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Recent, deadly fires like the ones in Philadelphia and Lansing show how quickly an uneventful day with the family can turn to tragedy. On a relaxed Saturday morning in Philadelphia, firefighters entered a row-house engulfed in flames and smoke to find a woman and three children dead inside. Just a week prior, first responders arrived at a small, burning Lansing residence shortly before midnight, extinguishing the fire and finding Melissa Weston and her two young grandchildren dead inside.

 

These sad events, one early in the morning and one late at night, illuminate the need for taking action to be safer from fire. Both smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers provide the early warning of a potentially fast-moving fire and suppression while the fire department is enroute. We know few existing homes were built with sprinklers, but we can change outcomes by building new homes with a higher level of fire safety with home fire sprinklers.two-story house on fire

 

Regardless of the time of day, we know that in reported home structure fires with working smoke alarms, the risk of dying drops 54 percent compared to in homes with no alarms or none that worked, and that the presence of home fire sprinklers can increase the chances of surviving a home fire by 87 percent. People age 65 and older are at the highest risk of dying in a home fire, while children, pets, and those with disabilities are also at increased risk.

 

While newer building techniques provided great benefits over the years, unprotected lightweight construction combined with synthetic materials and open floor plans can result in fires that burn faster and at higher temperatures. The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition reports that flashover—when everything ignites—can happen in as little three minutes, making every second in a fire count. By being alerted quickly with smoke alarms and controlling the fire as soon as it is detected with home fire sprinklers are an integral part of a home fire protection strategy, along with a practiced escape plan, helping to keep unfortunate tales like the above from happening at all.

Everyday, we see countless, heartbreaking reminders of how fast a fire can destroy one’s home and impact one’s life. Advances in fire protection technology like smoke alarms have become widely used, but home fire sprinklers have yet to proliferate in the same way. Unfortunately, rumors and misinformation run rampant around home fire sprinklers, so in our Mythblaster Monday series we debunk a different myth each week and highlight resources that can be used to refute inaccurate information and better inform your communities about their many advantages. Today’s myth is particularly misleading and adds to the misguided fear that home fire sprinklers damage property.

 

Myth: Smoke alarms cause fire sprinklers to activate.

Fact: Home fire sprinklers are only activated by the high temperature of a fire surrounding the sprinkler.

 

The logical jump for this myth is clear. When fire sprinklers are often shown activating soon after a smoke alarm sounds, people understandably link the two together. But it is simply not true. A liquid-filled bulb sits at the center of each sprinkler, and only when the temperature reaches between 135°-165°F (57°-74°C) will that bulb burst.

 Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, and a survey found that 90 percent of the time, one sprinkler was enough to control the fire.

 

Fire sprinklers and smoke alarms work very well together, and people benefit greatly from having both. Smoke alarms provide early detection while home fire sprinklers act as early suppression, both increasing valuable time needed to escape a home fire. The best time to install home fire sprinklers is during construction, but retrofitting is also an option. Either way, make sure to only choose contractors qualified as specialists in sprinkler installation. This brochure quickly breaks down the advantages of this life-saving technology; and legislators, community members, and AHJs can find more support for home fire sprinkler installation here. For even more resources, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition.

We talk often about the benefits of working smoke alarms, home escape plans, and home fire sprinklers.  But nothing helps drive the point home more than a real-life example that is captured in real time. 

This video by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition shows how swiftly a home fire can spread, underscoring the need to take fire safety seriously and account for the ability or inability of those in the home to quickly escape.

 

The video gives a rare view into a home on fire before the fire department arrives. In under two minutes, flames and smoke begin to take over the room, while an elderly man watches television, unaware of the fire just a few feet away. Before a smoke alarm could alert everyone in the home of the fire early, a woman comes in and notices the flames. She is able to get them both out.

Sadly, people aged 65 and older are at the highest risk of dying in a home fire, so increasing the amount of time available for escape is paramount. This is another strong case for the installation of home fire sprinklers. Home fire sprinklers begin controlling a fire before firefighters arrive, giving occupants time to escape.

 

Thankfully, everyone escaped without injury, but so often, similar situations do not end this way. A complete fire safety strategy should include working smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers, and practicing an escape plan. For more resources on home fire sprinklers and their benefits, check out the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

This Tuesday we continue our Mythblaster Monday series, where we discuss and debunk the myths around home fire sprinklers, offering resources to highlight their advantages and tackle the misinformation. Last Monday we found that home fire sprinklers are green, and they lower water usage, pollution, and gas emissions. Today we broach the other half of the water-use concern; a myth that acknowledges how much is at stake in a home fire.

