Letter to the Editor: ManorCare Fire Shows Importance Of Sprinklers, Emergency Plans

The Washington State Patrol reports that of the fire Nov. 21.

On November 21, 2012, at approximately 8 p.m., a fire occurred at ManorCare Health Services in Gig Harbor, Washington.

A single sprinkler head activated and extinguished the fire before the fire department arrived. Quick-acting staff protected residents from the deadly effects of smoke inhalation.

The fire started in a microwave in a utility room. A sprinkler head activated which in turn activated the fire alarm system.The fire alarm system notified the fire department and alerted staff and residents to the fire. By the time the fire department arrived the sprinkler had extinguished the fire. Fire department personnel controlled water damage and ventilated smoke from the building.

The fire and life safety system worked as designed and contained the fire to the room of origin. Only the microwave oven and a waste can were destroyed.

Knowing what to do in a fire emergency is critical. Staff at ManorCare knew what to do because they participated in regularly scheduled fire drills. They knew that they needed to protect residents from deadly smoke and gasses produced during a fire. They evacuated residents to an area with special features to prevent smoke from entering. This protected staff and residents from the toxic effects of fire.

State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy reports “Knowing what to do in a fire emergency is key to keeping everyone safe. Fortunately, the activation of the fire sprinkler and alarm systems notified emergency responders without delay.  The quick action of ManorCare staff protected the residents from harm.”

For additional information on residential fire sprinkler systems, please visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition web site at http://www.homefiresprinkler.org/ or contact your local fire department.

-Washington State Patrol


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