Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board Announces Fiftieth Sprinkler Added to Pleasantview Fire Sprinkler Tree

Aug 09, 2007, 01:00 ET from Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board

    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.
     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
     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