 

Myth: Water damage from sprinklers is worse than fire damage

Fact: Sprinkler flows are 10-26 gallons of water per minute. Sprinkler damage is a fraction of typical losses from an unsprinklered home fire.

 

We’ve all seen a movie where the fire sprinklers go off, drenching everyone and everything in sight for comedic effect. Fortunately, when it comes to how sprinklers suppress fires in the home, this image couldn’t be further from the truth. Home fire sprinklers begin battling a fire as soon as the heat around the sensor reaches a high enough temperature, in many cases extinguishing the flames before first responders arrive. As a result, a home fire sprinkler uses about 1/10th the amount of water as a fire hose, and at lower pressure. Plus, in 90 percent of home fires, the fire is controlled by only one sprinkler, lowering damages.

 

In addition to how much water is necessary to extinguish a fire that has had time to grow and spread, we also consider what the fire itself destroys—burning away beloved keepsakes, lives, furniture, and other elements that make a house into a home. This year’s NFPA Fire Prevention Week is all about cooking, and a recent study found that cooking activities caused $1.2 billion in property damage in home fires, as well as being the leading cause of fires in one- and two-family homes. In some cases, like the fire at Food Network star Rachel Ray’s home earlier this month, home fire sprinklers can be especially helpful for firefighting efforts in remote locations with limited access to water, helping to preserve the memories in our homes.

 

As we can clearly see, home fire sprinklers are one of the best ways to protect life and property from the devastation of home fires. This brochure offers a quick breakdown of the benefits for homeowners, and homebuilders can find information tailored to their concerns here. For more resources on home fire sprinklers and how to dispel the myths surrounding them, check out the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

Welcome back to our Mythblaster Monday series, where we explore the myths and misconceptions that surround home fire sprinklers, clear the air and provide resources that refute the myths and tout their many benefits. Last week we discussed the dangerous belief that because the fire department is on the way, there is no need for home fire sprinklers, when sprinklers provide vital help suppressing the fire before it grows too large.  With a busy wildfire and hurricane season, thoughts of the natural environment and how we fit into it might be on many people’s minds, leading us to today’s topic.

 

Myth: Sprinklers don’t benefit the environment

Fact: Fire hoses, on average, use eight-and-a-half times more water than sprinklers do to contain a fire.Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition water use comparison

 

Last Monday we reviewed how the quick response of home fire sprinklers helps control a fire, limiting the amount of danger to life and property. But by suppressing the fire as soon as its heat is detected, sprinklers also can either extinguish fires or keep them small enough that they require less water to put out once first responders arrive. According to research conducted, home fire sprinklers can reduce the water usage for fighting a home fire by as much as 91 percent. Meanwhile, once firefighters arrive, the high-pressure hoses they use produce water at 125 gallons per minute, and they must use more water to deal with flames that have spread beyond the room of origin.

 

The Environmental Impact of Automatic Fire Sprinklers report also shows that home fire sprinklers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98 percent, partly because of the impact on building sustainability when accounting for the difference in fire damage and necessary reconstruction between sprinklered and non-sprinklered homes. Wastewater from fires where sprinklers are present also have fewer persistent pollutants, showing decreased water pollution.

 

In short, in addition to being a no-brainer for safety, home fire sprinklers are green. This brochure for water purveyors, local officials, and the fire service gives a detailed look into home fire sprinklers and water supply. To find more resources on home fire sprinklers and how to get them into your community, check out the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

Today we continue our Mythblaster Monday series, where we explore the myths and misconceptions that surround home fire sprinklers, setting the record straight and providing resources that share their many benefits. Last week we exposed the superstition that home fire sprinkler installation is expensive, finding the costs to be much lower than imagined. This week, we turn to a myth that leads to complacency around safety.

 

Myth: The fire department will be able to put out the fire and save my things.

Fact: Fire departments may not be able to get to your home for 9-12 minutes—plenty of time for a fire to grow to be deadly and cause massive damages.

 

Firefighters are highly trained, dedicated professionals that possess the skills and equipment necessary for our first line defense against the ravages of fire. However, arriving at the scene of an emergency and completing the necessary preparations takes time. This fact sheet shows that with unprotected lightweight construction common in new homes and modern, often synthetic furnishings, a home fire today can burn more quickly and create a highly toxic environment very fast. Without fire sprinklers, flames can grow unhindered, heat and gasses can spread, and flashover can occur—igniting everything. It can take less than two minutes for a fire to become deadly, as shown in this video.

