Not long ago, on a Sunday in November, very early in the morning, an individual attempted to drive a conversion van equipped with a now-loaded roof rack from the 6th floor of a parking garage at a high-rise location. The property covers one entire city block in Chicago’s Loop area and includes 40 stories of apartments, 60 stories of condos, commercial offices, and a large multi-level retail center. The oblivious driver misjudged the overhead clearance required by the load and quickly began tearing through the sprinkler piping along his path through the garage’s exit way. Realizing what he’d just done, the individual tried to flee the scene but was stopped trying to break through the garage gate, where he was apprehended by police.
The damage inflicted by the driver included:
- Breaking at least 9 rows of sprinkler piping
- Snapping of sprinkler connections
- Discharge of the sprinkler system in the garage, stairwells, dock, and several other location, resulting in flooding of these areas
- Fire alarm activation
- Elevator recall activation, shutting down all the elevators in the entire property.
The fire department responded to the alarm, and upon arrival, shut down all of the fire pumps to stop the water from flowing into all of the sprinkler systems covering the entire building. They also disconnected the fire alarm until the damage could be evaluated.
Fox Valley Fire & Safety provides multiple services for this property: fire alarm, sprinkler, fire pump, fire extinguishers, emergency and exit lighting, and fire door testing. The call came into our 24-hour number, 847-695-5990, around 3:00 a.m. from the property managers at the scene. Our on-call manager was briefed on the emergency and dispatched our on-call sprinkler team, which arrived at the site before 5:00 a.m. Fox Valley Fire & Safety prides itself on quick response to emergencies any time of the day to minimize damage and downtime for our customers.
A few hours after our first crew arrived at the property, a second crew was dispatched to assist due to the extensive damage to the systems. Our four-man crew worked around the clock Sunday to get the systems repaired. Our delivery driver made multiple trips to the site with materials needed. The crew left around 1:00 a.m. on Monday, having fixed all the sprinkler issues in the garage areas and getting those systems back up and running. Our Fire Alarm Service Supervisor was also dispatched to evaluate the damage to the fire alarm system, as well as ensure the system was completely out of service with the city so that elevator service could be restored for the high-rise apartments, condos, and commercial outlets.
Over 155 sprinkler heads were replaced; and hundreds of feet of sprinkler piping was repaired or replaced during 20 hours on that Sunday. Throughout the following days, with the main work completed and systems in the parking garage functioning, Fox Valley Fire & Safety service technicians finished servicing the sprinkler systems, as well as replacing all water-damaged fire alarm equipment to restore these vital life safety systems.
This is just one example of the level of prompt, professional, and exemplary service that you can expect to receive from us as a customer, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.