COLUMBIA — After sprinkler heads destroyed some State Historical Society of Missouri documents, MU is in the process of replacing similar heads in the building.
MU identified 21 additional sprinkler heads that were the same type as the faulty head in the State Historical Society and will replace them by an unspecified date, according to a Columbia Fire Department news release.
A fire sprinkler head activated between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Sept. 30, said Gary Kremer, executive director of the State Historical Society, which is located on the ground floor of Ellis Library. Kremer said no one-of-a-kind documents were ruined. Some original documents were destroyed, but all of them had other original copies.
The fire sprinkler head was a specialty head that had been manufactured by SimplexGrinnell in the mid-1970s, when the company was called Grinnell. Fire sprinkler heads are designed to activate when exposed to excessive heat and to shut off when the heat has dissipated.
Independent testing labs have shown that accidental activation of fire sprinkler heads is rare and happens in only one out of every 16 million heads, according to the Fire Department news release.