Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

RE: Article from the Chicago Sun-Times

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Even without a fire the sprinklers can cause damage.  Consider the Loma
Prieta earthquake of 1989.  According to a BOMA survey of buildings in the
damaged area only 9% reported structural damage 86% suffered "some form of
damage".  Of the nonstructural damage 71% was due to water.  75% of the
water damage was due to leaks in the fire sprinklers.

An additional consequence was the previously encapsulated asbestos in some
buildings became un-encapsulated due to the water exposure and required an
extensive and time consuming asbestos abatement.  

Harold O. Sprague 

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 12:29 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Article from the Chicago Sun-Times


I agree 100%.  My sarcasm was aimed at the inane comment about fire
sprinklers "completely ruining" contents of the building.  First of all,
DUH!  But, my point is that even without fire sprinklers the contents of
the buildings are more than likely going to be ruined by water as the that
is PRECISELY what the firefighters use to put out fire.  Thus, if someone
is going to complain about their things being ruined by water (either due
to sprinklers or firefighters), then they should realize that their only
other option is to get out the hotdogs and marshmellows and have a nice,
non-healthy meal while their building burns down.

In otherwords, the notion that ONLY because there are fire sprinklers in
the building the contents will be ruined by water is absurd (unless
someone has come up with a way to fight fires without water or someother
substance that will do just as much damage).


Ypsilanti, MI

On Wed, 10 Sep 2003, Daryl Richardson wrote:

> Scott,
>         Having only recently completed the rehabilitation of a 33 suite
> damaged building I can confirm, from personal experience, that the water
> damage IS more extensive than the fire damage.  But with fire, as with
> earthquake, the main aim is to prevent PEOPLE damage; buildings (except
> rare historical sites) can always be replaced with the insurance money (in
> most cases even when there isn't any insurance there is money).
>         As an example on how extensive water dammage can be, "The History
> Channel" did a television documentary three or four years ago dealing with
> restoration of Windsor Castle, in England.  If you're interested, I would
> recommend finding it.  What the restorers of Windsor Castle found in their
> restoration we found in our restoration.  Only the magnitude (and, of
> the amount of money available) was different.  In our case, only the basic
> masonry components remained intact; of the remainder, only the structural
> components could be salvaged and restored; all of the non structural
> components had to be completely removed.  If the building wasn't of (at
> some) historical significance the whole thing would have been converted
into a
> parking lot.
> Regards,
> H. Daryl Richardson
> Scott Maxwell wrote:
> > Stan:
> >
> > </sarcasm on>
> >
> > So then, when your non-fire sprinkled building catches fire are you
> > to stand outside it and politely ask the firefighters to just "wish" the
> > fire out rather than hook their lines up to fire hydrants and put it out
> > with water?  If so, then I am sure you will enjoy your wonderful,
> > smoldering pile of ash that was your building!
> >
> > In otherwords, while I certainly no fire expert, I do seem to recall
> > the common way to put out fires (by way of sprinkler system _OR_
> > firefighter) is to use water.  Thus, the odds are that whether or not
> > building has a sprinkler system, many things in the building will be
> > "completely ruined" by water as that is what the firefighters tend to
> > ALWAYS use to put said fire out.  Of course, we could prevent your
> > from being ruined by water by not putting the fire out...but then more
> > than likely fire would ruin them instead, but maybe you might find that
> > more acceptable.
> >
> > </sarcasm off>
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Scott
> > Ypsilanti, MI
> >
> > On Wed, 10 Sep 2003, Stanley E Scholl wrote:
> >
> > > Another factor not mentioned is that when fire sprinklers do work, the
> > > contents and the interior walls, ceiling and many other parts of the
> > > building are usually completely ruined by the water damage.
> > >
> > > Stan Scholl, P.E.
> > > Laguna Beach, CA
> > > 

******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
*   Read list FAQ at:
*   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
*   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
*   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
*   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at) Remember, any email you 
*   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
*   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
*   site at: 
******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********