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Re: Article from the Chicago Sun-Times

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Where's the beef?

In fire protection, like in structural engineering, we need redundancy.  Fire 
resistive construction is necessary as well as fire extinguishing sprinkler 
systems.  Where we would get in trouble is if we rely on only one and that 
one was not adequate for a real big fire.  And this is where tradeoffs will 
cause trouble, e.g., the tradeoff of not requiring 1-hour fire resistive 
construction if sprinklers which were otherwise not required were installed.

I don't see why there are people on two sides of a fence arguing this 
question.

Regarding Tom Hunt's experience of learning that all sprinkler heads in his 
home will activate at once, these heads are frequently referred to as "quick 
reaction" heads.  Each head has a small pyrotechnic device which, when 
activated will create the temperature necessary to activate the head.  The 
pyrotechnic device can be connected to rise of heat detectors, heat 
detectors, smoke alarms, or to other heads.  This, IMO, is not a bad thing to 
have in a home.  It is well known that children will sleep soundly thru the 
85db sound of a smoke detector.  Being doused with cold, smelly water might 
have a different effect.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

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