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Demonstration of sprinklers set for Friday

Jeff Unger, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Two mockup residence-hall rooms will be set ablaze simultaneously Friday (Oct. 25) on the University of Illinois campus during a demonstration of the potential of sprinklers to limit fire damage.

The demonstration will begin at 12:45 p.m. at the south end of the grounds at the Fire Service Institute, 11 Gerty Drive, Champaign.

Two furnished rooms, about 8 feet by 10 feet each (the average size of a room in a residence hall), will be ignited at the same time by a thermocouple connected to each room, said Steve Mitchell, fire prevention officer for the Urbana Fire Rescue Service Department. One room will be equipped with a ceiling sprinkler.

The point of the demonstration, Mitchell said, is to show the potential of fire sprinklers to limit damage. It’s expected that firefighters will have to extinguish the blaze in the room without a sprinkler, and that the sprinkler will suppress the blaze in the other room.

"Sprinklers have been shown to suppress fires effectively and contain damage," said event coordinator Janet Maupin, fire inspector for the Champaign Fire Department. "What we hope the demonstration shows is how sprinklers can be used effectively in fraternities, sororities, residence halls and other buildings at Illinois."

The Homecoming Fire Sprinkler Expo demonstration is sponsored by the Champaign Fire Department, the Urbana Fire Rescue Service Department, the Fire Service Institute, the National Fire Sprinkler Association Inc., and two Champaign companies that are building the mock-up rooms, McDaniels Fire Systems and Fire Suppression Systems Inc.

The demonstration will be preceded at 12:15 p.m by welcoming remarks and a presentation on the effectiveness of sprinkler systems.