When firefighters with the Countryside Fire Protection District arrived on the scene at a single-family home in Long Grove, Illinois, on September 22, the fire inside the home was controlled by the home’s fire sprinkler system.

The fire originated on the outside back of the three-story house. The flames traveled up the vinyl siding and entered the home through a first-floor window, into the great room. Heat from the fire activated two sprinklers and stopped the fire from spreading throughout the home. Firefighters used hoses to extinguish the outside of the house.

“Although home fire sprinklers are not intended to protect an exterior fire, that’s exactly what happened in this case,” said Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB). “When the fire spread from the siding into the interior of this home, the sprinklers automatically activated, and prevented flashover as well as limited damage to the area of origin.”

Because flashover was prevented, firefighters could readily and safely enter the home to conduct a search and extinguish remaining embers. Residents weren’t home at the time of the fire, but their dog was.

“Thanks to the fire sprinklers, the outcome of this fire was a happy one,” Lia added. “Firefighters rescued the dog. This is another powerful example of the unparalleled protection home fire sprinklers give us.”

Long Grove was the first community in Illinois to pass an ordinance requiring fire sprinklers in all new home construction in 1988. That effort was led by Fire Chief Dave Grupp Long Grove Fire Protection District.