Changing Lanes - Yet Another Movie featuring a Stupid Fire Sprinkler System

Gah! Watched Changing Lanes yesterday. It was quite OK, especially since I was quite tired - any movie would probably have done :-).

In one of the scenes, Ben Affleck triggers a fire sprinkler with a burning piece of paper. And as usual, every sprinkler on the floor starts spreading huge amounts on water over everything, and everyone has to evacutate, which is very convenient for Affleck’s role person since he can then go and read some secret file in the office of his boss. Oh well..

I’m sorry, Hollywood, but fire sprinklers simply don’t work that way. Read this page for example, where its clearly stated that only the sprinklers that are activated by the fire’s heat will start spreading water. Usually, each sprinkler has a valve that is opened when a small pipe filled with a fluid is destroyed when the fluid expands because of the heat.

By the way, The Matrix also has stupid movie sprinklers - they’re even more stupid, because all the sprinklers in the whole building are activated when one sprinkler goes off.

Written on February 12, 2006