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From 2000 to 2010, 34 explosions were reported in the catastrophic multiple-death category according to NFPA. These explosions resulted in 194 deaths. The West Virginia mine explosions (29 killed), Texas Refinery explosion (15 killed), and Georgia Sugar Refinery explosion (14 killed) were the worst offenders.
In 2011, 23 fires or explosions fell into the catastrophic multiple-death category and 11 occurred in non-home structures, resulting in 38 deaths. Four of the non-home catastrophes were explosions. The explosions took place in a fireworks storage bunker, grain elevator, gas pipeline trench, and a steel and iron powder manufacturing plant. The fireworks storage bunker explosion killed five employees while they disposed of seized fireworks. The grain elevator ignited due to grain dust and killed six people. The gas pipeline trench explosion killed three employees.
Of the catastrophic multiple death fires that took place in 2011 in non-home structures, three had no detection equipment. No fire sprinklers were reported at any of the multiple-death fires in 2011. In fact, there has never been an incident of multiple deaths in a structure with working fire sprinklers. Having fire sprinklers installed in a structure decreases the likelihood of perishing in a fire by 80%. Additionally, fire sprinklers reduce property loss by 71%.
Tags: fire sprinklers, fire protection, NFPA, high-risk high value, manufacturing plant fire protection