Sprinklers and Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Blog Post created by lorrainecarli Employee on Sep 17, 2009

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><font face="Calibri" size="3">I recently came across a new Web site – </font>[<font color="#800080" face="Calibri" size="3">www.smokealarmswork.org</font> | http://www.smokealarmswork.org/]<font face="Calibri" size="3">– an effort by the National Association of Home Builders to dismiss the need for home fire sprinklers. The site has great information on the critical importance of smoke alarms in today’s homes and provides the right advice on how to install and maintain smoke alarms.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&#0160; </span>There is no debate with the NAHB sentiment that Americans are safer from fire now than they have ever been thanks to the installation of residential smoke alarms.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&#0160; </span>The real questions are, “Can we be safer and can we save more lives”.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&#0160; </span>The answer to both is yes.</font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt">[<font color="#800080" face="Calibri" size="3">NFPA statistics</font> | http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/OS.SmokeAlarms.pdf]<font face="Calibri" size="3"> chart a significant drop in the number of fire deaths since the 1970’s, when the widespread use of smoke alarms began. In 1977 there were over 6,000 residential fire deaths. Today that number hovers just below 3,000 and has been in that range for over a decade. That is an unacceptable number when affordable, reliable technology exists to reduce the number of lives lost. </font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><font face="Calibri" size="3">More than 95% of homes currently have smoke alarms yet there are still people who die in home fires. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&#0160;</span>That is because smoke alarms provide an early warning of danger giving occupants time to get out. But those that perish are often those at greatest risk because they cannot get out by themselves – young children, older adults, people with disabilities. If we are to further reduce the fire death problem and better protect families and their property from fire we have to do more. That’s where home fire sprinklers come in.</font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><font size="3"><font face="Calibri">Home fire sprinklers extinguish or slow the growth of fire, giving people more time to get out or be rescued.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&#0160; </span><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;">If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present. People in homes with sprinklers are also protected against significant property loss—sprinklers reduce the average property loss by 71% per fire.<o:p></o:p></span></font></font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;"><font face="Calibri" size="3">An </font>earlier blog posthere explored this issue in greater detail. As the new site states, “Smoke alarms do work.” It misses the mark by not stating sprinklers do too! You can learn more about home fire sprinklers at [www.firesprinklerinitiative.org | http://www.typepad.com/site/blogs/6a00d8351b9f3453ef010536f8f3bb970b/post/www.firesprinklerinitiative.org].

[Lorraine Carli | mailto:lcarli@nfpa.org]