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Chicago, IL -- On February 23, a fire was contained to a single unit at the high-rise condo complex Erie on the Park.
Residents learned of the activation only through a memo sent to them. The building was built in 2002 and installed fire sprinklers during the construction phase.
Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board noted the stark difference in fire protection between new and old Chicago buildings. "There are hundreds of residential high-rises in Chicago that were built before the city's fire sprinkler requirements in 1975 that do not contain fire sprinklers."
About 100 pre-1975 high-rises chose to install fire sprinklers to comply with the Life Safety Evaluation ordinance. However, many high-rises chose cheaper alternatives to comply with the Life Safety Ordinance.
Lia concludes, "As evidenced by last night's sprinkler save, fire sprinklers are the only technology that actively control a fire and provide residents with a safe route of escape. High-rise owners, residents, and prospective buyers must be mindful of the presence or absence of fire safety features, especially fire sprinklers, in their buildings."