Brooklyn Park Firefighters Push for Home Sprinkler Systems
At Brooklyn Park’s annual Tater Daze celebration, there’s no shortage of fun activities.
And for Brooklyn Park firefighters, it was the perfect opportunity to educate.
“It’s just so incredible to see how many people are here learning about fire safety and learning more about their local fire department,” said Dan Krier, Brooklyn Park’s deputy fire marshal.
But at Saturday’s open house, firefighters wanted the focus to be on a trailer built to look like a miniature version of your average living room.
“It’s basically a side-by-side trailer where we’re gonna show you one room that doesn’t have a sprinkler, and one room that does,” Krier said. “And we’re gonna show you how effective home sprinklers can be at putting out a fire.”
Krier says today’s homes burn hotter and faster than ever, due to the synthetic materials in furniture and buildings.
But pictures speak louder than words, so Krier decided to paint a picture of what happens to synthetics in a fire.
Setting Two Rooms on Fire
First, they set fire to the room without the sprinkler system.
In a matter of seconds the smoke detector sounded as the curtain went up in flames. About three minutes in, the fire made its way to the couch. And at the four-minute mark, a SpongeBob doll on the couch met its ultimate demise, just before firefighters came in with their hoses.
“It took a little bit for the couch to really get going, but once it did and that synthetic material caught fire and started the chain reaction, it wasn’t long before that whole room reached temperatures of 1,000-plus degrees,” Krier said.
Next up, they set fire to the room with the sprinkler system.
Just like room No. 1, the fire quickly made its way up the curtain. But 26 seconds in, the heat triggered the sprinkler system, minimizing the damage.
“You can see the survivability of someone in that room versus this room,” Krier said.
At the bare minimum, Krier hopes the demonstration encourages homeowners to put a smoke detector in every bedroom, and on every floor.
But in a perfect world, they’d add a sprinkler system as another line of defense.
“If you’re retro-fitting your house, that cost will go up a little bit, but it’s still something that can be cost-affordable across the lifetime of your mortgage,” Krier said.
Krier says installing sprinklers in a home costs about one to three percent of a home’s value during construction.