The first fire sprinklered home in Lake County, Indiana, in Highland. The first fire sprinklered home in Lake County, Indiana, in Highland.[/caption] On May 7, firefighters and building and elected officials gathered in Highland, Indiana, to see the first fire sprinkler-protected home in Lake County. The Highland Fire Department and nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) hosted the open house event to educate local officials about the lifesaving value of home fire sprinklers. [caption id="attachment_4145" align="alignright" width="223"]A fire begins in the fire sprinkler demonstration trailer. NIFSAB’s Tom Lia narrates as a fire begins in the fire sprinkler demonstration trailer.[/caption] Attendees took tours of the new home under construction to see what a fire sprinkler system looks like behind the walls before drywall is installed. They were able to see the various pieces of the system beyond the sprinklers themselves. NIFSAB’s Tom Lia also conducted a live fire demonstration in a fire sprinkler demonstration trailer. A fire was lit in a wastebasket and crawled up a curtain before a single fire sprinkler was activated by the heat and quickly extinguished it. A ceremony was held to recognize those involved with the voluntary decision to install fire sprinklers in the home, including Matt Timmer, the homeowner and son of Highland Fire Chief Bill Timmer; the builder, Brandon Smith of Homes of Distinction; the fire sprinkler contractor, Rudy Slont of State Line Fire Systems; and the fire department. [caption id="attachment_4136" align="alignright" width="350"]NIFSAB's Tom Lia recognizes Highland Fire Chief Bill Timmer (left) and homeowner Matt Timmer (right). NIFSAB’s Tom Lia recognizes Highland Fire Chief Bill Timmer (left) and homeowner Matt Timmer (right) with Highland Councilman KOnnie Kuiper (2nd from right).[/caption] For Homebuilder Brandon Smith, this was the first time he was experiencing installing fire sprinklers in a home he was building. “The installation went smoothly and it was done in a timely fashion. It didn’t hold up the the construction process at all,” he said. The homeowner Matt Timmer is proud to have the first fire sprinklered home in Lake County and hopes the open house will get others thinking about doing the same. “This was a wonderful opportunity for my son and my family to lead by example and show the community about the importance of fire sprinkler protection in today’s new homes,” says Chief Timmer. “Educating the public is an important part of what we do at the fire department and this open house allowed us to highlight the ultimate life-safety system.” [caption id="attachment_4134" align="alignright" width="315"]IMG_2540-highlanddemo Fire sprinkler contractor Rudy Slont of State Line Fire Systems shows off components of the fire sprinkler system.[/caption] According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 80 percent of fire deaths occur in homes. Smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by about one-third, but the combination of fire sprinklers and working smoke alarms decreased the risk of dying in a fire by about 80 percent. “There has never been a multiple-fatality fire in a building that is fully sprinklered and properly maintained,” adds Chief Timmer. “Homes are where the most people die from fire, so we should be protecting them with fire sprinklers.”  ]]>