Controlled burns show impact of sprinkler systems

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Firefighters in Muskegon County on Thursday showed the importance of sprinkler systems.

Fire officials had two controlled burns, one with a fire-suppression system, and another without. The fire without a sprinkler system lasted much longer than the other, showcasing the impact sprinklers can make.

Sprinkler systems are uncommon in homes because of the cost, but officials say it’s something more people should consider.

“Houses that are suppressed now have an 80-85% better chance of survival if their home catches on fire,” said Muskegon Township Fire Inspector Mark Nicolai. “Currently we have 43 deaths in Michigan, which is down from 2018, 2017, but again, one death is too much.”

On average, people have less than two minutes to escape their home during a fire, but a sprinkler system can help hold off the flames until firefighters arrive.

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