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Fire Protection Needs Protection of the Law

Essay by review  •  December 11, 2010  •  Essay  •  954 Words (4 Pages)  •  658 Views

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Fire Protection needs Protection of the Law

In 1864 Major Stewart Harrison, an English Engineer, gave to the world the first Automatic Sprinkler Head, his design was also in fact superior to many that followed it. But, as so often happens, it was not Mr. Harrison who gave the automatic sprinkler a practical development, and it is Henry Parmelee, of Newhaven, Conn., and Frederick Grinnell, of Providence, R.I., that the credit must be awarded for giving to the Automatic Sprinkler its practical application and laying the foundation of what is now a worldwide industry (Wormald Web). Until now, sprinklers are been installed almost exclusively for the protection of all public and commercial buildings. It has become mandatory safety equipment and enforced by law. Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act (HR 1824) of 2003 passed by the legislature is a vital help in ensuring that every building will be equipped with automatic sprinkler system, thus saving precious lives.

In 1874, Henry Parmelee installed his fire sprinkler system into the piano factory that he owned. He had a vision that his system will be developed into big commercial buildings, therefore creating a new worldwide industry. Here is how an automatic fire sprinkler system works: It attacks a fire in its early stages by spraying enough water to put out the fire or keep from spreading. Sprinkler heads are held closed until heat activates them. Only the sprinkler heads near the fire open, spraying water on the fire to extinguish it or control it and keep it from spreading (National Fire Protection Association Web). Parmelee's first sprinkler system was very successful when he demonstrated it to the public in 1874. During the demonstration, Mr. Parmelee installed the system in a Wholesale Market made of wooden shed (20ft x 30ft), which he fitted with six of his Sprinklers. The floor was strewed with a mass of chips, shavings, tallow, cask shavings, barrels, etc, all well saturated with paraffin oil. Then, light was set in three different places. Immediately huge volumes of flames burst forth and drove the spectators back some distance from the shed. In one minute and twenty seconds the first Sprinkler opened, followed by two others, and in a short time not a vestige of the fire remained (Wormald). Spectators were amazed and given deep impression by the demonstration. Later, insurance company learned the importance of having automatic sprinkler installed, would reduce the financial loss ratio to fire. So more insurance companies began raising the insurance for large business and commercial buildings, forcing business owners to install automatic fire sprinkler systems to lower the payments. Mr. Parmelee was able to convince the insurance company and getting contract from mill owners; creating the world's first fire sprinkler company. His vision of making the system practical finally became real.

Into the late 20th century and early 21st century, automatic fire sprinkler has became mandatory by law in every public and private commercial buildings. From a recent data showing that no record of a multiple-death fire (killing 3 or more people) in a residential property where a complete sprinkler system was installed and operating properly ( But laws were not without flaws when coming into financial issues. On Jan. 27, 2004, a tragedy happens when six people died in the Comfort Inn Hotel fire in Greenville. If the federal law requires the automatic sprinkler system to be installed in every public building, then why did Comfort Inn Hotel slip through the net and still



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