Last week in Hinsdale (IL), the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board in collaboration with local fire departments, set up two controlled fires in a home - one in a room with spinklers, and one without; the focus being to tout the benefits of sprinkler systems. According to the Hinsdale Fire Department Chief Mike Kelly, the demonstration "highlights the importance of having a sprinkler system in the home; the sprinkler side was quickly extinguished and they gave time for a potential family to get out of the house."
In the sprinklered room, the sprinkler activated about 40 seconds after the fire started and the fire was under control 30 seconds later. The temperature in the room never exceeded 170 degrees. However, In the unsprinklered room, it filled with smoke after just a minute and a half and quickly become unsurvivable.
Demonstrations such as these are a powerful way for citizens and community leaders to make a statement. Demonstration kits are available through the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative provides additional advocacy tools to help convince lawmakers in your state.