2015 – Issue 1 – Spring/Summer

Fatal High-Rise Fire Occurred in Building That Passed Chicago’s Life Safety Evaluation

Late Saturday night, a 70-year-old man was killed in a fire at the unsprinklered, 21-story residential high-rise located at 300 South Damen in Chicago. The fire occurred while the man, who was using an oxygen tank, was in bed in his unit on the 11th floor of West Point Plaza. Other residents on the...
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Fire in John Hancock Center Condo Shows Stark Contrast in Fire Protection Between Residential and Commercial Occupancies

On the night of February 26, a fire occurred in an unsprinklered condo on the 87th floor of the John Hancock Center high-rise in Chicago. Chicago code does not require the condo units to have fire sprinklers even though the commercial occupancies within the same high-rise must be protected with fire sprinklers. “Fortunately, no...
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Fire in Chicago’s Erie on the Park High-Rise Contained by Fire Sprinkler System

On the night of February 23, a fire was contained to a single condo unit by a fire sprinkler system on the 14th floor of the Erie on the Park high-rise in Chicago. The information was obtained through an email sent to the residents by the property manager of the 24-story, 125-unit condo building...
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It Takes Two: Smoke Alarms and Fire Sprinklers in Public Education Outreach

“This smoke alarm could have prevented this fire death,” said past fire chiefs as they held up the fire safety device for reporters. When fire officials make such powerful statements immediately following a major fire, especially if an occupant suffered a burn injury or was killed, they get the full attention of the public....
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Park Ridge Home and Homeowners Saved by Fire Sprinkler System

On the morning of February 21, two fire sprinklers quickly extinguished a flash fire at a single-family home in Park Ridge. According to Park Ridge Fire Marshal Kevin Plach, the home’s fire sprinkler system prevented an estimated $80,000 in property damage. “There were 105 residential fire deaths in Illinois in 2014, and there already...
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Fire Sprinkler Controls Fire at Skilled Nursing Facility in Des Plaines, Proving Value of Federal Rule

On February 19, a single fire sprinkler controlled a mattress fire at Ballard Rehabilitation, a skilled nursing facility at 9300 Ballard Road in Des Plaines, until North Maine Fire Protection District crews provided final extinguishment. The fire sprinkler system contained the fire to a single room on the second floor and prevented major damage...
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Illinois Residential Fire Deaths Increased in 2014; Fire Safety Advocates Say Fire Sprinklers Needed in New Homes

Illinois Residential Fire Deaths Increased in 2014; Fire Safety Advocates Say Fire Sprinklers Needed in New Homes

Last year, Illinois experienced 104 civilian residential fire deaths. According to the United States Fire Administration, this was an increase of over 9 percent from both 2012 and 2013. Also, 2015 is off to a poor start with eight deaths to date. Fire safety advocates say there’s already a solution to preventing residential fire...
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Illinois Sprinkler Advocate Featured in NFPA Journal

Illinois Sprinkler Advocate Featured in NFPA Journal

The November/December issue of NFPA Journal features an article titled, “Movers, Shakers, Advocates.” It describes the home fire sprinkler advocacy efforts of four advocates. One of those advocates is Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board Executive Director Tom Lia. “A tide of support for home fire sprinklers is spreading across the United States, initiated...
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New & Improved Advocacy Section on NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative Website

New & Improved Advocacy Section on NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative Website

The new “Advocacy Tools” section on the National Fire Protection Association‘s (NFPA) “Fire Sprinkler Initiative” website is now the go-to place for free materials and resources that help make an effective case for home fire sprinklers. This section is where you will find an array of shareable videos, case studies, and fact sheets that...
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Research: Today’s Homes Burning Faster

Research: Today’s Homes Burning Faster

The latest fire tests and research from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) indicate that home fires are burning faster and hotter than fires of the past — a growing issue for responding firefighters. While new homes have many advantages, they also present many unique fire hazards. According...
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Jan. 23: Code Officials Guide to Medical Cannabis Facilities

Jan. 23: Code Officials Guide to Medical Cannabis Facilities


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Register Now: Illinois Fire Inspectors Association Spring Conference

Register Now: Illinois Fire Inspectors Association Spring Conference

The Illinois Fire Inspectors Association (IFIA) will host its first Annual Joint Spring Conference from April 29-May 1, 2015. The conference will include education classes for both Codes & Standards and Fire & Life Safety. The conference combines the IFIA’s two most successful programs — the Fall Safety Seminar and the Public Fire &...
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Preventing Fire Sprinkler System Freeze-Ups During Wintry Weather

