Fire Sprinkler Accident Videos: The Hall of Shame

Fire Sprinkler Accident Videos: The Hall of Shame  

When fire sprinklers go wrong, they can create enough chaos that people feel called to capture the whole mess on film. People may dash from the spray, building owners may come out of nowhere to stop the problem before too much damage occurs. Sprinkler fails are a lot more common than you think, whether they’re caught on camera or not. From malfunctioning pipes to too much force, it’s all too easy for sprinklers to activate at the worst possible times. We’ll look at the hall of shame videos that show just how rough it can get. 

Chemistry Mishaps 

It’s probably not too surprising to hear that fire sprinkler failures often stem from experiments gone wrong. This one just happened to be an intentional demonstration that was meant to engage the students, but only ended up causing a major disturbance to the school day. At least the students were awake after the demo though!

Down Low, You’re Too Slow 

Parking garages were never meant to accommodate big trucks. Their ceilings are just too low to have anything that tall make their way through. But sometimes U-Haul drivers ignore those clearance levels in hopes of making it into a convenient space. Instead of just damaging the ceiling of the garage though, this truck managed to break open the fire sprinklers for a serious shower. 

A Shoddy Installation 

When installers skip steps and cut corners, it can end in tears. This video shows just how devastating it can be to have to deal with the aftermath of poor installation. From the property owner to the fire marshal, the whole affair proved that regulatory laws and business codes can’t always save you from an accident. The right sprinkler shut off tool could have saved everyone a lot of hassle. 

Pack ‘Em In 

Trade shows can difficult to pull off even under the best of circumstances. The sheer number of people all trying to make an impression can lead to utter confusion and exhaustion. But imagine how much more flustered the people at an Orlando show felt after the sprinklers accidentally went off. 

Foam It Up 

Water is one thing, but foam is another. Foam systems use chemicals to quickly put fires out, which can make them more effective than a traditional water system. But if the foam fails on account of malfunction, you just end up with rooms that look like a bubble bath went very wrong. 

When fire sprinklers fail from afar, there’s no denying that it’s interesting (even funny) to watch. When it happens to you though, you’re at the mercy of forces that can cost you up to $1,000 a minute. From just $60, you can get a Shutgun sprinkler shut off tool that only takes one hand to operate. It’s the best (and easiest) way to step in when things go wrong.

About The Author: Jason Hugo is the owner of Quick Response Fire Supply. You can read more of his fire and safety & related blogs here

Fire Sprinkler Accidents: 5 Causes and How to Fix Them

Upright Fire Sprinkler Head

Did you know an activated fire sprinkler can cause $2,000 in damage in a single minute if there’s no sprinkler tool to shut it off? Of course, if your building is on fire, that’s a risk well worth taking. But when your sprinkler system activates by accident — not so much. According to the National Fire Safety Protection Organization, firefighters responded more than 33,000 times for faulty sprinkler deactivation in 2014. Here are the top five reasons why:

1. The Sprinkler Head Overheated

If your fire sprinkler is installed in the wrong place, such as too near a skylight or too close to a stove. This can spell disaster when rising heat triggers activation for no good reason. If you must install fire sprinklers in questionable areas such as these, have them calibrated so higher thermal temperatures must be reached to cause activation.

2. The Water Pipes Froze

Of course you’re not going to let the heat lapse in your tenant-occupied building, but what happens during an extended power outage? And what about sprinkler pipes that run through basements or garages? If even a portion of your sprinkler system becomes exposed to freezing temperatures, accidental deactivation or damaging leaks may occur. 

3. The Components Became Damaged

It’s rare that fire sprinklers suffer defects in manufacturing, but shipping is a different story. Fragile parts get jostled or dropped, and there’s no way to tell until after they’ve been installed and begin to malfunction. 

Often, damage to sprinkler heads occur after installation, as well. When a technician tightens a sprinkler head too much, a ladder used in renovation clips a fire sprinkler, or a tenant accidently hits the fire sprinkler with a tennis racket — activation may occur. You can help prevent accidental damage by placing guards that resemble metal cages over your sprinkler heads. 

4. The Pipes Corroded

Corrosion on pipes may not cause your sprinkler to activate, but it will destroy your water pipes over time, causing costly leaks. The same solutions that’s so effective at dousing many fires is also highly corrosive to water pipes. Regular inspection and maintenance of your system and pipes may help prevent this scenario. 

