Successes Highlight the Versatility and Benefits of Automatic Fire Sprinklers

The Madison Fire Department rang in the new year celebrating four "sprinkler saves," where automatic fire sprinklers were credited with catching and containing fires that occurred in our community. The incidents demonstrate the variety of ways in which sprinklers act to protect lives, support the local economy, and allow the Madison Fire Department to remain available for other emergencies occurring in our vibrant city.

Saving Lives
When a candle left unattended led to a kitchen fire on the west side, occupants were unaware of the dangerous situation unfolding in the next room. As the fire generated enough heat to set off an automatic fire sprinkler, it triggered the building's fire alarm, and the four occupants emerged from their rooms to find a fire had spread to the kitchen cabinets. All of them were able to escape safely and uninjured because the fast water brought the fire under control. The fire alarm also prompted firefighters to respond quickly and put a definitive stop to the fire.

In a building without fire sprinklers, a fire such as this would have had the opportunity to grow to a point of endangering the lives of the occupants and pose a risk to others in the building. The fire could have had the potential to displace dozens of residents, but in this case only affected three apartment units.

Protecting Local Business & Commerce
On January 16, firefighters responded to a big box retail store on East Springs Drive, where fire was discovered in a trash compactor. That compactor, protected by an automatic fire sprinkler, held the fire at bay until Madison Fire Department crews arrived minutes later to take over.

With a large amount of refuse fueling the fire, the operation to fully extinguish the fire was complicated, but thanks to the automatic fire sprinkler catching the fire early, the fire did not spread into the store. Not only were customers and employees spared from injury, the business was able to continue operating and experienced no loss of revenue.

Fire Sprinklers & Firefighters: A Perfect Partnership
Altogether, four properties and an estimated 400 lives were protected this month as automatic fire sprinklers came to the rescue when fire ignited. Working in tandem with rapid response from the Madison Fire Department, automatic fire sprinklers protect our homes and businesses by reducing the risk of loss, injury, and death.

To learn more about the benefit of fire sprinklers, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s website.