In November, a fire occurred at the National Wood Products of Maine in the town of Oxford. According to the Sun Journal, the fire erupted in a room housing a piece of machinery at risk of starting accidental fires. Since the building was sprinklered, the fire was extinguished in 20 minutes.
"I have no doubt in my mind that if that sprinkler system wasn't there, things would've been much, much worse," Fire Chief Dennis Yates told the publication. "If a new nightclub were to open in town, that type of building would require sprinklers, according to the town's building code. It's not required for residences to install them."
This inconsistency in fire protection is prompting certain Mainers to change the status quo. Uniform fire protection--particularly sprinkler protection--across the state's new homes is the goal of the Maine Fire Sprinkler Coalition. "Some people have the benefit of early warning with smoke alarms, but [with flashovers in new homes starting in minutes], the time that people have to escape the fire is shrinking," said Joseph Tomas, the coalition's chair and Maine's state fire marshal. "We're trying to show people that if you have early-warning smoke alarms and residential sprinklers installed, your ability to escape improves."
One Maine town has already reaped the benefits of this dual protection. Read this case study on how a fire sprinkler requirement in Rockland, Maine, has been a tremendous benefit to the town.