A fire sprinkler system is an active fire protection method, consisting of a water supply system, providing adequate pressure and flowrate to a water distribution piping system, onto which fire sprinklers are connected.
Although historically only used in factories and large commercial buildings, systems for homes and small buildings are now available at a cost-effective price. Fire sprinkler systems are extensively used worldwide, with over 40 million sprinkler heads fitted each year. In buildings completely protected by fire sprinkler systems, over 96% of fires were controlled by fire sprinklers alone.
Leonardo da Vinci designed a sprinkler system in the 15th century. Leonardo automated his patron's kitchen with a super-oven and a system of conveyor belts. In a comedy of errors, everything went wrong during a huge banquet, and a fire broke out. "The sprinkler system worked all too well, causing a flood that washed away all the food and a good part of the kitchen."