The aftermath of a grease fire and fire sprinkler activation in Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Here is our latest roundup of fire "sprinkler saves" from across the country. Many thanks to our advocates for alerting NFPA to these activations:
New Hanover County, North Carolina
Like it or not, a sprinkler activation does not have the same media appeal as a home fire. That's not to say advocates can't spice up an activation in a way that get's the media's attention. For example, New Hanover County Fire and Rescue invited a local media station inside a home to document a "rare, firsthand look" (as the story described it) of the aftermath of a fire in a sprinklered kitchen. According to the news report, there were no injuries, and the sprinklers contained the fire to the kitchen. "The public should be reminded that properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers help to minimize property damage and recovery costs," said Deputy Fire Chief Frank Meyers. "They save lives and save money." The story also cited NFPA's U.S. Experience with Sprinklers report.
Another kitchen fire that could have been "potentially serious" was stopped in its tracks by sprinklers. The culprit, according to the news report, was a "box on the stove...that had a bunch of food, trash, and stuff in it." Nobody was home at the time of the fire. Noting that the sprinklers prevented the fire from spreading, Central Arizona Fire Division Chief Rick Chase also myth-busted some popular opinions on sprinklers. "'I don't want [sprinklers] to flood my whole house.' That's the kind of myths that people have." Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, Chase added.
A gas fire place inside a home ignited a nearby pile of clothing. The sprinklers "went off properly and suppressed the fire," states the news report. Firefighters were quickly able to rescue a man who was trapped upstairs by smoke. He was treated and released at the scene.
Following the activation, the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue also made a point to note a sprinkler's effectiveness: fire sprinklers cut the risk of dying in a fire by 80 percent, and reduce the risk of property loss by 70 percent.
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Last month, firefighters responded to reports of a kitchen grease fire at 3:09 p.m. Nine minutes later, the fire was under control mainly by a sprinkler activation. Damage from the fire was minimal.
Residents saw firsthand the power of California's fire sprinkler ordinance for new homes. Firefighters responded to a call of a fire inside a single-family home. By the time they arrived, the fire had been held in check by the sprinklers, stated a news report. Operating as intended, the sprinklers gave the two residents living in the home ample time to escape safely.
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