NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team has been alerted to the following sprinkler activations, or "saves," as our advocates like to call them. These stories might lack the harrowing rescues and lives-in-peril anecdotes found in stories involving unsprinklered homes, but they are prime examples of a technology saving lives on a national scale:
Wilmington, North Carolina
A resident who built her own home with help from Habitat for Humanity watched as a fire sprinkler saved it from destruction. Carol Tyson was cooking fish and quickly left the room. She was soon alerted to a grease fire in the kitchen by her screaming husband. "I just knew the whole kitchen was just going to blow up, that's how bad the fire was," Tyson told a local NBC affiliate. "Before we can do anything the sprinklers came on." Knowing the sprinklers spared her home from fire has left her with a "warm feeling," she added.
Firefighters responded to reports of a fire alarm activation at a residence. Witnesses also reported seeing billowing smoke. When the crew arrived at the scene, the fire had already been contained by a single fire sprinkler. The incident not only exemplifies the quick action of fire sprinklers, but necessity of fire sprinkler requirements. Westminster is one of a number of Colorado communities that has passed an ordinance to sprinkler new homes.
According to a Facebook post by Wayman Fire Protection, a resident left a frying pan filled with grease on the stove. Thinking the stove was turned off, he then fell asleep in his living room while watching TV. He awoke to the sound of the smoke alarm, and as he approached the kitchen, the pan ignited. He then took the pan to the sink and ran water over it, creating enough heat to activate the kitchen's fire sprinkler. The sprinkler limited the home's fire damage.
A residence in this town is no stranger to fire; over a 13-year period, firefighters have responded to three fires at the same structure, the most recent occurring in December. However, the structure has undergone rehabilitation and now includes fire sprinklers, which were activated during the recent fire. No residents were hurt or displaced thanks to the sprinkler save. "It could have been a lot worse," Brockton Fire Deputy Chief Brian Nardelli told a local news outlet. "We've had some pretty significant fires there in the past."
For more sprinkler saves, including ones in your state, visit the Sprinkler Saves website.