We've all seen this situation play out in slapstick comedies: just when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong already has, the sprinklers come on and completely soak the main character, who just stands there glaring straight ahead as if to say, "Well, now this is happening."
Also, sprinklers can cause a lot of water damage in real life.
Those reasons (mostly the latter one) led London-based company Plumis to create the Automist, which, as you can see from the above video, uses a heat sensor to find where the fire is, aims, and then sprays it with a targeted mist. In the end it uses about 90 less water than a standard system. And, when you think about it, if one of these things went out of its way to target a character in a slapstick comedy, that would be even more funny.
· A Fire-Targeting Sprinkler System Extinguishes Flames With Minimal Water [Gizmodo]