NIST develops free online tool for residential fire sprinklers

In an effort to inform new home builders and buyers about the use of residential fire sprinklers, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a new free online tool to help them weigh the benefits and costs associated with the technology.

Developed by IT specialist Priya Lavappa and economist David Butry, NIST's web-based "sprinkler use decisioning" tool allows users to assess the cost-effectiveness of fire sprinklers for their own application.

"By researching and supplying their own data on local sprinkler installation and maintenance costs, insurance premiums and credits, value of the house and contents, discount rate and other variables, users can get a realistic estimate of the cost-effectiveness, or 'present value net benefits,' of an investment in a sprinkler system," NIST said in a statement.

To learn more about or to use the sprinkler use decisioning tool, visit