People wonder why we must have code development. “Why force people to install sprinkler systems?” “Shouldn’t it be the property owner/tenant/consumer’s choice?” “Sprinkler systems are too expensive to retrofit in older buildings.” The list of questions and excuses goes on and on.
If everything were left up to the average property owner/tenant/consumer they would take the path of least resistance in most cases. Sprinklers have proven themselves to protect life and property. They are sound investments.
For older areas and buildings around the nation fire sprinklers are a necessity. Not only to protect individaul tenants but for the protection of those businesses in close proximity to spaces where fire events start. A total loss to one business is one thing. The economic integrity of a community can be effected with the loss of multiple businesses.
One quote from the article I would like to address,
It can’t be said for sure whether sprinklers would have made a difference out here last night, but some local firefighters feel it may. A lot of water was used to get the flames out, so a little more would not have hurt.”
“A lot of water was used” is an understatement. Just one, 250 gallon-per-minute hose stream running for 12 hours would burn 180,000 gallons of water (enough water to fill about 30 backyard swimming pools). I don’t know how many hose streams were used or for how long but that gives you an idea of what it takes. I’m confident in speculating that had the building been equipped with fire sprinklers the fire would have been put out using only a fraction of 180,000 gallons.