NIFSAB Educates Insurance Agents About Fire Sprinklers

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On May 20, 2015, the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) participated in a ServPro-hosted event at Sprinkler Fitters Local 281 and the Alsip Fire Department to educate well over 100 local insurance agents about fire sprinklers.

servpro-insurance-agents-1In addition to a class that was taught, various fire demonstrations were performed to educate the insurance agents about inspections and investigations following a fire. To complement the program, NIFSAB was asked to host a live side-by-side demonstration to showcase the fast growth, tremendous heat and dangers of a flashover fire versus the quick response and cooling action of fire sprinklers.

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servpro-insurance-agents-4 TOP: In the flashover unit, a camera sits behind an oven door on a stand to record the burn. A couch is placed next to it as an experiment to see if the radiant heat would indirectly ignite it. BOTTOM: The couch was indirectly  ignited by the radiant heat from the flashover fire.

As a new element to the side-by-side demonstration, NIFSAB Executive Director Tom Lia placed a couch approximately 10 to 15 feet away from the flashover unit to see if the radiant heat would ignite the couch. A video camera was also placed away from the fire behind an over door to protect it from the thermal heat. Sure enough, the flames of the flashover unit was hot enough to indirectly ignite the couch outside the unit through radiant heat.

In the sprinklered unit, the fire sprinklers activated after less than a minute, prevented the fire from spreading beyond the garbage can, curtain drape and wall where it originated.

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NIFSAB Executive Director Tom Lia (left) and State Farm Property Loss Claims Adjuster Genaro Bucio in front of the minor damage of the sprinklered unit.

The insurance agents were amazed at the drastic difference between the two fires in such a short amount of time. They lined up and were able to view the devastation and what little remained in the flashover unit and compare it with the minor damage of the sprinklered unit.

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