Stillwater News Press

June 20, 2013

Oklahoma State student fire division selected for demonstration

By Chase Rheam
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — A demonstration illustrating the life-saving benefits of a sprinkler system in the event of fire will be held Oct. 12 in Stillwater.

The Student Association of Fire Investigators of Oklahoma State University was one of 25 fire departments selected nationwide to participate in the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s “Built for Life Fire Department” program. According to a SAFI press release, the program is funded through a contract with the United States Fire Administration.

SAFI President Sean Morrison said they have held similar demonstrations dealing with dorm rooms over the last three years.

“This year we wanted to bring it out more to the community because Oklahoma has one of the highest death rates from fire,” he said.

According to the HFSC website, more than 4,000 people die in fires each year.

The website states that installing a fire sprinkler system and smoke alarms reduces the risk of death in a home fire by 82 percent.

According to the USFA website, Oklahoma has the fifth highest relative risk of fire death in the nation.

Morrison said the side-by-side demonstration will show the benefits of the sprinkler system.

Fires double in size every 30 seconds. A demonstration held in a mock dorm room took only four minutes to engulf the entire area in flames.

“A lot of people don’t realize how short four minutes is,” Morrison said.

SAFI Vice President Tyler Recek said sprinkler systems can buy residents more time.

“It’s not meant to put out the fire, but sprinkler systems are supposed to lower the severity of the fire damage,” he said.

Recek said he hopes the demonstration will convince homeowners and even business owners to look at installing or updating their sprinkler system.

The live demonstration will include similar rooms, but only one will be furnished with a fire sprinkler system.

Attendees will see the difference the sprinklers make in protecting assets and controlling a fire.

Morrison said the movement to install the systems in residences is gaining momentum. He said he doesn’t believe they are too expensive to install.

“I don’t believe it’s outrageous, but if you think about it, you can’t replace a life,” Morrison said.

For more information and the announcement of the venue, visit the SAFI website at www.face-book.com/OSUSAFI.