Spokane firefighters demonstrate benefits of sprinkler systems - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane firefighters demonstrate benefits of sprinkler systems

SPOKANE, Wash. - Fire sprinkler systems are common in commercial buildings across the country, but not in homes. 

Firefighters show how quickly a structure without a sprinkler system can go up in flames. To see a larger version, click here.

The Spokane Fire Department says that's a problem and lit two fires to illustrate just how quickly a sprinkler can stop a spreading fire.

"Sometimes people just need to see it to believe it," said Spokane Fire Department Fire Protection Engineer Dave Kokot.
 
Two similar rooms were burned near the Spokane Arena on Wednesday afternoon. One had a sprinkler system and one did not. As expected, the room equipped with a sprinkler system stopped the fire.
 
The sprinkler-equipped room stopped the fire after 1 minute and 11 seconds - about one-third faster than the room which was extinguished by firefighters.

Firefighters put out the non-sprinkler room after 3 minutes and 33 seconds following a flash of flame that covered the room and destroyed the contents including a couch, table and lamp.
 
"Many people already understand how vital it is to have working smoke alarms to warn us of fire," said the Fire Department. "Unfortunately, home fire sprinklers are not as well-known or understood."

Authorities said homes can be equipped with sprinkler systems for several thousand dollars, but few builders install them because buyers don't demand them.

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