5. The System Was Vandalized

Vandalism is a huge problem in some areas, and hardly noticeable in others. But, if you own a building in a high-crime area, expect vandalism. Be proactive by installing institutional sprinkler heads that are difficult for vandals to access.

A final solution involves keeping a sprinkler tool, such as a Shutgun, on-hand at all times. Shutguns should be stored with your fire extinguishers and easily accessible in the event of an accidental deactivation. This tool is simple to use and instantly shuts off the flow of water at each fire sprinkler head without damaging it further. 

Fires are destructive, but so are accidental fire sprinkler activations. A simple sprinkler tool such as a Shutgun can help protect you from one without interfering with the other. Consider buying a sprinkler tool today.  

About The Author

Jason Hugo is the owner of Quick Response Fire Supply. You can read more of his fire and safety & related blogs here.

Shutgun vs Quickstop Fire Sprinkler Tools: Which Shuts Off Heads Better?

When it comes to protecting your property from water damage due to a fire sprinkler system, you want to have the best sprinkler shut off tool for your situation and goals. Although it is (infrequent) for a sprinkler system to activate without a fire, it does happen.  Having the right shut off tool reduces the impact of accidental activation. Shutgun and Quickstop are the two most popular options, but you want to compare them to determine the right option for your needs.

Quickstop

Quickstop became a widely known product due to its debut on the popular television show “Shark Tank”. It was originally developed by a firefighter who noted that he saw water damage due to accidental activation of a sprinkler system that created concerns for property owners.

The primary advantages of Quickstop include:

  • Light weight design
  • Simple instructions for using the tool
  • A full warranty

The potential downside of the Quickstop tool is the limitations on the sprinkler heads that it may fit. Since it is an “all-in-one” tool only for exposed fire sprinkler heads of a certain type, it does not always suit every building or sprinkler system. It is best suited for firefighters that want a tool that will do more than just shut off a fire sprinkler head; however, it is not ideal for many residential or commercial properties in locations that may use a narrower or different type of sprinkler head.

Shutgun

Shutgun is growing in popularity due to its unique design and usability. It offers a wider range of potential usage as a sprinkler shut off tool because it provides a range of different sizes and styles to fit different sprinkler systems.

The primary advantages of Shutgun include:

  • The standard Shutgun fits all ½” upright, pendant, wall mount and semi-recessed sprinkler heads.  That is 90% of the sprinkler heads that you see in use.
  • It has interchangeable parts and models for various types of sprinkler heads, including concealed and recessed heads, sheared heads, and institutional heads
  • The cost is reasonable

The primary downside associated with Shutgun is that it will require a little time to review the instructions and select the right model for the building. It is ideal for property owners who may have unique sprinkler head systems due to sizing or style or for contractors that do not know what kind of sprinkler system they may encounter.

Which is the Better Sprinkler Shut Off Tool?

Although Quickstop offers a simple all-in-one tool, it is not ideal for most situations and buildings. It has limitations on the systems that work well with the tool, so it may not work for institutional or commercial buildings that have systems with unique designs. The Shutgun is a better tool for most buildings due to the flexibility of multiple parts and accessories. It also has a lower price-point, which makes it ideal for building owners to keep in case of unexpected sprinkler activation.

Comparing the Quickstop and the Shutgun tools starts with clarifying your needs. When you are unsure about the best option, the Shutgun offers more flexibility and a lower price that may help reduce your concerns while giving you the right tool to minimize and prevent water damage.

Common Mistakes that Cause Fire Sprinkler Failure

Fire sprinklers can be triggered by all kinds of things, especially if they’re exposed to the elements. In movies, they’re usually the funny crescendo that happens to our hapless hero. In real life though, it’s a much more drama than comedy. See why fire sprinkler failure is more common than you might think, and how a sprinkler stopper can help you avoid the same fate.

A Lesson in Force

If you know anything about physics, you know that one action leads to a reaction. When fire sprinklers are broken, regardless of how, they can end up shooting water everywhere. Whether it’s a forklift or a football, sprinklers both above and below fail when they’re subjected to too much trauma.

Unsurprisingly, this happens in areas designed for activities. The University of Iowa had to clean up 600 gallons of water from the gym floor after someone kicked a soccer ball just a little too hard at the sprinkler head. Their campus was no stranger to this kind of accident either. Years earlier, administrators had to deal with a failure when a student grabbed a little too hard at something she’d hung up on a sprinkler in her dorm room.

