Recent Fire In Prescott Illustrates Benefits Of Sprinklers

09 January 2016
  B&W Fire Security | Partner Content

Thanks to a recent remodelling, a 1904 hotel survived a fire due to the sprinkler system.

An older Prescott landmark hotel, built in 1904, was the location of a fire which started around noon on the 23rd of December. The Prescott Fire Department responded to a call regarding the fire which started on the third floor of the historic Prescott Inn in downtown Prescott. In any hotel or residence, a fire can result in tragic losses; but thanks to the hotel’s fire sprinkler system, which extinguished the fire quickly, and to the quick response of the firefighters who evacuated all the residents, there were no injuries or deaths.

Benefits and Statistics Related to Fire Sprinkler Systems

Nine to twelve minutes is the average time it takes for the fire department to get to the scene of a fire after the call comes in. By that time, a home and possibly lives could be lost. A sprinkler system is activated in the area closest to the fire, and often puts out the fire before the fire truck arrives. Because of the rapidity of the sprinkler’s response to the heat of the fire, occupants have time to escape, and other rooms in the home are protected.The National Fire Safety Protection Association (NFPA) created a series of reports on the effectiveness and benefits of fire sprinklers, entitled “Fire Sprinkler Initiative, Bringing Safety Home”. These reports are intended to give the public information on how fire sprinklers impact the outcome of fires in the home. In 2014, a series of anecdotal accounts were published which support the premise that fire sprinklers are very effective in saving lives and property during a fire. The following is one such account published in the article:

“A sprinkler held a fire in a bedroom of a single family home in check until firefighters arrived, preventing a significant life loss. Investigators believe that the fire began when an unattended candle ignited furniture in the bedroom.” Sprinkler Success in One-and Two-Family Homes and Apartments. (NFPA, 2014)

Another report, entitled U.S. Experience with Sprinklers, (NFPA, 2013), investigates the impact of sprinklers in reducing the loss of life and property in fires. This report states that between 2007 and 2011, only about 10% of structure fires reported that sprinklers were present. In homes, where most of the deaths are attributed to fires occur, only 6% have sprinkler systems.In the period between 2006 and 2010, a survey was made by the NFIRS and the NFPA. This survey, which compared the results of fires in homes with no automatic fire extinguishers to fires in homes with fire sprinklers, had the following results:
  • Homes with sprinklers had a 83% reduction in civilian deaths and a 69% reduction in property damage.

  • There was a 65% reduction in firefighter injuries in fires where a sprinkler system was present and operating.

  • A study of home fires made over 15 years in Scottsdale, Arizona, revealed that the average loss to a home with sprinklers was $2,166. In comparison, a home without a sprinkler system had losses in excess of $45,000.

Water Damage Is Surprisingly Low

It is important to mention that water damage due to a sprinkler system is minimal compared to the water damage suffered when fire hoses are used on the flames. The sprinkler systems are specifically engineered to respond to heat but not to smoke thus activation is early and confined to the place where the fire starts.

For more information on fire suppression systems and security systems for your business or home, contact B&W Fire Security Systems.