NFPA bans use of antifreeze in new residential sprinkler systems

The National Fire Protection Association said this week that its Standards Council has banned the use of antifreeze in residential fire sprinkler systems for new construction.

According to a statement issued by the organization, the safety alert comes on the heels of new research which finds that some antifreeze solutions used in sprinkler systems have the potential to ignite. The statement cites an incident in which a kitchen grease fire was exacerbated by the release of antifreeze through the sprinkler system.

"Fire sprinklers are one of the most effective ways to save lives and property from fire," said NFPA President James M. Shannon. "We have acted quickly to conduct additional research in order to provide the public and our technical committees with as much information as possible regarding the use of antifreeze in sprinkler systems."

For existing sprinkler systems with antifreeze, the NFPA is recommending that an alternative means of freeze protection be utilized. If an alternative cannot be found, the association is recommending that the lowest possible amount to prevent freezing be used and that the antifreeze itself does not exceed a maximum concentration of 40 percent propylene glycol or a maximum concentration of 50 percent glycerin.

For more information about this safety alert, visit