Freezing temperatures have settled into Illinois. Fire prevention bureaus and building departments can save their communities money in repairs and water damage by reminding local residents and businesses to simply check to be sure their fire sprinkler systems are protected for the colder weather temperatures, especially below freezing. The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory...
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Recent Fires in Chicago High-Rises Draw Attention to City’s High-Rise Life Safety Evaluation Deadline

On the evening of December 20, a single fire sprinkler controlled a stove grease fire on the 23rd floor of the Adler Place residential high-rise on Chicago’s Near South Side. The condo owner failed to extinguish the fire, but the fire sprinkler quickly responded to prevent the fire from spreading. A very different result...
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Sprinklers Could Have Prevented Death & Injuries in Eight-Story Senior Living Center

On the night of December 11, a fire killed a 51-year-old, wheelchair-bound male and injured two females in an eight-story senior living building at 737 East 69th Street in Chicago. “Fire deaths can occur in residential buildings on any floor, not just those higher than eight stories or above the reach of the highest...
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Fire Sprinkler System Saves North Riverside Park Mall from Fire Leading into Important Holiday Shopping Season

Early in the morning on November 12, the fire sprinkler system at the North Riverside Park Mall in North Riverside contained a fire at the Carson Pirie Scott loading dock until fire crews arrived and fully extinguished the fire. The fire, which appears to have begun in merchandise racks stored on the loading dock,...
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Northwest Side Apartment Fire Fatality Provides Glaring Evidence of Deficiency in Chicago’s Multifamily Building Codes

On Sunday, November 9, a fire killed a 10-year-old boy and injured 11 other individuals as it ripped through a four-story apartment building at 5727 North Kimball Avenue in the northwest side neighborhood of Hollywood Park in Chicago. Although smoke alarms alerted residents, no fire sprinklers were present in the building to allow safe...
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500 Fire Service Personnel Attend Fire Prevention Week Luncheon

500 Fire Service Personnel Attend Fire Prevention Week Luncheon

On October 9, 2014, the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance hosted the 73rd Annual Fire Prevention Week Luncheon to highlight and honor leaders in fire safety and burn prevention in Illinois. More than 500 fire service personnel from around the state attended the event, which coincides with Fire Prevention Week. Various awards were presented to...
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Bartlett FPD Hosts Illinois’ 500th Fire Sprinkler Demonstration

Bartlett FPD Hosts Illinois’ 500th Fire Sprinkler Demonstration

On Saturday, October 25, the Bartlett Fire Protection District hosted Illinois’ 500th fire sprinkler demonstration using the side-by-side concept. Hundreds of attendees viewed the demonstration at the fire district’s Fire Prevention Month open house. The side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstration concept involves two similarly furnished rooms — one protected with a fire sprinkler and the...
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Fire Sprinklers Avert Fire in Chicago’s Historic University Club High-Rise Building

On October 15, a fire in the historic University Club high-rise building in the Chicago Loop neighborhood was controlled by the building’s fire sprinkler system before fire crews arrived on scene. Two fire sprinklers prevented the fire from spreading beyond its area of origin in a second-floor meeting room. “Thanks to the quick response...
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Without Fire Sprinklers, Aurora Air Traffic Control Center Fire Could Have Been Worse

The fire that was intentionally set by a contractor in the basement at the FAA air traffic control center in Aurora on the morning of September 26 was fortunately controlled by the building’s fire sprinkler system before it was able to spread to the rest of the building. “Had fire sprinklers not been present,...
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Shane Ray Named Executive Vice President of NFSA

Shane Ray Named Executive Vice President of NFSA

Shane Ray of Columbia, South Carolina has been named Executive Vice President of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA). He began work in mid-July. “I look forward to the opportunities and challenges of this position and am excited to return to the NFSA team,” added Ray. “My passion for fire prevention and a non-typical...
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New Video Educates Real Estate Agents About Home Fire Sprinklers

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) recently developed a new video to educate real estate agents about selling homes protected with fire sprinklers. The video features HFSC spokesperson Tom Clark and REALTOR® Litsa Lekatsos, who lives in a home protected with fire sprinklers in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and markets fire sprinkler-protected homes to consumers....
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Riverdale Mayor: Trust Home Fire Sprinkler Recommendations in Model Codes

  The Village of Riverdale recently became one of nearly 100 fire-safe communities in Illinois where fire sprinklers are required in new construction single-family homes. The Village Board enacted the requirement through its adoption of the International Code Council‘s 2012 International Residential Code. “Along with Blue Island, which passed a home fire sprinkler requirement...
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Become a Fan of NIFSAB on Facebook

If you enjoy reading the Fire Sprinkler Times to hear about the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board‘s (NIFSAB) latest news and events, you’ll also enjoy NIFSAB’s Facebook page. Connect with us socially through wall posts and join the conversations about fire sprinklers in Illinois. Also, we are able to post more pictures from...
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