Issue 18 and Volume 36.

WHAT A SPRINKLER DID. Sometime during the night of September 22-23 a fire started in a closet on the sixth floor of the Gray Lithographic company’s premises at Laight and Varick streets, Manhattan, New York. The cause was probably spontaneous combustion. The heat opened a sprinkler head only a few feet from the closet, and the water extinguished the flames. So prompt was this action that a thermostat, eight or ten feet beyond the opened head never responded to the heat, and, therefore, registered no alarm. Moreover, the flow of water through the single opening at the dead-end of a pipe and on the top floor, and therefore, under a minimum pressure, opened the water valve so slightly that the attached lever did not move sufficiently to trip the catch operating the water-flowing signal. Because of these two independent failures, no alarm was sent in, and water was still running…

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