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You can help support the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) by voting for it as your favorite charity on Facebook. I am forwarding the information below from the HFSC. Even if you are not a user of Facebook you can still help HFSC!

Chase is inviting Facebook users to vote for the charities they want Chase to support financially in the coming year. Each Facebook user may vote for a charity only once, but each user gets a total of 20 votes, so you may vote for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and also vote for other worthy causes. The charity that receives the most votes will be awarded $1 million from Chase. The top 5 runners up will each receive
$100,000. The 100 finalists will receive $25,000.

Please hurry - the first round of voting ends December 11th. Round two ends January 15th. As you know, HFSC provides free educational materials to the fire service, sprinkler contractors, homebuilders and others to help the public learn more about the life-saving value of home fire sprinkler systems. Winning support from Chase would help the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition provide free fire sprinkler information to even more communities.

If you use Facebook, please help by voting for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Please also share this information with others you know who care about fire safety and who may use Facebook, so they can vote for HFSC too. There is no cost to participate.

Log on to
http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/ and enter Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition in the blue search and vote box. There is also a place to send messages to Facebook friends urging them to vote for HFSC too.

Feel free to forward this email to others. If anyone has questions about HFSC, please visit:
www.HomeFireSprinkler.org
<
http://www.HomeFireSprinkler.org> www.SprinklerSmarts.org
<
http://www.SprinklerSmarts.org>

For questions about the Chase Giving program, visit:
http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/home/faq

THANK YOU!

Maria Figueroa

We recently saw this great "letter to the editor" of The Herald Tribune (Fall River, MA) from Raymond J. Raposa, executive director of the New England Water Works Association.

"During Fire Prevention Week this week, I would like to remind the public about the critical but often overlooked role that local water suppliers — and the systems that deliver them — play in fighting fires and protecting public safety.

A well-maintained water system that delivers reliable supplies at a high pressure and volume can mean the difference between a small, manageable fire and a raging inferno.

In addition, a community’s ability to provide sufficient water for fire protection heavily influences new-home construction, business-location decisions, and residential and commercial insurance rates.

To protect communities from the ever-present threat of fires, reinvestment in local water infrastructure is imperative so life-saving water can flow around the clock from a source of supply, through a network of underground pipes, to the corner hydrant.

To further bolster fire prevention, I also encourage local communities to support the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative by urging homeowners to install fire sprinklers when building or remodeling, and by adopting home fire sprinkler ordinances.

At this time, I also join water utilities throughout New England in saluting our region’s firefighters for their courageous, dedicated and selfless public service."

Last legislative session the State of Texas passed a law prohibiting local jurisdictions from adopting one- and two-family home fire sprinkler requirements. Now, Mid-County fire officials are feeling the impact of this law on the community they serve.

One month after an 8,000 sq. ft. home burned to the ground in Port Neches, Texas, the city council was ready to introduce an ordinance requiring sprinklers in large homes. They soon found out that the state would not allow them to do so; and they are very upset.

PortNeches2 
The home in question was built in the mid 1990's (so much for newer homes not burning). It took fifty firefighters more than two hours to bring the fire under control. The roof collapsed and the house burned to the ground, impacting not only the family who occupied the home, but the entire neighborhood and community.

The win in Baltimore will prompt fire sprinkler opponents to push for more anti-fire sprinkler legislation this next go around. It's already started. Now is the time to "rally the troops", organize, build coalitions, and form work groups to be prepared to stop these from succeeding in your state. Bring all stakeholders to the table, educate your community by using the resources available from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and "get involved" by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter and participating in our discussion forums so you can stay informed. Visit the legislative alert section on our site to view any legislative action that may be introduced in your state. Take steps now to make sure your community is protected for this and future generations.

Maria Figueroa

Incredible effort, serendipity, and a "teachable moment" made possible the inclusion of an NFPA 13D system in the rebuilding of a home for the popular TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Tom Harnsberger, Director of the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts used all of the above to accomplish, what at first appeared to be, the nearly impossible.

