On Friday, students from Bridgewater (MA) State University gathered with members of their local community to watch the Bridgewater Fire Department demonstrate the power of residential fire sprinklers. First, a mock dorm room without fire sprinklers was set ablaze, sounding a smoke alarm at 18 seconds. The audience gasped as the room was quickly engulfed in flames, and reached flash over at 1 minute, 15 seconds. The fire department then set fire to another mock dorm room - this one outfitted with fire sprinklers. At 135 degrees, and within 15 seconds from the first flame, a single sprinkler head activated, completely extinguishing the small fire. The University's Telecommunications Video System team captured it all on film.
NFPA sponsors several demonstrations of this type throughout the country in hopes that such conclusive evidence will sway decision makers and anti-sprinkler legislation supporters towards making the life-saving choice of requiring residential fire sprinklers in all new construction of one- and two- family homes.
If you're interested in hosting a side-by-side burn in your community, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition offers a detailed guide and free kit on how to conduct a successful event.