Construction workers and forklift operators are also notorious for damaging sprinklers while they’re at work. Crew members are certainly trained to avoid sprinklers, but the machines are large and difficult to handle.

A Little Vandalism

Sprinkler heads are sometimes damaged by those who are either bored, vengeful, or just want to cause a little chaos. It’s more likely to happen at a prison, where presumably people are trying to cause a distraction, but it’s been known to happen at schools and workplaces too.

Maybe employees want to dance in the ‘rain’, maybe children are just curious, or maybe basketball players are angry at the establishment for some reason. One kid dares another kid, and the next thing you know, the fire sprinklers have caused thousands of dollars in property damage.

The Real Costs

Fire sprinklers are obviously meant to save the building, and that’s exactly what they do when there’s a fire. But if they go off when there’s no fire, it only takes a few seconds to cause unnecessary havoc. Water seeps into carpets, hardwood floors, and even the walls, and none of it is cheap to fix. It can destroy expensive stock, supplies, and equipment. The National Fire Protection Agency reported 33,600 unintentional activations in 2014, a number that doesn’t really scratch the surface of the costs of all that water damage.

The Solution

For just $60, a Shutgun minimizes the financial impact of an unintentional activation. Store them with the fire extinguisher, tell staff members about it, and make sure to use it when the time is right. It can be immediately used by practically anyone. It only takes one hand to do it!

How Much Could Fire Sprinkler Water Damage Cost You?

While just about all U.S. hotels and other commercial buildings are required to have functional fire sprinklers, the vast majority of sprinkler activations don’t have anything to do with fire. Modern sprinklers have a glass vial that acts as a plug to block the flow of water, and this vial can be bumped (and broken) during repairs, renovations, or even rough horseplay.

Learn about some of the financial consequences of an activated fire sprinkler head and how having a fire sprinkler shut off tool handy on each floor can save you time, money, and headaches.

What Happens When Fire Sprinklers Are Activated

The glass plug in most fire sprinklers is filled with glycerine mixture. When this water is exposed to a heat source like fire, smoke, or steam, it expands, eventually shattering the glass. But this glass can also be shattered if someone tries to use the sprinkler head as a clothes hanger or bumps against the sprinkler while attempting to paint or perform repairs around it.

Without this plug, water will flow through a gravity-fed sprinkler until it is shut off. These quick-response sprinklers can release between 60 gallons of water per minute, quickly flooding even large rooms. And if the sprinkler is activated while no one is around (or if those responsible for activating it don’t immediately call for help), this can mean an outflow of thousands of gallons of water.

Unless you contact a water and mold remediation company immediately for cleanup, you could be facing tens of thousands of dollars in damage to carpets, flooring panels, drywall, and joists that must be replaced. The restoration process can mean more lost revenue as parts of your building are out of commission.

And the cost of these restoration services isn’t cheap either. Hidden water damage can lead to mold growth, posing health and safety issues for your customers and employees; so even if the water damage initially appears to be limited, without extensive restoration services, it may be all but impossible to determine the extent of the damage.

Stem Water Damage With a Fire Sprinkler Shut Off Tool

Although most companies with fire sprinklers have a fire sprinkler shut off tool on site, if this tool isn’t centrally located (or isn’t where it should be), costly water damage may be unavoidable. For every additional five minutes, it takes someone to find and use a sprinkler shut off tool, this can mean an extra 40 to 125 gallons of water per minute flowing through the room.

Instead, keep a fire sprinkler shut off tool with every fire extinguisher in your building, where it’s easily accessible in an emergency. Shutgun’s fire sprinkler tools quickly shut off just about every type of fire sprinkler head, can be operated with a single hand, and are highly affordable. Visit our website to browse our fire sprinkler products and learn how they can save your company money.

Why Do We Continue to Put Our Vulnerable Populations at Risk?

Recently, the National Children’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland was mandated to install fire sprinklers into their new facility.

Originally, the design of the building excluded this necessary safety feature as the building was 10 cm below the required height for this life saving feature.

The fact that the hospital, despite it’s slightly smaller size, was required to install the sprinklers is a good thing. This facility is designed to protect the most vulnerable population, sick children, and so, fire sprinklers should be mandated.

However; the mere fact that it was even considered not to include these features baffles me. How can a development team create an infrastructure without including fire sprinklers as a mandatory element?

