Home fire sprinkler demonstration open to the public

Bremerton Fire Department (BFD), the Kitsap County Fire Chiefs’ Association, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Bremerton Housing Authority (BHA) are teaming up to demonstrate the effectiveness of home sprinkler systems in a controlled fire exercise.

The demonstration is slated for between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, June 26 in a four-plex located at 5604–5610 Arsenal Way in Bremerton. The public is invited to attend.

The units are scheduled for deconstruction as part of the redevelopment of Westpark and were made available for the demonstration by BHA. Large portions of each of the unit’s exterior walls have been removed to facilitate observation and sprinkler systems have been installed in two of the units. Fire officials are conducting the controlled burn demonstration in several phases to provide observers with a rare opportunity to see how both sprinklered and unsprinklered homes fare in a fire.

With narration provided by Kitsap County Fire Marshal David Lynam, officials are slated to first ignite a fire in an unsprinklered unit, allowing the blaze to build in intensity before BFD firefighters move in to squelch it. Next, an identical blaze will be lit in an adjacent unit that’s been outfitted with a residential sprinkler system. After both fires are completely extinguished, officials will conduct walk-thrus of the units to illustrate the differences between the two situations.

This live fire demonstration is designed to provide a very graphic display of how quickly fire sprinklers work to subdue heat, flames and smoke. Home fire sprinkler systems provide occupants with valuable additional time to get out of a burning building, and gives the fire department a better advantage by holding a fire in check prior to firefighters’ arrival.

“This exhibit was designed to help people see how effectively home fire sprinklers can protect families by quickly stopping a fire,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Mike Six. “Nearly 3,000 Americans die each year in house fires. Fire sprinklers not only save the lives of people who live in the homes, but also help protect firefighters who respond to these fires.”

SprinX Fire Protection of Gig Harbor donated their services for installation of the system; Viking Supply Net of Kent donated the materials needed for the retrofitting. BFD received approval from Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to conduct the burn, determining that the demonstration would be within acceptable environmental limits. The fires will be small and contained.

The units are within one block of Kitsap Way, across the street from BFD. Parking is available on the nearby side streets.

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