The home had been chosen by the TV show and Brady Homes, of Bloomington, IL was selected as the local building sponsor to donate the labor and resources. One of the owners of the company is IL Senator Bill Brady. Senator Brady had previously introduced legislation to keep communities from adopting the home fire sprinkler requirement. Tom Harnsberger knew it would not be easy to convince this builder to include a fire sprinkler in this home. But there was something else now driving his efforts; he found out the family chosen for the extreme makeover was his own daughter's house. He became more determined than ever to make it happen.

Old
The old house before it was demolished

Tom was having dinner at a tavern in Philo two nights before the project was supposed to start. Senator Brady also happened to be there having dinner. After a few looks across the table Tom approached the Senator. At this chance meeting he told Tom that they had decided not to include the fire sprinkler in the project. Tom didn't give up and wanted to know why. Senator Brady was concerned about the inspection and maintenance, and other ongoing costs for the homeowner. This became Tom's "teachable moment." He explained the simple inspection and maintenance requirements of an NFPA 13D system and other concerns that the senator had mentioned; including the cost of design and installation. Tom quoted the $1.50 average cost to include a system in IL and promised him that it would not delay the project. Before walking out that night, he had gained approval for the system.

The fire sprinkler design and installation team went to work and the project became a reality through hard work and dedication. Look closely at the picture below to view the lightweight construction that is now protected by a sprinkler system

  Fitters
Sprinkler fitters hard a work

Sami Aziz, Field Producer for the show had this to say; "I spent the day, roughly 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. with the fire sprinkler crew.  They actually started about 4 pm and finished about 10pm.  Additional time was necessary to track down a particular fitting and for the glue to dry. Impressive 6 hours." He had this to say about the house;  "Now it has a residential fire sprinkler system that is cutting edge fire safety for the family."

 Girl
A happy Addy Montgomery (Tom's grandaughter) smiles for the camera after the house is completed

From Senator Brady's website: "Throughout his life, Senator Bill Brady has worked to make a difference in the lives of Illinois families, whether it was building affordable quality homes for them or working in his community and the General Assembly to give them a better quality of life and a brighter future." By approving and participating in this project Senator Brady has demonstrated his commitment to all of the above. Thank you.

 

Thank you also to Tom, Peg Paul of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, Tom Lia of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, and the rest of the people in the team who made this possible. One more family is safe in America today due to your commitment to life safety.

 TOM HARNSBERGER
Tom Harnsberger with the new home visible in the background

The show aired on October 25th and may be viewed here: http://abc.go.com/watch/extreme-makeover-home-edition/92244/239472/montgomery-family

Maria Figueroa

Chief-Phill-Jolley-South-Ca According to a report on WYFF-4 in Greenville, SC, firefighters are leading the charge to get sprinklers required in every new 1- and 2-family home in the state.

“It is there 24/7 on the scene already. It will control a fire setting and give you an opportunity to get out of that house,” Chief Phill Jolley of the Pelham-Batesville Fire Department, told the station.

The International Codes Council passed the new home requirement with a start date of January, 2011. The South Carolina Building Codes Council still needs to approve it. Residential sprinklers have been required in the following NFPA codes since the 2006 editions: NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code®; NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®; and NFPA 5000®, Building Construction and Safety Code®.

Home builders argue that the cost to them and home buyers is too great. Firefighters said that's a misconception. “The average home we are talking $2,000 to $3,000. Most people in new homes these days spend more on granite counter tops,” Jolley said.

Sixty-four people have died in house fires this year in South Carolina, according to the state fire marshal.

- Mike Hazell

Side-by-side demonstrations are having a great impact raising community awareness. After a recent demonstration, a young mother was heard saying, "these should be required by law." That is exactly the response that these demonstration are supposed to elicit. They show us that they are effective in increasing the public's knowledge about the role that fire sprinklers play protecting families in their homes.

In this post I will share with you how fire sprinkler advocates are "stepping up to the plate" in one community to raise awareness, getting lots of media attention. Way to go!

This example comes to us from Mooresville, N.C. Their demonstration drew substantial news coverage as you can view on this link: http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=11352705 They did an excellent job educating the media for this demonstration. As a result, they were able to reach a great number of people.

