Sprinklers Can Help Protect Home During A Fire


You never know when your home could fall victim to a fire, which is why it’s important to be proactive in keeping your home safe.

In a matter of minutes, a room or home can be destroyed by fire. In a demonstration by the Rapid City Fire Department, you can easily see how a single fire sprinkler activated by heat can quickly become a critical life-saving tool.

“Someone can be in that room and still live, so if someone who can’t walk out by themselves or can’t open the door, pets inside the house, young children, they’re protected,” Monica Colby, Fire and Life Safety Specialist said.

One room in the demonstration is protected with the sprinkler. The other is not.

“We lit those, with ordinary combustibles, newspaper, to ignite it, it ignited the curtains, quickly spread to the chairs, the one side was suppressed by the fire sprinkler in about 22 seconds,” Tim Behlings, RCFD division chief said.

Fire officials say some people have some misconceptions about sprinklers.

“That sprinklers are ugly. That they’re expensive. That they’re all going to go off at the same time and they don’t. They operate one at a time,” Behlings said.

Plus, they’re easy to install.

“In Rapid City, the permit is free. You need to have it designed and then you can install it yourself, if you want and we can help you out with that and we just come to make sure it will work and you’re done,” Colby said.

So that your home is protected.

“We just wanted to show that fire spreads very rapidly and so it’s important to have a good escape plan, have smoke alarms in your home, and even more importantly, begin to install residential fire protection sprinklers,” Behlings said.

Fire officials say that there are about 150 homes in the Rapid City area that have the sprinklers, and a number of homes in area subdivisions which are currently under construction will provide sprinkler protection.

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