To the Editor:
The recent fire at Harbor Hill Estates in Bar Harbor shines a light on the effectiveness of a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system as a life and property saving device.
While nothing can replace the presence of highly trained and heroic firefighters, in structures that feature these systems, the risks to those brave men and women are often mitigated, allowing them more time to safely enter the structure.
In this case, sprinklers had the fire out by the time crews arrived.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, structure fires were responsible for 3,240 civilian deaths in the United States in 2013. There were an additional 14,075 civilian injuries and a total of $9.5 billion nationally in property loss as a result of structure fires.
I urge everyone to educate themselves on the current life safety codes and fire sprinkler requirements in their ocommunities.
David A. LaFond
National Fire Sprinkler Association