Vandalism and Arson puts Inmates at Increased Risk of Fires

In 2002, a fire at Mitchell County Jail, was unable to be contained. The older jail did not have fire sprinklers and a limited exit strategy, due to flight risks. As a direct result eight inmates lost their lives.

This past October, inmates at the Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro, North Carolina, set two separate fires, resulting in two injuries. The prisoners were safely evacuated and the fire was contained within four hours.

Fires at prisons are not a rarity. In fact, National Fire Protection Agency estimates that approximately 600 fires occur in prison facilities each year.  One out of four of these fires is intentionally set. In these buildings, which by their very nature are designed to keep people contained, a clear fire reduction strategy is key.  Automatic fire sprinklers and clear evacuation strategies help ensure that tragedies do not occur.

However, with fire sprinklers comes the additional risk of vandalism. In fact, vandalism to sprinkler heads remains one of the primary reasons that prisons may delay the installation of fire sprinklers. The cost from the resulting water damage, even if just left running for a few minutes can be substantial.

The installation of institutional grade sprinkler heads makes it more challenging for inmates to break the sprinkler heads.  However, for the persistent prisoner, damage can still occur.  In fact, in 2015, newly built prison, Orleans Parish Prison which was equipped with institutional sprinkler heads,suffered extensive water damage when an inmate vandalized their in-cell sprinkler head. The water only ran for a few minutes, but to respond to the damage, the prison needed to shut off their fire suppression system.

Vandalism in prisons is a reality, whether it’s arson or damaging sprinkler heads. The institutional sprinkler head on its own does not ensure that a facility is safe from the extensive cost of water damage. To respond to this valid concern, Technicraft Product Design Inc. knew that they needed to have a shut off system that would work for the institutional sprinkler head.

The Institutional Shutgun was launched this past summer providing an essential, cost saving tool for correctional facilities, mental hospitals and homes.

Easy to use, with a one-handed squeeze, the Shutgun tool can quickly shut off water at the source. As an added security, this tool – equipped with a fusible link which will release in the event of a fire - will allow correctional facilities to still run their fire suppression system ensuring that inmates remain protected in case a fire does occur.

Ensure that your facility is fully protected from both vandalism and fire, with automatic sprinkler heads and the institutional Shutgun Tool close at hand. Shutgun will help stop water damage in its tracks.