Fire Officials Conduct Live Side by Side Burn to Highlight Effectiveness of Home Sprinklers

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) - The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) today joined with fire officials to conduct a live side-by-side room burn to highlight the effectiveness and safety implications of residential sprinklers.

FASNY President James Burns was joined by local fire officials at the news conference and live burn at the Town of Colonie Municipal Training Center just outside Albany.

The burn demonstrated just how quickly fire can spread inside the home, and was done by constructing two fire demonstration units– both with smoke alarms and one with a fire sprinkler system installed. The side by side aspect of the demonstration highlighted the effectiveness of residential sprinklers – an issue set to be ruled on by the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Codes Council (Codes Council).

“Fire safety awareness is paramount, and if it is coupled with the presence of sprinklers in the home, we predict a dramatic decrease in fire fatalities and damage,” said FASNY President James Burns. “Imagine having your own personal fire engine in your ceiling. It just makes sense and we hope that the Codes Council feels the same way.”

Currently, there is a move to include sprinklers in all new residential construction throughout the state before the Codes Council. While the Codes Council is slated to rule on requiring new home construction to include residential sprinklers in the coming weeks, it cannot be disputed that requiring sprinklers in the home will drastically improve fire protection and slow the spread of fires.

With more than 80 percent of fire deaths occurring in the home, today’s burn demonstrated the effectiveness of these sprinklers.

Info on Residential Sprinklers

  • Fire sprinklers are supplied by household water – usually off the water main. Just like ordinary plumbing, sprinkler system piping is hidden behind walls and ceilings.
  • The sprinklers are positioned along the piping and can be seen in ceilings or up high along certain walls.
  • Sprinklers are activated only by the high temperature of a fire – typically between 135°-165°F.
  • Burned toast or other smoke cannot set off a sprinkler; neither can a smoke alarm that activates.
  • Sprinklers are designed to flow between 10-25 gallons of water per minute. That’s about 10-15 times less water flow than fire department hoses, and under far less pressure.
  • By operating while a fire is still small, a sprinkler controls or extinguishes a fire, slowing the spread of poisonous smoke and deadly heat.
  • That fast and effective action gives family members more time to get out safely, saving lives.
  • And, the sprinkler confines the fire damage so that surrounding rooms are protected, saving valuables.

Source: Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition