The side by side demonstration included two rooms furnished exactly the same; the only difference was that one of the units was fitted with a smoke alarm and the other with a smoke alarm and protected with a single fire sprinkler.
The unprotected structure filled with black, billowy smoke as the synthetic furnishings began to burn, according to the article. “Completing their eight-week training, participants in the Urbandale Citizen’s Fire Academy rushed in with hoses and doused the fire.”
On the other side of the practice structure, the fire was out in just seconds, on its own without firefighters having to intervene. The smoke remained white – which means that had similar circumstances occur in the home the residents would have had time to get out safely, Fire Chief Jerry Holt explained for the report.
Holt used the final night of the Citizens Fire Academy to drive that point that residential sprinkler systems save lives and property. Holt said he doesn’t understand why homeowners “will put a sprinkler system in the yard, but won’t put one in the house to protect the family they love so much.”
The fire department’s web site debunks the usual myths of home fire sprinkler systems.