Servpro of Coffee, Franklin and Warren counties held a safety awareness event on Thursday, June 20 at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center with Manchester Fire and Police departments.
The event included a live fire burn simulation that showed the effectiveness of a sprinkler system in a residential setting.
“We do fire and water registration,” said Sue Mihatov, Servpro Operations Manager. “We wanted to show the importance of fire safety and, especially, sprinkler systems.”
Mihatov said that many people wrongly think that sprinkler systems are only for commercial applications.
“They should be put in people’s homes also. We wanted people to know why it’s so important and how much it could save them if something were to happen,” she said.
Marketing Manager Ryan Hunter explained that the event was to recognize June as National Safety Awareness Month.
“We’re trying to spread safety awareness throughout every community,” Hunter said.
The burn demonstration was in a specially designed trailer, with two identical rooms (one featured a sprinkler system) with typical household furniture. Both were ignited at the same time and the fire was allowed to burn.
The sprinkler side showed only a small amount of damage while the control side flashed over in one minute and 30 seconds.
Flash over is when temperatures throughout the room reach the kindling point of its content. Fire then spreads instantaneously in a flash, rather than spreading by direct contact.
“It had already vented and was doing a lot of damage at two minutes,” said MFD training officer Dale Brandon. “A lot of people have the misconception that if one sprinkler goes off, they all go off. They don’t and they don’t cause a lot of water damage,” he said.
Brandon noted the fire in the sprinkler side was extinguished by the system while the control side had to be put out by the department.
“That room, we would have been done with it. The other side, it’s gone and probably two or three more rooms,” he said.