Fire sprinklers save lives.

Fire sprinklers are unsung heros saving lives and property every single day. Yet rarely do we hear about them or give them the credit they deserve. Today’s blog is the second entry in our year-long series giving a special monthly “thank you” to one of the world’s most forgettable yet most reliable life safety technologies: fire sprinklers.

In case you missed it, here’s a link to the Jan-Feb edition.

#5 – Sweat it out, don’t burn it down. Longview, TX.

Every morning at 5 am the sauna at the Longview YMCA automatically turns on and warms quickly to relax and refresh members. However, on March 12th 2013, a rubber mat was covering one of the sauna’s heaters resulting in a fire that could have grown relatively unnoticed until it consumed a large area within the YMCA facility. Fortunately, that did not happen – the trusty fire sprinkler activated quickly, extinguishing the fire before the fire department arrived.

“Without the fire sprinkler activation, this fire could have caused much more damage and placed lives at risk,” Longview Fire Marshal Jim Kambitz said in a prepared statement.

Read the full article here:

#4 – Where there is smoke there is sure to be bales of scrap plastic. Gainesville, FL.

Workers at a factory in Gainesville, FL, accidently lit a scrap plastic bundle on fire. Given various nasty chemicals found in plastic and its combustible nature, this fire could have quickly grown to engulf the 100,000 square foot facility and endanger the employee’s lives. But that wasn’t the case. Instead, the building’s fire sprinkler system activated, snuffing out the fire and avoiding the worst.

Read the full article here:

#3 – The burning bed. Asheville, NC.

At 11 PM, February 25th 2013, firefighters were called to a possible structure fire at an apartment complex in Asheville, NC. Upon arrival they found a mattress had started on fire but was already out due to the complex’s fire sprinkler system. The sprinkler not only extinguished the fire, it also contained all damage to one room and avoided the very real possibility that the fire spread throughout the rest of the building.

From the article, “Statistics show that the installation of both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system reduces the risk of death in a home fire by 82% and lessens fire damage.”

Read the full article here:


This month’s last two fire sprinkler success stories strike particularly close to the heart. They involve schools, a place that is the center of a national debate about safety … but not fire safety.

#2 – Science lab attempts to go up in smoke. Norwich, CT.

It happened at 2:30 am, when no sane student or faculty member is anywhere near the school. A computer in the science lab overheated and ultimately ignited. Flames grew quickly warming the ceiling and spreading smoke throughout the facility. Once the temperature exceeded the fire sprinkler’s heat threshold, the glass bulb broke showering the fire in life-saving water.

“When the crews went down the hallway to investigate, they were met by heavy smoke and water from the sprinklers,” Jencks said. “But they (the sprinklers) did their job and held the flames in check.”

Classes resumed the following day.

#1 – The bathroom’s burning. Albany, OR.

Around 4 pm February 25th, 2013, a fire erupted in the bathroom of the Linwood Elementary School. Students were on site participating in extracurricular activities. While this is a success story – everyone got out safely and the fire sprinkler extinguished the fire quickly – it could have quickly spread resulting in injuries and significant damage.

From the article,“The fire damage in this case was limited due to the early detection and extinguishment by the fire sprinkler system that was in place.”

Read the full article here:

Please leave us links to your favorite fire sprinkler success stories below.