Sprinkler Break, Large Mercantile Store, Worcester, Mass.

First floor of the Jobbers Outlet, Front Street, Worcester, showing covers partly re moved to permit examination of contents—no damage. Covers were used to pro. tect all merchandise on the first floor and basement. Sprinkler break occurred on sccand floor

-Photo by Marvn Richmond

AS WAS POINTED OUT in Part XIX (December 1956 installment) “Sprinkler Systems—Their Relation to Salvage,” water damage resulting from mechanical or human failure of the sprinkler system can be serious.

Such a situation confronted the Worcester Protective Department, Worcester, Mass., Superintendent Lorton C. Walden, on December 31 last, when a sprinkler became frozen and broke in a large mercantile establishment on Front Street in that city.

Responding on the sprinkler valve alarm, fire patrolmen forced entrance to the building and quickly determining the cause of the trouble and the possibilities of heavy property loss, called for additional covers and men. A full force of two mobile units and eight men, with 137 covers, were quickly on the scene.

Superintendent Walden reports that the Protectives spread 127 covers to protect all merchandise on the first and basement floors within damageahility range and of course, immediately shut off the sprinkler system.

Floors were hagged and all run-off was removed from the structure, the men using squeegees, mops, sponges and buckets and other water removal devices.

Adjusters for the insurance company claims said that without the prompt and effective covering operation, the loss would have been 40 per cent greater than it was. The owners of the building and store occupants also highly praised the effective operation. The store was back in business 24 hours later.

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