In the 9-12 minutes fire departments may need to respond, depending on the presence of home fire sprinklers, they would face a very different scene.

 

Home fire sprinklers, once activated by the high temperature, begin suppressing the fire immediately. This early response proves vital in saving lives and property, but also creates a safer environment for first responders. In deciding to protect his own home with fire sprinklers, Chief Brower highlighted the increased health and suppression risks associated with exposure that responders face. A fateful fire in 2008 went to flashover, trapping four firefighters and burning one severely enough to force retirement. By suppressing fires before they can reach that point, home fire sprinklers help firefighters contain a fire and keep them safer.

 

Of the 1,318,500 fires that US fire departments responded to in 2018, 73 percent of the 3,655 fires resulting in civilian deaths happened in the home. In 2019, an NFPA report found that of the ten firefighter deaths at structure fires, three involved one- and two-family homes. Instead of placing resident and property safety on the back-burner for those 9-12 minutes, installing home fire sprinklers actively increases the chance that lives and possessions can be saved.

 

For a quick rundown of the facts surrounding home fire sprinklers in an easy-to-share format, check out these fact sheets. More information on the home fire threat and how home fire sprinklers are a vital part of alleviating that threat can be found at the Fire Sprinkler Initiative and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition.

Last Monday, we introduced our Mythblaster Monday series that explores common myths that people have about home fire sprinklers, to illustrate their many benefits and provide resources to advocate for their use. We began by debunking the idea that smoke alarms alone are sufficient protection from a home fire. This week, we turn to a myth that has often floated to the top of the discussion and is used erroneously by opponents to the lifesaving technology. Home is where the heart is, where we feel safest, and these days, where many spend most of their time. But as will see, protecting it does not mean sinking the ship.

 

Myth: Home Fire Sprinkler installation is too expensive.
Truth: Average fire sprinklers cost $1.35 per square foot of sprinklered space in new construction

 

The $1.35 per square foot average cost includes design, installation, permits, and more. Like plumbing or electrical systems, home fire sprinklers are paid over the life of a mortgage, adding to their affordability. Local ordinances can cause this figure to vary slightly, but that is a far cry from what a home structure fire might cause in property loss. In 2018, the NFPA reported $6.5 billion in property loss from fire in 1- and 2-family homes. In an Arizona study, over a 15-year period the average loss per sprinklered fire incident was $2,166, while unsprinklered homes had an average loss of over $45,000.

 

One a wider scale, a recent study performed in California echoed results from an earlier Maryland report, which found no evidence that sprinkler requirements impacted housing supply or cost. The introduction of new materials has also had a positive effect on the cost of sprinkler installations, and once home fire sprinklers are installed they have been found to decrease water usage by 50 to 91 percent, resulting in savings on the water bill.

 

In short, financial concerns should not deter people from pursuing the life and property protections that home fire sprinklers can provide. Matt Klaus, NFPA Director of Technical Services, briefly discusses these concerns in the video above, and home fire sprinkler advocates in Las Vegas provide a useful case study for how to achieve a sprinkler ordinance even when faced with vocal opponents. A detailed breakdown of home fire sprinkler costs can be found here. For more information, check out the Fire Sprinkler Initiative and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition websites.

home fire sprinklers

A huge fire engulfed the upstate New York home of television host and celebrity cook, Rachael Ray, causing massive damage to the second floor and destroying the roof of the mansion.

According to news sources, the house, situated in New York State’s Adirondack Park, is in a remote area where there are no fire hydrants for miles. Adding to the challenge of getting water on the scene, according to Warren County's (NY) fire coordinator, Brian LaFlure, “… there was no sprinkler system which is something that down the road we would like people to deal with.” Other fire chiefs on the scene echoed the sentiment saying fire sprinklers “could have stopped the raging inferno.”

The issue pointed out by fire officials, remote areas with limited access to water, is certainly one of the values of home fire sprinklers. But there are others.

Home fires account for four of every five fire deaths and three of every four fire injuries.The design of modern homes, along with the materials used to build them and highly combustible furnishings, result in fires that burn much faster today than they used to, shrinking the time to escape to as little as two minutes.

 

Home fire sprinklers are a crucial, life-saving technology that have been proven as the best protection available to minimize home fire injuries and death for both civilians and responding firefighters. According to NFPA research, the risk of dying in a reported home fire is 85 percent lower if sprinklers are present. Having sprinkler systems in homes reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by 50 percent.

