Fire Marshals Association of Minnesota - Fire Sprinklers

FMAM has been working with a Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association Public Education Committee sub group to explore ways to get more homes sprinklered. They have been concentrating on voluntary means to encourage sprinkler installation in the type of occupancy where most fire deaths occur, the home. The task force has identified six major focuses of its efforts; one of the focuses being the removal of barriers from a regulatory or enforcement standpoint.Give your feedback to Terry Iverson (FMAM Representative on this task force).

  • What kind of discount can you expect form your insurance company if you install a fire sprinkler system on your home?
  • Who will be adopting optional fire sprinkler appendix 1306 in Minnesota?

- Download a great Power Point presentation on the value of home fire sprinklers:
- Fire Sprinklers, Who has Them and How Effective are They
- Is this in your City?
- Sprinkler Fire Stops
- National Multi-Housing Council Want’s More Fire Sprinklers

We could use another partner in our quest to sprinkler the world. Here’s a powerful friend who was originally thought of as a foe to sprinklers. The National Multi- Housing Council and the National Apartment Association would like to install more fire sprinklers in their buildings but they can’t support it without some trade-offs. Jeff Shapiro did a excellent program for our members explaining the history and future of the fire sprinkler/building code relationship in multi-housing.


An Unbelievable Sprinkler Story:

An automatic fire sprinkler system had recently been installed in a multi-tenant office/warehouse building on Opportunity Court in Minnetonka. Prior to leaving for the weekend, the sprinkler contractor filled the system with water and added 200 lbs. of air pressure (this is a common industry practice to check for leaks over an extended period of time). The main sprinkler control valve was then shut off as the system was not yet connected to a central station monitoring alarm.

On Tuesday, July 6, 1999, Minnetonka Fire Inspector Phil Minnell arrived at the building to witness the final acceptance test for this newly-installed system. Once there, he and the sprinkler contractor found two sprinkler heads leaking. Upon closer examination and in speaking with the tenant, it was discovered that a fire had occurred over the weekend in a piece of machinery that had ignited an adjacent workbench and plastic garbage can.

The fire had been extinguished by the two sprinklers discharging the water that was in the pipes for the acceptance test (the main control valve was closed). Damage was minimal and even water damage was insignificant. Inspector Minnell advised that the damage was so minimal that it was difficult to discover that there had been a fire (they initially thought that the sprinkler links were bad until they were examined closer).

So how much water does a fire sprinkler system need? The book minimums are for the worst case scenario at the most remote area of the system and even that figure has a substantial cushion built in. We of course recommend all sprinkler valves be kept open but it’s nice to know that putting even just a little water on a fire at the right time can make a big difference in the outcome.