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Smoke Can be Deadly

October 28, 1990

"Sprinkler's Hot Idea or All Wet?" by Jeanne Boyer (Oct. 14) is another example of an idea not very well thought out. The fact that the fire fighter interviewed discovered a girl dead in a smoke-filled room, should have been a tip.

Fire sprinklers individually are only activated at a temperature of 165 degrees F., or more. What has been forgotten is that smoke is generated at much lesser temperatures, depending upon various materials.

Thus fire sprinklers are inactive during the transition period from a lot of killing smoke to the 165 F. that releases water spray.

The National Fire Protection Assn., funded indirectly, but primarily by insurance companies, is aware of this weakness in fire sprinklers, including the new so-called fast-response models being promoted.

Fire sprinkler protection was motivated by saving expensive merchandise.

The point is, that, fire sprinklers will not necessarily save human lives, as has been implied.


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