 

Sprinkler opponents are quick to share false information about home fire sprinklers allowing thousands of new homes to be built without this protection despite their inclusion in all model building codes. Research and facts that contradict the myths and false statements about sprinkler systems like installation costs and water usage are readily available to educate others about the dangers of home fires and what they can do to reduce their risk. Simply put, sprinklers are the most affordable, reliable, and effective protection for families.

Despite the intensity of the fire, the first floor of the house that includes Ray’s state-of-the-art kitchen survived the fire. Thankfully, Ray, her husband, mother, and dog were able to escape the fire without injury.  

LeFlure mentioned to news outlets that he would like to see residents deal with sprinklers down the road. To better protect communities, let’s shoot for sprinklers being right around the corner rather than down the road.

The cause of the fire in Ray’s home is under investigation, but initial findings don't point to suspicious behavior.

 

For more information about the life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers and free resources to share, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.

 

 

 Photo Credit: Hot Shots Fire Video via TMX.news

As advocates and educators of home fire sprinklers, we continue to search for ways to help increase awareness about the importance and benefits of this life-saving technology. But as you likely know, getting positive attention from the media can sometimes prove challenging. So, in an age where the world is saturated with news and information, how can you break through the “noise” and find the most effective ways to communicate sprinkler messages to news outlets and reach the audiences that we know will benefit from our information?fire sprinklers

 

The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) recently hosted a “Speaking to the Media about Sprinklers” webinar, which included a presentation by Peg Paul, communications manager for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), who provided a wealth of information to help sprinkler advocates enhance their ongoing efforts.

 

According to Paul, start by identifying the type of media outlets that will best support your message and story. Between traditional print publications, online news outlets, social media platforms, and bloggers, there is a lot to choose from, but not all platforms work for all stories. By doing some research, you’ll be able to determine which outlets can best tell your story and put your messages into the right hands.

 

Paul also recommended the following:

  • Keep track of media outlets and reporters. By following news sources and understanding the topics they cover, you can identify the kinds of stories and information they are looking for, when they want to be contacted, and how best to reach them.
  • Provide tools and resources to help media outlets tell your story. While words are powerful, so are the materials that support your messages. Props and related tools help reporters tell the most accurate stories. Whether it’s a fact sheet with sources, talking points, b-roll, or props, media outreach tools provide legitimacy to your messages that reporters look for in storytelling.
  • Think about the timing of your story. Finding the most effective angle and the right timing is key to successfully reaching the media with your story. For example, after a fatal or significant fire or a public hearing or meeting is a good time to provide the media with the facts they need to tell an accurate, compelling story.

 

What it all boils down to, said Paul, is that members of the media will become interested in a sprinkler story if they have good information supported by the right outreach tools. Having an media plan at the start can prove valuable as you navigate this journey.

 

For more information about working with the media and to find free home fire sprinkler resources you can use and share, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website and start your media outreach today!

fire sprinkler

 

For many, fire sprinklers are like ocean buoys: people know of them, and that they do something important. But that is often where consideration stops, and the same can be said for home fire sprinklers.

 

We continue to see misinformation from sprinkler opponents and with this weekly series we aim to set the record straight, tackle the myths head on, and prove they just “don’t hold any water”.

 

The first myth we’re addressing can have particularly dangerous consequences:

 

Myth: I have smoke alarms, so I don’t need home fire sprinklers.

Truth: Smoke alarms detect, sprinklers protect.

 

Smoke alarms are indispensable and decrease the risk of dying in a home fire. But they cannot fight the fire itself.

 

A recent NFPA report found that in home structure fires from 2013-2017, the fires caused an estimated average of $6.9 billion dollars in direct property damage per year and an annual average of 2,620 civilian deaths. Sixty-nine percent of reported home fires from that five-year period occurred in one- or two-family homes. A fire can become deadly in as little as two minutes. So while a smoke alarm is vital for alerting people to escape, a home fire sprinkler can activate even when occupants are unable to act—maximizing the time they have to get out, limiting damage to the home, and giving emergency personnel a less-dangerous scene to walk into.

 

In fact, the report found that in home fires where fire sprinklers were present, the death rate dropped by eighty-five percent when compared to fires without any automatic extinguishing systems (AES). Home fire sprinklers are a safety investment that actively prepares for and assists in emergency response—connecting two parts of what NFPA calls the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, a framework that helps guide all affected stakeholders though the process for identifying fire, life safety, electrical and related hazards, and creating solutions to manage such hazards. Plus, their benefits move beyond the individual home, as shown by a fire in San Jose last week, where the blaze from one home quickly spread and damaged another.