We need to change the way that we think about fire sprinklers. These systems should not be looked at as a nice to have piece of equipment. They are not a luxury item.

But instead, they should become a mandated item, particularly when building infrastructures to house vulnerable populations.

The fact that this was even a discussion point clearly demonstrates that there is still a massive lack of education about the tools/techniques needed to protect clients from fire.

Fire alarms do not protect. They warn people to get out of buildings.

In a building, where employees (in this case doctors and nurses) will have to manually relocate the individuals (like hospitals or retirement homes), you are putting several lives at stake.

In North America, we seem to be slightly more aware. Sprinklers are mandated in the majority of facilities that house children, including schools, community centres and hospitals.

However, we are still putting a price on lives.  The most recent example is the mandate to retrofit fire sprinklers in retirement homes in Ontario.

As of October 2014, due to a coroner inquest on a 2009 devastating blaze in a retirement home in Orillia, Ontario, sprinklers were mandated to be retrofitted in all retirement homes by 2019.

Currently 20% of retirement homes in Ontario do not have fire sprinkler systems in place.

It took five years to make this decision! And they have given another five years to put these life saving devices into place.

How many lives could potentially be lost in those 10 years?

Most recently, the liberal government pledged $20 million dollars to help these smaller homes, with under 49 beds, overhaul their sprinkler system prior to the January 2019 deadline.  But why did it take so long for the government to make this investment?

We need to stop nickelling and diming the safety of our vulnerable populations. There is no question that retrofitting fire sprinklers is expensive. But we need to start prioritizing our investments. Safety should not be something that is delayed.

Fire safety legislation is designed to protect the most vulnerable.  The question is, are we doing enough to protect the lives that are most of risk?

What Condominium Owners Should Know about Automatic Fire Sprinklers

With two high rise fires in London and Hawaii, there has been a lot of conversation about the importance of sprinkler systems in high rise buildings. 80 percent of the 2500 people killed in house fires annually in the United States would have survived had a sprinkler system been activated. These systems save lives, which is why it’s essential that the fire sprinkler systems are not only in place, but operating well.

As condominium owners, you are deeply invested in ensuring that your building is both safe and well maintained. This is your home.

When purchasing a new condo, most owners take the time to inspect the common areas such as the pool, party room and gym. However; have you asked for the maintenance records of their sprinkler systems?

Too many condo owners go into their buildings with little to no knowledge about their buildings and the systems that have been put into place to protect them. Sprinkler systems are probably the best example of this type of system. The majority of condo owners do not understand how the sprinkler system works nor how it is maintained.

Similar to an HVAC system, the sprinkler systems in your building need to be properly maintained to ensure that they are in good working order.  Water quality, environmental conditions, water bacteria, physical damage, extreme changes in temperature and piping system debris all have an impact on whether a system is working effectively. Regular inspection and maintenance of these systems is necessary to ensure that it is fully operational.

However, condo owners also play a major role in ensuring that their sprinkler system is working well. One of the biggest mistakes that owners make is painting their sprinkler heads. As a new owner, you may be tempted to give your condominium a coat of paint, including the sprinkler heads as well, so that they blend in with your ceiling. As tempting as this is, this is an extremely dangerous practice which will immediately compromise how your sprinkler system functions.

Why You Should Not Paint your Sprinkler System

When a fire occurs, the heat from the fire will activate the sprinkler head(s) in the area by the fire. One of the most critical pieces to the sprinkler is the glass bulb in the sprinkler head. When the temperature rises, the bulb breaks, which in turn, allows the plug to fall away and release water through the head. However, if the head is painted, the paint will act as a protective layer on the bulb preventing it from breaking at the right temperature and delaying the water being released. In fact, the paint could prevent the plug from dropping all together.

But what if you have a cover plate on your head? Could you paint this feature? Absolutely not, in fact the cover plates react very similarly to the glass bulb, reacting to a specific temperature to activate the sprinkler head. Painting this cover plate, once again changes the temperature that will be needed to have the system work properly.

If you have painted over your sprinkler head in error, do not try to remove the paint yourself. The system will need to be shut down, drained, and then new sprinkler heads installed. However; if you have made this error, do not ignore it, as preventing the sprinkler head replacement will put you and your loved ones, or your tenants, and property at risk.

