As captured on video, FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition conducted a study looking at the environmental impact of fires. Setting up two identical living rooms, they measured the pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and water usage when both rooms were set on fire but one extinguished with a sprinkler head.
Greenhouse gases emissions were decreased by 98% with the use of automatic fire sprinklers: fire damage was reduced by up to 97%; water usage to fight a home fire was reduced by upwards of 90%; and the amount of water pollution released into the environment was significantly less.
They posted a the cool video of the two rooms being set on fire and then extinguished. (You will have to scroll down to get to the video).
Of course, along with the environmental impact, the house with the sprinkler head sustained little damage. The other room, that simulated a wait for fire fighters to arrive, was a total loss. The same principles demonstrated with home sprinklers apply to workplaces as well.