Government officials, first responders, and homeowners all stand to benefit from increased home sprinkler installations. Find a fire sprinkler coalition in your area for opportunities and information on advocating for home fire sprinklers in your neighborhood.

 

Each week, additional resources will be highlighted in this corner. To learn more about the case for home fire sprinklers, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition websites. For a deeper look into home fire sprinklers and the myths that plague them, check out the newest episode of the NFPA Podcast “Debunking Home Fire Sprinkler Myths”.

Exciting news rang through Cheyenne, Wyoming last month when the first single-family home constructed with residential fire sprinklers was inspected. The project was a joint effort between public and private partners, including the builder and contractors, and sets a new level of safety in the community.home fire sprinklers

 

Today’s modern home furnishings, popular open spaces, and unprotected lightweight construction contribute to an increased rate at which home fires burn, causing significant reduction in the time occupants now have to safely escape. Activating within minutes of a fire, sprinklers work fast to put out a fire before the fire department arrives and allows families the time they need to safely escape.

 

According to Wyoming News Now, the residents in Cheyenne’s Sweetgrass development recognize the importance of residential home fire sprinklers and believe this event marks an important step forward in the safety of their community.

 

Read the full article.

 

Learn more about home fire sprinklers by visiting the NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) websites. Get to know the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition by visiting their page on our website.

Fire sprinkler

“Residential fire sprinklers are a good, preventive measure,” said Bridgeview (Illinois) Fire Chief Michael Daly in a recent article in SuburbanChicagoland. Chief Daly was reacting to the good news that the Bridgeview village board took steps at their June meeting to ensure continued safety for its residents by unanimously approving amending the sprinkler ordinance requiring home fire sprinklers in new construction and manufactured housing, as well as homes with new additions and major rehab work. The ordinance realigns the village code language with the International Fire Code, 15 years after Bridgeview originally passed its zero square foot ordinance requiring sprinklers in all new construction, commercial, and residential.

 

“We have seen an absolute difference when a fire breaks out in a building that has sprinklers versus a building that doesn’t have a sprinkler system,” Chief Daly was quoted as saying in the article. A sprinkler, he said, acts within a matter of seconds; a room can go to flashover in less than three minutes, pointing to today’s modern home furnishings, popular open spaces, and unprotected lightweight construction, which can all contribute to an increased rate at which home fires burn, causing a significant reduction in the time occupants now have to safely escape.

 

Two states, California and Maryland, and the District of Columbia require sprinklers in all new construction homes. Illinois itself has more than 110 communities that have adopted home fire sprinkler ordinances in accordance with NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes. Long Grove was the first village in Illinois to pass a home fire sprinkler ordinance in April 1988. The village was also one of the first with a sprinkler save in a home. Three days before Thanksgiving 2001, a fire started in a child’s bedroom filled with stuffed animals. Two sprinklers activated, controlling the fire, allowing the homeowner and children to safely evacuate. The homeowner admitted that she would not have chosen to have sprinklers installed in her home if she had the option, but was grateful they were required and her home was protected.

 

“With their fire sprinkler requirements, communities such as Bridgeview and Long Grove have long been at the forefront of fire safety for their residents, business owners, and firefighters alike,” stated Erik Hoffer, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), who works with the fire service and life safety officials in the state to provide resources and underscore the necessity of sprinkler requirements. Hoffer added there are a few municipalities currently working to upgrade their codes to include the requirement for home fire sprinklers.

 

Additional information and available resources can be found on NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative webpage. Home fire sprinkler educational resources are available at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition webpage.

 

The Browers

On May 25, 2008, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (VA) responded to a single-family house fire in a residential development. Keith Brower, who was the fire marshal at the time, heard the mayday call that would change his life. As firefighters entered the structure, a fireball erupted. The fire quickly went to flashover, spreading rapidly through the open construction plan from the first-floor origin up into the second floor, trapping four firefighters.

 

“The fire actually burned through our firefighters’ hose line, severing it,” Brower said. Although the firefighters were rescued and all survived, one firefighter was burned severely enough to force retirement.

