Automobile Fire at Franklin Center High-Rise Suppressed by Fire Sprinkler System

Early morning on January 30, the Chicago Fire Department reported that a fire sprinkler system in the Franklin Center commercial high-rise at 227 W. Monroe suppressed a fire that was caused by an automobile in a lower level parking garage.

“Too often we hear about the unsprinklered fires that cause major damage and injuries or deaths, but it’s even more important to highlight when larger fires are prevented thanks to the quick response of fire sprinklers,” says Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. “Today, a fire sprinkler system suppressed a car fire and prevented any harm to humans. That is why fire sprinklers are in the national model codes. They are vital to life and property protection in high-rises and all other occupancies as well.”

Lia also notes that the successful activation is a reminder for owners of older commercial high-rise buildings to stay on track with their fire sprinkler retrofits in order to comply with the Chicago High-Rise Safety Substitute Ordinance. The ordinance states that all commercial high-rise buildings built before fire sprinklers were required in 1975 must be retrofitted with a fire sprinkler system by 2017. Owners were required to have their buildings two-thirds retrofitted by January 1, 2013.

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