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Demo Shows Importance of Sprinklers

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MEDFORD, Ore. — In less than three minutes, a fire can burn everything inside one room; it’s a message the Medford Fire Department demonstrated to the Chamber of Commerce.

Members from the Chamber of Commerce visited the fire department, learning about what the fire department does, from extrications, to putting out fires. In one demonstration, fire crews set up two rooms side-by-side.

Medford Fire crews furnished the two rooms the same way and then set them both on fire. In less than three minutes, the room without the sprinkler was fully engulfed in flames. Fire crews say most people who fall victim to house fires do not die from the flames.

“I’m not sure of the cost but they’re fairly inexpensive to put in when you think about the cost of the home is to build. And it’s extra security and protection for you and your family,” said Medford Fire Engineer David Ackles.

Fire crews say when a home fire occurs it’s not the flames that kill, it’s the smoke inhalation that knocks the person out first. To put things into perspective, studies show most fire victims – 75 to 80 percent – die from the carbon monoxide poisoning and most of them die near or in the room where the fire started.

Medford Fire Department does this demonstration every year. This year, the department recieved funds from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition to perform this simulation.