ORLAND PARK, Ill., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pleasantview Fire Protection District celebrated its 50th recorded sprinkler save by adding the sprinkler that controlled a fire in a local business to its sprinkler tree. Since early 1985, Fire Marshals Dan Tholotowsky and Art D'Andrea, with the support of Chief Dan Hermes, have kept track of successful sprinkler activations within the district. The activated sprinklers have been collected over the years to form a sprinkler tree, which stands outside of the Fire Prevention Bureau's office. The tree also includes photo plaques of the saved buildings and details about the fires. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070809/AQTH094) The idea for the sprinkler tree began after Tholotowsky and D'Andrea took a class to learn about fire sprinklers in 1984. They contacted Rich Ray, president, Cybor Fire Protection Company to provide piping and other materials to start building the tree. Throughout the process, sprinklers have been installed on the tree accurately and correctly and according to their types: sidewall, pendant, or upright. The celebrated 50th addition to the sprinkler tree occurred at Best-Way Refinishing in Hodgkins. Sprinklers controlled a fire that began in paint spray booth filters during process work. D'Andrea said that this sprinkler save and many of the other saves not only prevented significant property loss, but also allowed the businesses to re-open within a few short days or even a few hours. He said that typically, the sprinkler that controlled the fire is replaced and the system is re-activated before firefighters leave the scene. Then the sprinkler that activated is brought back to the station to be added to the sprinkler tree. According to Tholotowsky, by reaching a tremendous benchmark with the addition of the 50th sprinkler, the tree continues to be a success story for fire sprinklers. All of the sprinklers represent significant homes and businesses that are still standing today due to the effectiveness of fire sprinklers. It also represents protecting the lives of the building occupants and the firefighters who respond to the fires. "It was an experiment to see what sprinklers would do in our district and the results have been incredible," D'Andrea said. "Pleasantview Fire Protection District has provided a model that truly demonstrates the importance of safety and protection through fire sprinklers." "We commend the Pleasantview Fire Protection District, Dan, Art, and Chief Hermes for not only understanding the importance of recording and explaining what happened to the businesses, but also developing this visual and hands-on prop at the entrance of their fire prevention bureau," said Tom Lia, Executive Director, Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. The Pleasantview Fire Protection District services the communities of Countryside, Hodgkins, Indianhead Park, Burr Ridge, Willowbrook, La Grange Highlands, and parts of unincorporated Cook County.
SOURCE Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board