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    Sprinkler system credited with putting out fire in community center - November 3, 2012 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A small fire Wednesday morning at the North End Community Center was put out quickly by a sprinkler system before it could cause any damage, according to the Yuma Fire Department.

    Spokesman Mike Erfert said shortly before 4 a.m., YFD received an alarm that indicated the sprinkler system at the North End Community Center, 160 E. 1st St., had activated. When firefighters arrived on scene they found water coming from under a workshop door and a slight odor of smoke.

    Once inside the building, Erfert said firefighters found that the fire had been burning on a stack of cardboard boxes in the center's workshop. It, however, had already been extinguished by a single sprinkler head directly above the fire and had not spread beyond the box.

    It points out the value of sprinkler systems, Erfert said. It makes a huge difference as far as the damage goes.

    With the fire already out, Erfert said firefighters shut down the water flow to the sprinkler head, removed the water from the floors and ventilated the remaining smoke from the building. The center was not occupied at the time of the fire.

    Erfert said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but it appears to have started in materials on top of the boxes. There was no indication of the fire being intentionally set. The North End Community Center was able to remain open for its regular schedule of events.

    Erfert said fire sprinkler systems can keep fires from spreading and can also extinguish them. Fire spreads quickly, he added, and can double in size every minute. Even small fires can cause significant damage to personal property and endanger those nearby.

    He also said contrary to many Hollywood portrayals, only sprinkler heads directly exposed to the heat of the fire activate, not those in the rest of the room, building, or complex.

    James Gilbert can be reached at or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.

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    Sprinkler system credited with putting out fire in community center

    Code violations put police at risk - October 23, 2012 by Mr HomeBuilder

    INDIANAPOLIS - Fire and building code violations are putting Metro police employees at risk and raising questions about government oversight at the renovation of the IMPD East District Roll Call facility.

    The fire sprinkler system installed at East District Roll Call was never approved, and so far, it has failed to work, but Metro police and civilian employees were moved into the building anyway nine months ago.

    A firefighter remains on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because the fire sprinkler system in the building will not send an alarm to an outside security company or fire dispatch.

    According to city codes, the contractor is required to submit a plan before construction begins and the building is occupied.

    "In most cases our plan review, they do review them. But for whatever reason, I don't think our plan reviewer had a chance to see these plans. I'm not sure (why not)," said Indianapolis Fire Department Fire Marshal Fred Pervine.

    Tuesday afternoon, the building contractor was summoned to a meeting with fire and code enforcement officials for a review of code violations. City officials admitted that they hadn't seen the contractor's plan until Tuesday.

    "All I know is that I saw the plan today," said Al Ensley, with the Department of Code Enforcement. "I saw the plans that were submitted today."

    Fire and code enforcement will review the fire suppression plans to see if the design fits the building then they will test the system to determine if the sprinklers provide an effective level of protection.

    "The last thing we want to do, for the most part, is evacuate the building, because now we're forced to relocate all the East District and all that," Pervine said. "So that would be a safety issue that we've got to deal with."

    For now, the building contractor is paying the $35-per-hour cost of having a firefighter keep watch on the building.

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    Code violations put police at risk

    Glenwood removes home sprinkler requirement from code - October 23, 2012 by Mr HomeBuilder

    GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado Glenwood Springs City Council voted 4-3 on Thursday to remove a section of the 2009 residential building code that would have required sprinkler systems for fire protection in new homes starting in 2013.

    Councilman Ted Edmonds was the swing vote in favor of removing the provision, after council deadlocked 3-3 on the issue at a Sept. 20 meeting when Edmonds was absent.

    I agree that one of our primary responsibilities is to ensure safety, Edmonds said.

    He added, however, As a society, I fear we're becoming overregulated, and this is something that should be a matter of choice for the consumer.

    The extra cost of adding a sprinkler system to a new home, estimated at between $2 and $8 per square foot, has been cited by critics as one of the main reasons the city should not mandate the systems.

    The city of Glenwood Springs initially adopted the requirement for home sprinkler systems in all newly constructed single-family and duplex units as part of the uniform 2009 International Residential Code (IRC).

    However, the requirement was not set to take effect until 2013. Cities and counties had until the end of the year to remove the provision before it automatically kicked in.

    Sprinkler systems are already required for multi-family residential construction, such as apartments and condominium complexes.

    Expansion of the requirement to new single-family and duplex construction was supported by the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, as well as the city's appointed Building Board of Appeals.

    Councilmen Todd Leahy and Mike Gamba, along with Mayor Matt Steckler, joined Edmonds in voting to remove the new sprinkler provision. Council members Stephen Bershenyi, Leo McKinney and Dave Sturges wanted to keep it in the code.

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