Sprinkler system saves Harrisonburg home from grease fire

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV)-- According to a release by the Harrisonburg Fire Department, a residential sprinkler system is to thank for saving a city apartment complex.

File image of kitchen fire demonstration

Around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, January 9th, firefighters responded to the 100 block of Chestnut Ridge Drive. Once crews arrived, they discovered a grease fire, which started on the stove, was already extinguished by a residential sprinkler system.

Although the sprinkler system uses water, that's not how they recommend you put out a grease fire. They say the best method is to put a lid on the pan to smother the grease or to use a fire extinguisher.

Captain Mike Armstrong, deputy fire marshal with the Harrisonburg Fire Department, said you never want to pour water on a grease fire yourself.

"The amount of water that is being put out far exceeds what you or I would put on that pan, so the system will suppress the fire," added Armstrong.

While sprinkler systems aren't common in homes and aren't required by state code, they can help save money in an emergency.

"In the case of residential sprinkler systems, fire damage and cost, is reduced one tenth to one twentieth, so you're talking ten to 20 times less damage and cost in the end," explained Armstrong.

Capt. Armstrong also recommends keeping a fire extinguisher in your kitchen area, but not right next to your stove because of its accessibility if there are flames.