Keeping families safe and preventing home fires was the goal of the annual Christmas Tree and Fire Sprinkler Burn Demonstration held at the Monmouth County Fire Academy in Freehold, N.J. The event was sponsored by former Assemblyman John Wisniewski in conjunction with the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NJFSAB) and Sprinkler Fitters Local 696.
The burn demonstration was attended by some 30 people including several special guests from the National Fire Sprinkler Association and Richard Mikutsky the Director of the N.J. State Division of Fire Safety. News 12 NJ also covered the event, click here to view the story.
“The holiday season should be a time of joy but, each year, preventable fires caused by Christmas trees and holiday decorations bring tragedy to families all across the country,” said Wisniewski, the former chairman of the N.J. Fire Safety Commission. “The burn demonstration is a great way to show how dangerously fast fires can spread, the effectiveness of fire sprinkler systems to control the blaze, and to educate families about steps they can take to reduce the risk of fires at home.”
The burn featured the NFSA’s Super Side-by-Side Burn Trailer equipped with three rooms, each outfitted with similar furniture, a Christmas tree and holiday decorations. All rooms have smoke alarms, but only one of rooms has been equipped with a fire sprinkler system. The middle room includes an adjoining door on each side that can be left open or closed. A small fire is lit in the two outside rooms allowing the audience to see how quickly Christmas trees can catch fire a ignite other items in the room. The room without the sprinkler is often destroyed in seconds, while the flames are quickly suppressed in the room with the fire sprinkler. The doors to the middle room are kept closed to illustrate how important the “Close Before You Doze” initiative is to slow the spread of smoke and fire by closing bedroom doors at night. The demonstration also featured fire safety tips and educational information about protecting your home and family from fire during the holidays and year-round.
“The demonstration showed how quickly and effectively the fire sprinkler system was, it only took 27 seconds for that sprinkler to react,” said Kurasz. “We are working towards making this a key element in all new construction in the State of New Jersey. Currently, two states mandate this, California and Maryland, and there are some 20 other states with municipalities that have fire sprinkler requirements in some form in all one and two-family new construction.”
“Each year at the holiday season, there are always news stories of families whose holidays turned into a tragedy because of fire,” added Wisniewski. “Don’t let your family suffer such a fate. Take these precautions to help protect you and your family. My wish for everyone is for a festive and safe holiday season.”
Click here for a complete photo album of the burn demonstration.
Click here to watch the News 12 video.