The following piece, authored by NFPA President Jim Shannon, was featured this morning on the Opinion page of the Cape Cod Times Web site:
A Mashpee family of five narrowly escaped a fire that ripped through their home Nov. 28, leaving them temporarily homeless. Firefighters on the scene encountered flames coming from two upstairs bedrooms when they arrived. Thankfully no one was injured.
Others around the country were not so lucky. According to the U.S. Fire Administration's Quick Response Program, news media reported at least six people died in home fires in communities all across the U.S. that same day. In fact, National Fire Protection Association statistics show nearly 3,000 people a year die in home fires.
About 84 percent of all civilian fire deaths occur in homes, the place we want to feel safest. Yet technology exists to save lives and property — home fire sprinklers. They should be in every new home.
Sprinklers respond quickly and effectively to fire. When sprinklers are present, they save lives. The numbers are convincing.
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 protected against significant property loss — sprinklers reduce the average property loss by 71 percent per fire.