Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Residential Sprinklers Save Lives and Property

By: Battalion Chief Mark Davis
       Battalion One, A-Shift

The presence of automatic fire sprinklers in residential occupancies makes a huge impact on life safety and property conservation. While the 1st Battalion has many unsprinklered residential high rise buildings - it also has a number of newer residential structures outfitted with residential sprinklers.

On Monday, July 1st crews (Co 15, 24, 12, & 16) from the 1st Battalion responded to one of those sprinklered structures for a reported apartment fire. When they arrived on the scene they found a 5-story apartment building that is part of a huge, assisted living complex.  Upon investigation on the third floor, they found a small fire in a study area of one apartment. The fire had been extinguished by ONE residential sprinkler head. No one was home at the time of the fire, so had the apartment not been sprinklered, the fire would have grown quickly in size and would have resulted in a major fire.

The photos below show the limited damage that was done. 

This single, residential sprinkler head (below) flowing just a few gallons a minute did the job of several FD hose lines flowing over 150 gallons per minute each. Why was it so efficient and effective? Because the sprinkler head is a fast-acting head that senses the early development of a fire which allows water to be applied at a much lower rate yet still be effective in controlling or extinguishing the fire. More importantly, it allows the occupants to escape the area before a raging fire can develop. 

When evaluating where to reside - chose the place that provides the better life safety features - choose residential fire sprinklers!

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