Posted July. 02, 2014 06:14,
A sprinkler that operated properly helped prevent what could otherwise have been a major fire disaster at a nursing home.
Fire erupted due to suspected overheating of an electric fan in the management office on the first floor of a nursing home in Damyang County, South Jeolla Province at around 10:28 p.m. Monday. The nursing home has four patients rooms by the management office. The rooms had 10 patients hospitalized at the time of fire. When fire broke out, one of the two sprinklers on the ceiling of the management office immediately started operating.
A sprinkler is designed to automatically start operation when a fire detector senses heat 60 degrees Celsius or higher. As the sprinkler sprayed 80 liters of water per minute, the fire was put out instantly, and virtually no smoke emerged.
Firefighters from Damyang Fire Station who arrived at the nursing home 14 minutes after receiving fire report, checked to find light damage including one electric fan that was completely burnt and slightly smoked wall. After placing things in order, the firefighters moved patients on the first floor to the second floor. No patient inhaled smoke, and some patients were not even aware of the fire.
Damyang Nursing Home was registered as a welfare facility for senior citizens with Damyang County Office in August 2012. After remodeling a four-story motel building, the facility is using first and second stories as patients rooms.
Under the Fire Prevention Act, a nursing home should be installed with sprinklers. According to the Medical Act, however, the existing nursing hospitals are exempt from the obligation to install sprinklers if total floor space amounts to 1,000 sq. meters or less. The fire accident that occurred at Hyo Love Nursing Hospital in Jangseong County, South Jeolla Province on May 28 ended up being a major disaster that left 21 senior citizens suffocated to death from smoke due to such sloppy regulation.