building permits, design plans, and maintenance records to determine liability for the defective system.

Depending on the findings of our investigation, there are numerous parties that may be responsible for a faulty sprinkler system, including:

  • The sprinkler manufacturer
  • The system installer
  • The building owner
  • The maintenance contractor

Upon determining who is responsible for the faulty system, our attorneys will create a case to demonstrate liability and resulting losses so that we can seek appropriate compensation for our clients.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries that you believe are related to a defective sprinkler system, you may be due financial compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal options, send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call our Irvine legal practice at (949) 438-4416.

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