Carpentry Students See Value of Sprinkler Systems (video)

Carpentry Students See Value of Sprinkler Systems in Live Fire Demo (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 10, 2014)

Another round of students from The Detroit Carpentry Apprentice Training School in Ferndale dinos02sidelogo3got a first-hand lesson in fire prevention on Thursday as they watched a side by side demo of two residential rooms in flames.  One room had a sprinkler installed, while the other did not.

The difference was obvious as the sprinkler controlled the fire, and the room without it was engulfed in flames, destroying everything inside and requiring firefighters to put it out.

The demos were put on thanks to a $1,500 grant from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. The Detroit Carpentry Apprentice Training School built the two stand-alone demo rooms, in addition to being there to learn from the controlled burn.  ServPro and Vogue Vintage Surplus donated the furniture, and Guardian Automatic Fire Protection in Oak Park donated the sprinkler system in the protected room.  “We’re trying to do as much as we can with the grant money,” said Fire Marshal Brian Batten.  “The carpentry school has gallowaycollens1a new round of students come in every three months for this class, so we’re going to keep doing this until the money runs out.  It’s something that these students are going to remember.  They may be more aware at home.  They may go talk about fire safety to other people.  And when they get jobs in the construction business they may encourage their clients to have sprinkler systems installed.”fire demo 02

The systems save lives by giving people more opportunity to escape a fire, and they prevent structures from being destroyed.

Sprinklers are not required in Michigan, though they are recommend in model codes for new construction.  Batten said that in Michigan local municipalities cannot include sprinklers in their code for residential Street-Eatzz-Adconstruction until it is approved by the state, fire demo 01however builders can put them in if the property owner requests it. They can also be added to existing homes.

Dave Bugliese is a residential carpentry student from Commerce.  “There’s a very dramatic difference in a house with sprinklers and a house without sprinklers,” he said. “It really makes the decision a lot easier when you see a demonstration about how fast the fire can be put out.”

As an instructor at the school, Jerry Carlisle is glad to be able to bring students to the fire station for the live demonstrations.  “This is a safety class and part of that is fire safety, both at the job site, we talk about the risk of fire, and also at home.  These are the people who are going to be building the houses of the future. So this is a good lesson about fire suppression and fire safety.”

More information about the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, visit their website at

For our previous story on a fire demo, go to


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