As a condominium resident, before moving into your home, take the time to inspect each sprinkler head for rust or paint damage, and if there is any damage, ensure that the head is replaced.

Remember, that automatic fire sprinkler systems are in place to protect both the residents of condominiums and their property. Unlike the movies, neither smoke nor a fire alarm, will set the system off, these systems are designed to activate when the temperature rises to 155 to 165 degrees.

However, moving heavy furniture or hanging items on the sprinkler head can cause damage, potentially resulting in accidental discharge. To prevent this damage, become familiar with the location of the sprinkler heads and avoid any contact.

Although rare, accidents do happen, and when accidental discharge occurs the damage can be devastating. When a sprinkler head is accidentally activated, water is released at pressures as high as 170 psi and up to 75 gallons per minute. Fast shut off is critical to prevent extensive damage to your home.  Having the right tools in place, like the Shutgun Tool shut off system, will ensure that both condominium owners and property managers are equipped to quickly shut off the system in the case of accidental discharge.

Are you still Experiencing Sprinkler Resistance?

The statistics are clear: automatic fire sprinkler systems save lives. In fact, 80 percent of the 2500 people killed in house fires annually in the United States would have survived had a sprinkler system been activated.  That is to say, 2000 lives may have been saved if a fire sprinkler system was in place.

So why is there still so much resistance?

One of the main reasons is there is a lot of confusing information out there. Home owners are skeptical about it’s maintenance, cost, and the hazards that could come with owning a sprinkler system. And there is also a bit of false comfort created with fire alarms.

The Hollywood Effect

We all love a good movie! And there is almost nothing more dramatic than a fire, fire fighters, and sprinklers. But Hollywood goes for glamour and action, and the truth about automatic fire sprinklers isn’t really eye catching.

What’s depicted in Hollywood is often that automatic fire sprinklers are extremely sensitive for disastrous results. Fire sprinklers are seen to be set off from a wee bit of smoke or even a pulled fire alarm. This leaves consumers with the perception that the smallest thing can set the sprinklers off and that they are as sensitive as a smoke alarm.

Automatic sprinkler systems are designed to help put out fires. Individual sprinkler heads are triggered only when air reaching the sprinkler head is at a fire specific temperature, generally between 155 to 165 degrees.

But that’s not all, Hollywood loves drama! If there was an oven fire, all the fire sprinklers go off. Yikes! No wonder consumers are hesitant about installing them.  Since fire sprinklers are triggered by heat, they will only go off if they are close to the fire. They don’t discharge simply because the other sprinklers in the home were discharged.

Hollywood’s erroneous depictions are not the only challenge that prevents consumers from installing sprinklers. Consumers are wary about the cost of installing sprinklers in their home and whether the cost is a necessary one if there are smoke alarms in place.

 Automatic Sprinklers are Not Just for the Wealthy

New construction is one of the best ways to ensure that automatic sprinklers are installed from the get-go. Sprinkler companies would benefit by fostering relationships with construction companies and helping them develop financially accessible ways to offer automatic sprinklers as a home upgrade.

According to the Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment Report (2013), the average cost of installing home fire sprinklers is 1.35 cents a square foot. This cost is similar to upgraded flooring or a whirlpool tub.

Additionally, home owners with automated sprinklers installed often benefit from a reduction in home insurance premiums. They will also reduce their own property loss in the event of a fire. Educating builders on the added value of automatic sprinklers will help increase the number of homes with this additional protection. It really is a win/win.

A discussion about the fears of fire sprinklers wouldn’t be complete without mentioning accidental discharge. Don’t let this concern stop your customers from protecting their home. Instead, offer them the additional insurance of a Shutgun shut off tool, shutting off fire sprinklers fast in the case of accidental discharge.

Although rare, when accidental discharge does happen, the damage can be devastating. When a sprinkler head is accidently activated, water is released at pressures as high as 170 psi and up to 75 gallons per minute. This capacity is great for containing or extinguishing fires, but without the right tool, can cause a great amount of water damage. Fast shut off is critical to prevent extensive damage to homes and businesses.  “The Shutgun is insurance for homeowners and building managers and it has proven its value in real life situations,” says Technicraft Product Design President, Greg Patterson.

On September 24th to 27th, Technicraft Product Design will be exhibiting their line of products at the American Fire Sprinkler Association. Increase your sprinkler sales, by including a Shutgun Tool Shut off system in every package. Empower your customer and alleviate the fear of accidental discharge, by showing that all it takes to stop the water flow is a one-handed squeeze.

