Our burn demonstration shows how quickly a fire can progress in an enclosed room or area and the ability of a properly
installed sprinkler system to control or extinguish a fire in its incipient stage.
We feel that it is important to share this video with the public in the aftermath of
tragic fires such as: the Anderson MO. Guest House fire (Nov. 2006,11 killed) Normandy, MO. fraternity fire (1 killed),
Hartford CT. Nursing Home (Feb. 2003, 16 killed) and The Station Nightclub RI. (Feb. 2003, 100 killed).
This demonstration was held at the St. Louis Fire Engine Rally on September 11, 2010.
Both of the rooms are built to the same specifications. They are eight ft. by eight ft. by eight ft. They are furnished exactly the same.
A bed, desk with computer monitor, clothes tree with clothes, drapes, a rug, books and paper, smoke detector and waste paper basket with paper.
St. Louis Fire Fighters inspected both rooms to verify contents used and that no accelerants were used in the fires.
The only difference is, one of the rooms is furnished with a fire sprinkler.
A fire is lit in the waste paper basket in the room with the fire sprinkler. The fire ignites the drapes and clothes.
The smoke detector activates and in less than TWENTY seconds the fire sprinkler head activates.
The fire is controlled and we â€śoverhaulâ€ť the room. The fire sprinkler head discharges approximately fifteen gallons of water per minute.
Very little of the contents have been damaged.
A good response time for a fire department to reach the scene of a fire is four to five minutes.
A fire is then lit in the unsprinklered room. The fire in the waste paper basket ignites the drapes, clothes, desk and bed.
The smoke detector activates. In a little over a minute, no person in the room could have survived. However, in a little over TWO MINUTES,
a phenomenon occurs that in the fire service is called a â€śflashoverâ€ť. That occurs when everything in the room reaches its autuoignition temperature.
Everything in the room is on fire. The temperatures can reach 1800 degrees. A firefighter in turnout gear and breathing apparatus cannot survive a flashover.
Firefighters then begins to attack the fire. Firefighters can use hoses that flow 250 gallons of water per minute to extinguish the fire.
The overhaul begins and the contents of the room have been destroyed in a little over two minutes. A room fire that reaches flashover
puts the entire building where it is located, in jeopardy.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which has been in existence since 1896, statesâ€¦.
â€śNFPA has no record of a multiple death fire in a completely sprinklered public assembly, educational, institutional,
or residential building where the system was properly operatingâ€ť.