News report looks at "what went right" after sprinkler extinguishes fire at nursing home

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Oct 26, 2009

Rockyridge A fire in a Missouri nursing home was contained to one room, thanks to the facility's sprinkler system.

According to a report on KY 3.com, a fire at Rocky Ridge Manor in Mansfield was sparked by an exhaust fan in a medication room. The facility's staff safely evacuated all 38 residents: some in beds, some in wheelchairs, some who needed assistance with their walkers, according to the report.

"The sprinkler system did activate and pretty well extinguished the fire before the fire department arrived," said Fire Chief Byron Clark, adding that fire damaged just one room, and that smoke damage was minimal.

This fire serves as a good reminder: are there people in your home who are at greater risk of fire because they cannot get out by themselves or would need extra time to escape: young children, older adults, or people with disabilities?

Consider this: while a person had approximately 17 minutes to escape a home fire before flashover in the 1970's, today that time is reduced to approximately 3 minutes. Long before the first fire suppression unit applies water to the fire, the atmostphere has most probably become untenable, and the chances of survivavility have significantly decreased.

Home fire sprinklers extinguish or slow the growth of fire, giving people more time to get out or be rescued.  If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present. People in homes with sprinklers are also protected against significant property loss—sprinklers reduce the average property loss by 71% per fire.

Take a look at our interactive map of U.S. communities with home fire sprinkler requirements.

- Mike Hazell