Special to The Sun
PATTERSON, N.Y. —
We have recently become aware of a fire sprinkler system saving a business and — most importantly — a life in Edmond on May 17 thanks to the Edmond Sun’s coverage of the fire.
A painter was applying lacquer to a cabinet in a poorly ventilated bathroom in Anna Reiner’s scrapbooking store, Paper Arts, when the fumes ignited. The painter was seriously burned, but a single fire sprinkler properly activated when the room reached 155 degrees, doused the flames and provided the man the time he needed to escape the blaze and call for help.
Ms. Reiner stated that, on top of saving the life of the painter, the fire sprinkler contained and extinguished the flames before they could spread throughout her business and to other businesses as well, saving thousands of dollars of merchandise in her store alone and allowing her to reopen her business quickly.
In April, the International Code Council voted to keep their national requirement for mandatory residential fire sprinkler systems as a minimum life safety code for all newly constructed one and two-family homes. Once adopted by state and local governments, the code will ensure that the same type of protection given to the painter and Ms. Reiner’s business is available in their homes.
I urge each resident of Edmond to check the batteries in your smoke alarms, educate yourself on the current fire protection requirements in your own city and state, and learn how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from the ravages of fire which can strike when we least expect it.
RUSSELL FLEMING is the President of the National Fire Sprinkler Association in Patterson, N.Y.