When it comes to fire safety in high rise buildings, sprinklers trump!
Having just recently visited the Trump Tower in New York City, the headlines of “Fire Controlled in the Chicago Trump Tower” caught my attention. Perusing just the lower floors of the Tower in New York provided a sense of the size and magnitude of these tremendous buildings and what it would take to respond to a fire on an upper floor. And though evacuation plans and emergency systems may be in place, in the event of a fire, nothing “trumps” fire sprinklers when it comes to protecting lives and property. The recent press release by the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board points out the glaring difference in outcomes of fires that have recently occurred in Chicago high rise buildings that had sprinklers and those that did not. And while many cities, like Chicago, are trying to catch up to national model codes, in some cases it may not be fast enough. As customers, buyers, and tenants, we must take the responsibility to protect ourselves through education. It is vital to know the facts about fire sprinklers and also to investigate if they are installed in the places where we choose to live and stay. Whether it's a long term residence or an overnight stay in a hotel, we have the power to choose the level of life-safety protection that we are willing to accept. Take a moment to read and share the educational resources that NFPA provides on high rise safety, fire sprinklers, and hotel/motel safety!