Fires demonstration show sprinkler use

Posted at: 05/17/2013 6:09 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

BETHLEHEM - It didn't take long for a room to catch fire, during a demonstration at the Bethlehem Fire Training Facility Friday.

Without a residential sprinkler in the ceiling, the stuffed chairs, carpet, computer screen were quickly engulfed in flames and smoke.

The goal of the event, sponsored by the New York State Building Officials Conference, is to show the difference when a sprinkler head is installed. Currently, they aren't required in new one or two family homes.

"Smoke detectors are going to wake us up, the sprinklers are going to buy some insurance for us to make sure our families are going to get out," said Peter Lattanzio, a safety advocate and President of C & L Inspection Services.

In the room with the sprinkler at about two and a half minutes, as the chairs and newspapers start to cook, water came pouring down, dousing the flames. Leaving firefighters with little to do.

"It speaks for itself sprinklers obviously do a great job," said Dan Ryan, Chief of the Delmar Fire Department. "This is normally what we see when we get to a house, not this."

These fire officials are hoping revisions to the fire code will soon mandate the sprinklers in one and two family homes.

But the New York State Builders Association says they are too expensive for homeowners, at an estimated cost ranging from six to 24000-dollars, depending on the home's size.

Instead, the Association believe builders should only be required to give consumers a choice to install the heads.