Why Fire Sprinklers Are Neededonobird2018-02-14T23:11:23+00:00
A fire in a high-rise building can cut off escape down the stairs. Fire ladders can only reach up to the tenth floor. If there is a fire, you are out of options.
Eighty-five percent of the fire deaths recorded annually in the United States occur in homes.* Sprinklers provide the ultimate protection from fire for your property and your family. Sprinklers will extinguish a typical residential fire in less than one minute to dramatically improve survival rates.
How safe would your residential high-rise building would be in the event of a fire? If it doesn’t include fire sprinklers, the answer is simple: it’s not safe enough.
Sprinklers are Important For Life Safety
Sprinklers do not rely upon human factors such as familiarity with escape routes or emergency assistance. They go to work immediately to reduce the danger. Sprinklers prevent the fast developing fires of intense heat (flashover) which are capable of trapping and killing the occupants of a residence.
Fatal home fires usually involve occupant actions and errors. Expanded use of synthetic material along with other modern contents and furnishings provide a powerful fuel source. Sprinklers can prevent the mistakes of one resident harming another.
THE COST OF LIVING IN A FAMOUS CHICAGO HIGH-RISE COULD BE DEADLY
In November 2015, an afternoon fire started in a condo in Chicago’s John Hancock Center. The fire injured five people, including a police officer and destroyed the entire unit. There was significant smoke and water damage on the rest of the floor and below where the fire occurred. If the fire had occurred during the night when people were sleeping, the outcome could have been much worse.
Tourists on the top floors had to evacuate using the smoke-filled stairways and other occupants watched flames shoot from the windows. Media reported that some residents stated they received no communications.
How could something like this happen in one of Chicago’s iconic high-rise buildings? Because the residential floors of the building are not protected by fire sprinklers. Only fire sprinklers control or extinguish a fire, preventing the spread of flames and smoke.
More than 80 residential high-rises built prior to 1975 have chosen to install sprinklers as a cost-effective option to pass Chicago’s Safety Evaluation, bypassing additional measures that are more intrusive and costly. Also, residents in those sprinklered high-rises are eligible for fire insurance discounts.
Responsible and progressive high-rise owners such as those at McClurg Court Center are raising the bar for fire safety. In 2008, the owners of McClurg Court Center modernized the life safety systems in the two towers and voluntarily installed a fire sprinkler system to provide the ultimate fire protection for over 1,050 residential units, common areas, and additional commercial spaces.
If you live in a high-rise apartment or condo in Chicago or are looking for one, you may be surprised to find that many high-rises lack fire sprinkler protection. A high-rise with fire sprinklers is the only place to live.