Home fire sprinkler saves lives in fire started by toddler

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Sep 23, 2013

Child playing with fireEye On Annapolis informs that firefighters from Anne Arundel County Fire Department were dispatched to a reported dwelling fire in a townhouse to find that the home’s fire sprinklers had extinguished the fire set by a toddler.

The first unit to arrive on the scene reported nothing evident from a three-story townhouse. Upon further investigation, personnel found a bedroom fire on the third floor that had been contained by the homes sprinkler system. The cause of the fire was determined to be a 4 year-old child playing with a lighter.

Fires started by children playing accounted for an average of 56,300 fires with associated losses of 110 civilian deaths, 880 civilian injuries and $286 million in direct property damage per year between 2005 -2009.

Without sprinklers this fire could have had dire consequences. The very young are at high risk of death from home fires. Based on 2003-2007 experience data, children under age five are almost one and a half times as likely to die in a home fire as the general public.

This family was protected by home fire sprinklers because Anne Arundel County has required them since 2009. The State of Maryland adopted the requirment statewide in 2011.