April 13, 2010
Fire Sprinklers Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Building Fires by 98 Percent, Research Finds
Study from FM Global and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Finds Other Environmental Benefits Too
JOHNSTON, R.I., USA—Greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98 percent when automatic fire sprinklers are installed, according to a groundbreaking joint research project released today from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers, and the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC). The research findings also reveal that a single fire in an unsprinklered building can negate the typical environmental benefits of “green” construction.
The study, conducted at FM Global’s Research Campus in West Glocester, R.I., USA, sought to identify, analyze and evaluate the environmental impact of fires, as well as determine the effectiveness of preventive measures in minimizing their effect on the environment—issues of increasing global significance. The 1,600 acre, US$125 million Research Campus is one of the largest and most innovative fire and natural hazards research and testing centers in the world.
Researchers constructed two identical living rooms to represent a setting any homeowner or business owner could relate to. One of the two rooms was protected with a sprinkler and a fire was ignited in each room. As a result, scientists additionally have discovered that automatic fire sprinklers:
“For most of its 175 years in business, FM Global has conducted scientific fire research to develop solutions that help commercial organizations protect their property and operations,” said Dr. Louis Gritzo, vice president and manager of research at FM Global. “Fire sprinklers perform the same way, no matter the kind of building, and now we see conclusively that they not only prevent the devastating impact of fires but also negate significant environmental risks. This is especially important as more businesses seek to design and build energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable facilities.”
About Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC):
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