Fire Sprinklers in the News (or Lack Thereof)

Fire Sprinklers in the News

Two Chicago fires in on week

Within just the past seven days, both Second City and Lincoln Square Lanes were the latest victims of devastating fires.

Just before 1pm on August 26th, an accidental grease fire started in the kitchen of Adobo Grill in Old Town. The roof collapsed and the fire quickly spread south to the rest of the building–including the offices of Second City, the legendary comedy and improv club. Five minor injuries were reported, and extensive damage occurred in the offices of Second City.

Post fire of two Chicago businesses

Fast forward one week later and Lincoln Square Lanes was gutted when a three-alarm fire tore through the oldest operating bowling alley in Chicago. The images are chilling, leaving community members heartbroken to have to say goodbye to a neighborhood landmark. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Both fires garnered significant media attention from all news sources across the Chicagoland area. However, all of these reports failed to include one pivotal piece of information: whether or not the buildings had fire sprinklers installed. After scouring the web in search of answers, we were unable to find any relevant information for either building.

Importance of fire sprinklers

As Tom Lia, executive director of the NIFSAB, wrote in his recent blog post, “Every fire, though an unfortunate situation, is an opportunity to get the undivided attention of the public, the media, and decision-makers.” When reporters and news crews show up to the scene of a fire, it is important that fire officials and firefighters provide them with the most accurate and useful information. Some useful information would be informing the public on which buildings have sprinkler systems.

We urge reporters and journalists to always include whether or not a building had fire sprinklers. This helps to show people the difference that a fire sprinkler system can have. While it may seem like just a small detail, fire sprinklers save lives and property each and every day.

For more information, read Tom Lia’s blog post here and for firefighters, click here for a “Fire Spokesperson’s Media Guide.”

Visit here to learn more about USAFP’s sprinklers systems.