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Fire sprinklers save lives, property

Updated: 07/31/2019
  Sprinkler Saves (2004-18)
Minneapolis  164
 St. Paul  95
 Bloomington 52 
 Duluth 44 
 Plymouth 38 
 Burnsville 37 
 Rochester 34 
 St. Cloud 31 
 Eden Prairie 27 
Blaine  24 
 Edina 22 
 Coon Rapids
 Maple Grove
 Shakopee 18 
 Brooklyn Park 17 
 Mankato 15 
 Source: MN State Fire Marshal

For the past 15 years the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office has been tracking fire sprinkler activations. Recently, the office announced Shakopee was among the top 20 Minnesota cities where fire sprinkler activations have made a positive impact by reducing damage and loss due to a fire. 

Many years ago, the City of Shakopee chose to adopt more stringent fire sprinkler requirements on new buildings and existing buildings where there is a change of occupancy, as determined by the Minnesota State Building Code. These requirements mean that buildings over 2,000 square feet must be provided with fire sprinklers. (Base code only requires buildings over 12,000 square feet to be provided with fire sprinklers.) Fire sprinklers are an important part of overall fire protection. They can provide early detection and begin fire suppression before the fire department is notified.

What is a fire sprinkler system? If you walk into many buildings today and look up at the ceiling, you will see the small fire sprinkler heads. The heads are located in areas where the heat from a fire can collect and cause them to activate. Unlike in the movies, not all building fire sprinklers operate at the same time. Each sprinkler head is designed to operate at a specific temperature, with the most common heads operating at 155ºF.

Why are they important? The early application of water on a fire can help limit a fire’s growth. This can help minimize property damage and keep the fire small enough to help those inside the building escape. Fire sprinklers can be found in many commercial and residential buildings and can even be included in the construction of new homes.

Minimizing the damage from fire is critical in reducing fire loss and deaths. The use of fire sprinklers can mean the difference in a business remaining operational after an event or residents being able to return home because the fire was contained. Shakopee Fire reminds you to test smoke and fire alarm systems regularly and to develop fire escape plans at home and work.