Automatic Sprinkler Systems

In accordance with Building and Plumbing Bylaw (Bylaw No. 3710), all new residential buildings and building upgrades are required to install an automatic sprinkler system.

Automatic sprinkler systems supply water to a network of individual sprinklers, each protecting an area below them. These sprinklers open automatically in response to heat, and spray water on a fire to put it out or keep it from spreading. Contrary to popular belief, only those sprinklers near the fire operate and spray water.

Sprinklers Save Lives

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that the risk of surviving a fire increases by one to two thirds in public buildings and private homes equipped with sprinkler systems. Because sprinkler systems act so early in the course of a fire, they reduce both the heat and flames and the amount of smoke produced in a fire.

Dispelling Myths About Automatic Sprinklers

Despite the proven effectiveness of automatic sprinkler systems in slowing the spread of fire and reducing loss of life and property damage, many people resist the idea of home sprinkler systems because of widespread misconceptions about their operation:

Myth #1: The water damage from sprinklers is worse than a fire.
A sprinkler will control a fire with a tiny fraction of the water used by fire department hoses, primarily because it acts so much earlier. Automatic systems spray water only in the immediate area of the fire and can keep the fire from spreading, thus avoiding widespread water damage.

Myth #2: Sprinklers go off accidentally, causing unnecessary water damage.
Accidental water damage caused by automatic sprinkler systems is relatively rare. One study concluded that sprinkler accidents are generally less likely and less severe than mishaps involving standard home plumbing systems.

Myth #3: Sprinklers are unattractive.
Sprinklers don’t have to be unattractive. Pipes can be hidden behind ceilings or walls, and modern sprinklers can be inconspicuous-mounted almost flush with walls or ceilings. Some sprinklers can even be concealed.

Sprinkler Installation

Commercial or residential automatic sprinkler systems should be installed by a qualified contractor who adheres to NFPA codes and standards and/or with local fire safety regulations.


Building Division
Tel 604.927.5444
Fax  604.927.5404

Location and Mailing Address

2nd Floor, City Hall, 2580 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam BC   V3C 2A8

Business Hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)