The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) journal assesses the effectiveness of current US sprinkler standard NFPA 13R (sprinklers in low-rise residential occupancies) suggesting that although effective in saving lives, changes are needed to better protect properties.
Recent fires, in particular the luxury Avalon Hudson apartment complex, Edgeware, New Jersey, January 2015 ($ 80 million damage), show that considerable damage can result from fires starting and spreading in non-sprinklered areas, such as balconies or attics. NFPA states that “fire can travel rapidly through these open areas if they are not protected with fire-resistant materials”.
“Is this a sprinkler success? Does success for an NFPA 13R sprinkler system mostly mean controlling a fire in a multifamily environment long enough to prevent deaths and injuries? Should success also include preventing significant property damage? Where’s the sweet spot, and how do we get there? A panel of stakeholders weighs in”, NFPA Journal Nov-Dec 2016 http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/publications/nfpa-journal/2016/november-december-2016/features/sprinkler-systems Photo http://www.nbcnewyork.com