Sprinkler systems continue to save lives and limit damage in Prince George’s County

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

Sprinkler systems continue to save lives and limit the amount of damage to buildings in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Two incidents occurred today that exemplify the importance of sprinklers in business and homes. 

At around 1:30 am, Tuesday, August 1, firefighters from the Beltsville area were alerted to a fire inside of a large 2-story federal office building on Sunnyside Road.  Firefighters arrived to find a fire that had been mostly extinguished by the sprinkler system.  Firefighters completed the extinguishment and overhaul. The exact cause of the fire remains unknown with fire loss estimated at $5,000.

Later in the morning, around 9:30 am, firefighters were alerted to a possible house fire in the 7200 block of Greenspring Lane in Lanham.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find a 2-story single family home with a fire in one of the bedrooms.  Prior to the fire department arrival the residential sprinkler system activated and doused the flames allowing occupants a safe egress.  Upon arrival firefighters ensured the fire was out and completed overhaul.  The fire appears accidental in nature and possibly caused by a candle.  Fire loss is estimated at $1,000. 

The sprinklers doused the flames in both cases and prevented the fire growing larger and causing more damage.  No injuries were reported in either case and firefighters remained on the scene for a matter of 30 minutes compared to a multi-hour incident.

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department had legislation passed in the early 1990’s mandating sprinkler installation in all new construction, including one and two family homes.  The success of the first 15-years of our residential sprinkler success can be viewed by clicking here

An updated report covering the most recent 15-years is currently being compiled and will be released upon its completion.  The new report will reflect there has been 1 fatality in a single-family home with a functioning sprinkler system in Prince George’s County.  The fatality occurred, however, in a portion of the home not normally afforded the protection of a residential sprinkler system; the garage.   In this incident the residential sprinklers did activate and protect a portion of the house, however, a heavy fire load prevented the sprinklers from completely extinguishing the blaze.