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Fire Damage And Your Sprinkler System

Fire damage board up.When fire breaks out, most of us are grateful for such protective measures as fire retardant materials and sprinkler systems, both of which are designed to activate at the first sign of fire, extinguish the blaze, and prevent any further fire damage to the structure.  Unfortunately, the cure can sometimes be as bad as the illness.  Water coming from sprinkler systems can cause their own brand of damage, requiring significant effort to clean up.

These contingency plans worked just fine when a fire broke out recently at the Peter Becker Retirement Community in Harleysville PA.  A small fire had started in a second floor closet; the sprinklers kicked in and put out the blaze before the fire could spread.  “The sprinklers did what they were supposed to do and kept everybody safe,” said Carol Berster, president and CEO of the community.

There were no injuries as a result, and fire damage was kept to the closet where the fire started.  The more extensive damage came from the sprinkler system, with four units damaged to the extent that their occupants were unable to return with the other residents.

Water damage restoration crews were on the scene later the same day, and hoped to have the fire damage repairs completed within a 48 hour period.  As of Monday, the fire marshal was still investigating the cause of the fire.

Obviously, with a sprinkler system, you run the risk of averting fire damage only to have to deal with water damage, which has the potential to be even worse.  Any sprinkler system installed should be designed for only sprinkler heads in the immediate affected area to activate.  This cuts down on the amount of water involved and limits the damage to a very specific area.

The good news is that sprinkler systems are not known for leaking or otherwise malfunctioning.  Insurance statistics bear out that only about 1 in 16 million sprinkler heads malfunctions every year, making the case that sprinklers are very safe and efficient systems.

Also, while water damage as a result of sprinkler activation is more than possible, it pales in comparison with what would be inflicted from fire hoses.  Sprinklers put out an average of 25 gallons per minute, while fire hoses release 100-250 gallons per minute.  Also, sprinklers are designed to activate before the fire becomes large, meaning that less water is required to knock it down as opposed to a fully involved blaze.

When it comes to installing the sprinkler system for your home or business, consult the Fire Safety Network or National Fire Protection Association for consultation and input.

In the event of fire damage, and subsequent water damage, call Restoration Local at 1-888-443-3110.  Available 24/7, we can handle all of your fire and water damage issues, no matter how large, and offer same day fire damage repairs in most cases.  All work is guaranteed and we even work directly with your homeowners’ insurance provider, making the repair and restoration process as efficient as possible.

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