This dramatic live fire demonstration delivers the best return on investment to raise community awareness. As we gear up and forge ahead after the victory in Baltimore, raising community awareness and getting those moms on our side will go a long way in winning "where the rubber meets the road," to paraphrase a sprinkler advocate.

Visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website to request your side-by-side kit today and become a "Built for Life" fire department.

 

Calling it a critical step toward reducing deaths and destruction caused by home fires, President James M. Shannon applauded the recent vote by the International Code Council (ICC) to retain the code provision in the next edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) that all new one- and two-family homes to be equipped with home fire sprinklers. The 2009 IRC included this provision for the first time. Proposals were then submitted to remove the requirement for the next edition and have now been voted down. NFPA supplied testimony for support of the provision at the hearing prior to the vote.

Read the NFPA news release.

 

Fire sprinkler opponents have been using statistics from NFPA reports as arguments against home fire sprinklers. Every single time, these statistics are cited completely out of context. It is&#0160;vital&#0160;to be able to counter these arguments by having the right facts. The latest misused statistic comes from Table 5 on page 37&#0160;of the NFPA Sprinkler Report. &#0160;&#0160;Marty Ahrens very eloquently&#0160;clarifies it below and references the NFPA Home Structure Fires Report to explain it:&#0160;


 


 

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: ">Clarification on Table 5 in the sprinkler report.&#0160;&#0160;</span></span>


 

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: ">Apparently the builders are using it in a hand-out as a reason why sprinklers are not needed.&#0160; Table 5 shows &#0160;sprinkler performance by property use.&#0160; The first column in Table 5A shows that sprinklers operated and were effective in 43% of home fires, 39% of one- or two-family home fires, and &#0160;44% of apartment fires.&#0160; <span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span></span></font></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US"><o:p><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span>


 

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span> 


 

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: ">The builders are emphasizing this while choosing to ignore the fact that the fire was too small to activate the system more than half of the reported fires (56% of home fires, 57% of fires in one-or two family homes and 55% of apartment fires.)&#0160; *It is, in fact, a good thing that sprinklers do not operate in very small fires.&#0160; *&#0160;<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span></span></font></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US"><o:p><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span>


 

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span> 


 

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: ">Table 11 and page 17 of the text of the home fires report &#0160;show that 45% of the reported home fires had incident types indicating that they were confined or contained fires such as a cooking fire confined to the vessel of origin, a confined chimney or flue fire, a confined fuel burner or boiler fire, a trash, rubbish, or waste fire that did not spread to other contents or the structure, and confined compactor or incinerator fires.&#0160;&#0160;In addition, another 16% of the fires had a structure fire incident type other than those just mentioned and had flame damage confined to the object of origin.&#0160; Only 23% of reported home fires spread beyond the room of origin, but 77% of the home fire deaths resulted from these fires.&#0160; <span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span></span>


 

<span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US"><o:p><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span></o:p></span>


 

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span> 


 

<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: ">Table B of the sprinkler report shows that when sprinklers were present, flame damage was confined to the room of origin in 97% of the reported home fires.&#0160; Table 6A shows that when sprinklers operated, they were effective in 98% of the home fires and sprinklers operated and were effective in 97% of fires large enough to activate them.<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span></span></span>


 

<span lang="EN-US" style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; FONT-FAMILY: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: ES-TRAD; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 15px; FONT-FAMILY: "></span></span></span></span>&#0160;


 

<span lang="EN-US" style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; FONT-FAMILY: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: ES-TRAD; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 15px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 16px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 15px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 16px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 15px; FONT-FAMILY: ">Sprinklers are highly reliable and operate in fires only when they are needed</span>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>


 

<span lang="EN-US" style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; FONT-FAMILY: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: ES-TRAD; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;"></span>&#0160;


It is imperative to be able to rebut the arguments and clarify them with good knowledge of data. I hope that the above clarification helps everyone. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions about any of the statistics contained in an NFPA report.


 


[Maria Figueroa | mailto:mfigueroa@nfpa.org]

 

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