 

Within hours of the fire, Brower was part of an investigative team that was assembled to perform an After Action Report (AAR) to review the details of the fire and the actions of responders. The AAR produced more than 50 recommendations that were in progress or largely implemented during Chief Brower’s tenure as fire chief, which began in 2010. Among those were achieving staffing levels according to NFPA 1710 and pursuing building and fire prevention code changes at the state level.

 

For Chief Brower, who retired in 2018 and now makes his home in Beaufort, SC, this fire and its impact has endured as an emblem of today’s persistent home fire problem. “Early in my career, we had several minutes before a house fire flashed over,” he said. “But now a home fire becomes deadly in only two minutes or less.” 

 

According to NFPA, today’s modern home furnishings, popular open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction contribute to an increased rate at which home fires burn, causing this significant reduction in the time occupants now have to safely escape.

 

“The danger isn’t only to occupants when homes aren’t sprinklered; responders are at grave risk from suppression injuries as well as increased health risks from exposure,” Chief Brower adds. “That’s one of the reasons we made the decision to retrofit our house with fire sprinklers. I wanted peace of mind for my family as well as for firefighters, should they ever have to respond to a fire at our home.”

 

The Browers began their retrofit project in 2019. The company they worked with assessed the single-story home and determined a NFPA 13D system was feasible. Although the home is on public water, the Browers opted to supply their system with a water tank and pump. The plans were reviewed and approved by the local building code office. The local inspector witnessed the pressure test and issued final approval.

 

“It feels good to be protected,” Chief Brower said. “Retrofitting is certainly not the easiest way to install home fire sprinklers, but our house shows that it can be done.” Determined to illustrate this fact, Chief Brower posted regular updates on the retrofit on social media. “The feedback I’ve had from others in the fire service is extremely positive. I hope our experience will be an inspiration for others.”

 

Brower will tell the story of retrofitting his home with fire sprinklers on episode 4 of The NFPA Podcast, "Dispelling Home Fire Sprinkler Myths," which comes out on July 28."

 

Learn more about Chief Brower's experience by visiting NFPA's Faces of Fire campaign to hear his interview.

 

Interested in retrofitting your home? HFSC offers free information and resources on home fire sprinkler retrofitting. 

 

For more on home fire sprinklers, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative webpage.

 

Photo Caption: Chief W. Keith Brower, Jr. (Retired) is a contributor to the NFPA Faces of Fire campaign and an instructor with the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He represents the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation on the Vision 20/20 Steering Committee. He and his wife, Cheryl, live in a sprinklered home in Beaufort, SC. 

Sprinklers

Home fire sprinklers have been proven as the best protection available to minimize home fire injury and death for both civilians and responding firefighters.

For more than a decade, the NFPA and International Code Council model national codes have included requirements to install fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes. But that important progress has been stymied by national homebuilder and real estate groups that have waged an unprecedented campaign at every level to stop home fire sprinkler codes. 

Fortunately, there are ways to introduce home fire sprinklers into new homes. In a recent NFPA Journal article, “The Incentive Option,” Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA and president of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, discusses how planners and AHJs are engaging homebuilders with an array of creative incentives to encourage the installation of this life-saving measure.

Read the article.

For more information and resources related to home fire sprinklers, please visit the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative webpage.

As the world continues to deal with the ongoing demands of COVID-19, and with the fire service at its front lines, NFPA and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) needed to reconsider what Home Fire Sprinkler Week would look like in light of public educational events being nearly impossible to hold.

 

The result was Home Fire Sprinkler Week Virtual, an online campaign that provided digital resources, information, and tools for participants in place of in-person activities. During the week of May 17-23, people were able to share daily themes and suggested video and educational content with their audiences on their website and social platforms.home fire sprinkler week

 

As part of the virtual event, NFPA and HFSC partnered with Firehouse Magazine to present a Facebook Live event that featured a handful of guest speakers and showcased a live burn demonstration. The event drew roughly 9,000 viewers! Throughout the week-long event, nearly 3,000 visitors took advantage of the resources on the HFSC website, and more than 25,000 people viewed the information on the HFSC’s Facebook page.

 

The intent of this year’s virtual event was to garner as much if not more attention than we have the last couple of years with Home Fire Sprinkler Week. And we did just that. Thousands of followers shared their support and used our resources to increase awareness of the problem of home fires and to build interest in life-saving home fire sprinklers.

 

If you were one of the many people who participated in this year’s virtual event, thank you! If you weren’t able to join us, you can still find all of the information, including the Facebook Live event video, on the HFSC website.

 

For additional information about home fire sprinklers, please visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website.

 

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