Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Officials recommend fire-sprinklers

Officials recommending fire sprinklers in homes

Posted: Apr 23, 2012 7:22 PM PDTUpdated: Apr 23, 2012 8:19 PM PDT
Last Tuesday, Sonshine Christian Academy Pastor Bob Calvert lost everything after a brush fire tore through his home in Buckingham.
"It's overwhelming. It's what happens to someone else all the time," Calvert says.
Fire officials want to prevent situations like this for Calvert and all homeowners.
On Monday, Island Harbor Construction and firefighters held a demonstration on fire sprinklers.
"They are effective, they save lives. Bottom line, they are efficient," says Cape Coral Fire Department Fire Marshal Alan Carter.
Carter says sprinklers are effective for four types of people – children who may run and hide in their home, elderly and disabled people, and firefighters. But, they can benefit everyone.
"This is to show the public that there is an option when you build a house. This is one of the things that need to be in there," Carter says.
During a demonstration burn, the non-sprinkler side was totally engulfed in flames in just under four minutes while the side with sprinklers quickly extinguished itself.
"Absent that sprinkler you're going to have major structural damage or possible loss of life or injury," says Bobby Dewar, VP of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.
Structure damage at the Calvert home is estimated at around $200,000. Fire officials say sprinklers could cut damage costs in almost half.
But overall, they could save lives.
"You've got three minutes to get out of the house or it's too late," Dewar says. 
Councilman Chris Chulakes-Leetz says he is currently working to put together a home fire sprinkler ordinance that will require construction to have sprinklers and will also make it cost-affordable for existing homeowners to retrofit their homes as well.

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