Are You Setting Your Moving and Storage Business up For Success?

Labour needs to be looked at as an investment in your operation. Hiring the right individuals and providing them with the right tools will ensure that your company runs both smoothly and efficiently. In 2015, Laborers, freight staff and material movers had one of the highest number of work place injury cases, with 4.5 cases for every 100 workers.

When it comes to investing in a business, most operations tend to focus on management and supervisors. However, did you know that focusing on the hiring, training and equipment for your general laborers can not only increase employee satisfaction but decrease work place injuries? The cost to operate a moving and storage company is at an all-time high with wage increases and incremental rises in the cost of fuel. Do not increase your costs by failing to invest in your employees and their safety.

Hire Right the First Time

The talent pool for general laborers is startlingly low, which can increase the risk of hiring quickly. Nobody wants to lose a potentially good employee, especially when they are limited, but hiring rashly can put your company at risk.

No matter how good a resume appears, take the time for an in-person interview.

When interviewing, include questions about how they work in a team, handle conflict and problem solve. How well do their responses fit with your company’s values?  Don’t forget to include real life scenarios to gauge if the potential candidate can think on their feet. Remember, moving items safely and securely requires planning, team work, and strong customer service skills. These individuals are the face of your company: take the time to ensure that they are the right individuals for the job.

Place a Value on Work Place Safety

The moving industry, by its very nature, puts your employee at increased risk for injury. Include work place safety in every conversation, so that your employee understands why it needs to be an essential part of their job. This includes having access to the tools, equipment and training, to keep themselves safe on the job. For example: Lifting belts, gloves and steel-toe work boots can help protect the employee with heavy lifting. Knowing the weight of the furniture in advance can help ensure that workers have the right equipment, like carts and dollies, so that the item is removed safely.

Protect your Investment

Most moving companies today recognize the value of including carpets, blankets and other protective tools on their trucks to ensure that both the materials and buildings are not damaged. When a sprinkler head is activated by either bumping, breaking or temperature fluctuation, water releases at pressures up to 165 psi or 65 gallons per minute. Quick shut off is critical to prevent damage of everything from furniture, equipment and valuables. Despite this there is still very little discussion of what to do in the case of accidental fire sprinkler discharge. In the majority of cases, accidental sprinkler discharge could have been prevented. Train your staff to watch out for doorways and sprinkler heads when moving tall equipment, and in the case of accidental discharge, ensure there is a sprinkler shut off tool on each truck.

To learn more about Shutgun tools at www.shutguntool.com

Are Canadian High Rises at Risk of Fire?

If you’re looking to live in Toronto, it is most likely that you will be moving into a high-rise building. High housing costs have brought condo living into the mainstream, with an anticipated 29 new building planned for 2017 alone. Currently there are approximately 260 high rise buildings in Toronto, and the new projects, just keep getting higher. In fact, there is currently 8 tower proposals pending that are more than 300 metres in height.

The recent tragedy in London with the Grenfell tower has caused several communities to take a deeper look at whether, they too, are at risk.  In the case of the Grenfell tragedy, it is believed that the external cladding, which is added to older buildings to increase insulation and improve the external appearance, increased the flammability of the building. Cladding is used in buildings to provide a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, provide insulation, and prevent water penetration.

Regulations in Canada specify that cladding can be used on buildings at least four storeys in height provided that they have a fire rating of at least one to two hours. However in a recent article by the Canadian Press, forensic engineer, Doug Pervoic, emphasized that challenges arise when builders try to cut costs by resorting to cheaper materials.

On a positive note, the high rise residential buildings in Canada are built with non-combustible construction,including materials like brick, cement, metal, glass or stone, and are built so that the fire can be contained within one or a few units.

In 2010, the Ontario Building code was amended to require that any building more than three storeys high include sprinkler systems. Prior to this change, Ontario was the only jurisdiction in North America where sprinklers were not mandatory. In fact, between 1995 and 2008, 89 people died in high rise fires in Toronto. More than 40 % of homeowners aged 65 and over live in high rises.

However the lack of sprinkler systems in the older buildings still place residents at risk.  The question is, why aren’t more building residents advocating for them?

There is no doubt that there is a substantial cost involved with installation. This is not a retrofit that can happen overnight, but it should be one that building managers urgently consider.