That's the amount of time it took for a recent fire, initiated by a malfunctioning dishwasher, to turn a Wyoming home from livable to uninhabitable. Firefighters from the Casper Fire Department, acting as tour guides, ushered interested parties through the building; children gasped upon viewing the destruction, while the firemen probed the parties about their knowledge of escape planning and smoke alarms.
The open house was also an opportunity to educate the public on how home fire sprinklers, had these devices been installed, could have led to a different outcome. "A residential sprinkler will put out a fire out while it is still small, before the firemen can even get dressed," Justin Smith, Casper Fire's public information officer and chair of the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition, told the Casper Journal.
Smith also told the paper that sprinklers are water savers; sprinkers activate nearest the fire at a rate of 10 gallons of water per minute--versus 125 gallons per minute delivered by a fire hose. (Visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website for more information on the environmental benefits of sprinklers.)
Since there were no injuries or fatalaties, the open house, which had the blessing of both the homeowner and the homeowner's insurance agency, was an incredibly effective tool in spreading the sprinkler message, added Smith.
Read the full article for additional information on this event.