Home Fire Sprinkler test at FM Global, 10/1/09
New research study to help determine if fire sprinklers are "green"

October 1, 2009

Two 15x20 foot living rooms, each furnished with a flat-screen television, comfortable furniture, and bookshelves and family photos, were set on fire on October, 1, 2009 in West Glocester, Rhode Island, as part of a groundbreaking research project that's looking at the environmental impact of home fires.

The project, a collaborative effort of FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, is studying:

1. the types, quantity and duration of air and water pollutants released from a home fire as well as the water usage from fire sprinklers and firefighters’ hoses

2. the environmental impact resulting from burning household furnishings and finish materials as well as disposing the fire-damaged contents of a home

3. the carbon footprint associated with rebuilding a burnt home

The two living rooms in the study, conducted at FM Global's 1,600-acre research campus, were nearly identical. The only difference was that one room was outfitted with a quick-response sprinkler. In both tests, firefighters ignited a blaze in a magazine rack near the corner of each room and stood-by to respond in 10 minutes (based on a typical response time that includes alarm notification, arrival, and set-up).

The final results of the tests, including data on the timing of sprinkler activation, time to "flashover" (when all combustibles in the room ignite), estimated room damages, and the amount of pollutants released will be released in a free report in early 2010.
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