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Texas Fire Marshall Applauds Success of Sprinkler Systems in Apartment Complexes

According to data from the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office, the past 10 years have seen not a single person killed in an apartment fire when that apartment complex was fully sprinklered. For comparison, fires in nonsprinklered apartment buildings have claimed the lives of 114 people over the same time period.

“Fire sprinklers save lives,” says State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy. “Implementing the International Fire Code requiring builders to install fire sprinkler systems in new apartment complexes has greatly reduced the loss of life and property.”

In the interest of personal safety, the Fire Marshal recommends that anyone looking for an apartment or condo make sure all common areas and individual units are sprinklered.

Austin Fire Battalion Chief Palmer Buck agrees that fire sprinkler systems do their job. “Any fire in an apartment building having sprinkler systems is usually contained before our firefighters arrive,” Palmer said. “The older apartment complexes that have had fire fatalities either had no sprinkler systems or working smoke detectors.”

Connealy said because fire sprinklers respond almost instantly to a fire, they greatly reduce damage from that fire—especially since firefighters generally need eight to 10 minutes to respond. Fire departments also typically use 10 times more water than a fire sprinkler system to contain a fire, resulting in less fire and water damage.

Connealy said many Texans work in buildings where fire sprinkler systems are in use. He pointed out that fires in commercial occupancies protected by sprinklers are almost non-existent.

If you manage an apartment complex in the Houston, TX area and want to install fire sprinklers for the safety of your residents, don’t wait—call Kauffman Co. today!

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