Texas Fire Marshall Touts Success of Sprinkler Systems in Apartment Complexes

December 3, 2012

Not one person has been killed in a fire in Texas in the past ten years inside an apartment complex that was equipped with a fire sprinkler system according to data provided by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. In contrast, 114 people have been killed by fires in apartments not equipped with sprinkler systems.

“Fire sprinklers save lives,” says State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy. “Implementing the International Fire Code requiring builders to install fire sprinkler systems in new apartment complexes has greatly reduced the loss of life and property.”

The State Fire Marshal recommended that anyone looking to move into an apartment complex or condominium make sure all common areas and individual apartments are sprinkled.

Austin Fire Battalion Chief Palmer Buck says fire sprinkler systems do their job. “Any fire in an apartment building having sprinkler systems is usually contained before our firefighters arrive,” Palmer said. “The older apartment complexes that have had fire fatalities either had no sprinkler systems or working smoke detectors.”

Connealy said fire sprinklers greatly reduce fire damage by responding almost instantly to a fire, whereas firefighters generally need eight to 10 minutes to respond. Fire departments also typically use 10 times more water than a fire sprinkler system to contain a fire, resulting in less fire and water damage.

Connealy said many Texans work in buildings where fire sprinkler systems are in use. He pointed out that fires in commercial occupancies protected by sprinklers are almost non-existent.

Source: Insurance Council of Texas

 

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