MAYVILLE - A live burn was the centerpiece for the second annual New York State Building Officials Conference in Mayville this week.
The conference, held between Monday and Wednesday, helped get needed training for code enforcement officers, as well as getting everyone on the same page, said president of the Western Southern Tier Building Officials Association, Charles LaBarbera.
The conference provided 18 of the 24 hours of yearly training that code enforcement officers require, he said.
The live burn was a demonstration on the use and importance of sprinkler systems in buildings. The demonstration had two rooms, side-by-side, each set with the same furniture and contents, each set on fire.
However, one of the rooms was protected by a sprinkler head, which activated after 180 degrees of heat. Damage to the room not protected was substantially more than what was seen in the room with the system.
"We are trying to educate our code enforcement officers in this, on how sprinklers are put up, how they work and how valuable they are," he said.
LaBarbera explained that code enforcement officers do not generally get to see what happens in a fire, they only see the after effects. This demonstration gives them a firsthand view of what happens in that time and what can be done to prevent it.
"We don't see the flash over, how hot it can get and the smoke up high," he said. "We see the after effects, and we actually got to see how smoke rises, witness the flashover and feel the heat."
The side unprotected needed to be suppressed by fire officials. The protected side had some damage, but considerably less, he said.
After the live burn, officials gained four hours of training on sprinklers, sprinkler heads and piping.
"This is the first live burn in this side of the state," he said. "We are the only area in this part of the state that do this kind of training.
The inaugural conference also saw a live burn which demonstrated the power of grease fires last year.
Courses included in the training were plumbing, electrical, carbon monoxide detection, court procedures, fire safety inspections, residential construct and pre-cast walls.
"Our main goal here is trying to get everyone on the same page through good continual education," he said.
The National Fire Sprinkler Association, which spoke at the conference put on the live burn on Monday.