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Home improvement specialist Ron Hazelton hosted an interactive game called "Built for Life" at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition booth at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. Meeting attendees lined up at the booth to answer multiple-choice questions about home fire sprinklers. If they answered correctly, they got to spin the wheels of a slot machine for a chance to win a flat screen TV, Nintendo Wii games, a Husky wrench set, or a Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition cap.



- Mike Hazell 




NFPA vice president Gary Keith, chair of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, spoke at this morning's press conference at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas about the fire problem in the United States.

According to 2008 statistics, a residential fire occurs in the U.S. every 78 seconds.  These fires account for:

  • 84% of fire deaths
  • 81% of fire injuries
  • 69% of structure fire property damage
  • 62% of structural fireground firefighter deaths

"As a country, we've done a good job in reducing the number and severity of home fires through public education, improved codes and standards, and the wide-use of smoke alarms," said Mr. Keith. But he added that in order to take the next step towards saving lives and property from home fires, we need to take a serious look at residential sprinklers.

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative provides resources for the fire service and other sprinkler advocates who want to demonstrate the need for home fire sprinklers in their community. And the non-profit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition provides educational material for consumers, builders, the fire service, and others who are seeking unbiased, non-commercial information about home fire sprinkler systems.

Mr. Keith had a simple philosophy about adding the next level of fire protection in new homes. "If you build it, sprinkler it," he said. 

- Mike Hazell

FSI10news The January issue of Fire Sprinkler Initiative Update, our monthly e-newsletter, has hit the streets. (Read the issue or subscribe today - it's easy and free!)

In this issue, we highlight a huge step forward in our efforts: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and California have all passed measures to require fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes. We also outline some actions you can take to fight any anti-sprinkler legislation that may get filed in your jurisdiction.

We also talk about an event at the International Home Builders' Show next week in Vegas, where initial findings of a groundbreaking study on the environmental impact of home fire sprinklers will be released.

And on our blog, NFPA's Russ Sanders talks about a tragic fire that killed two young brothers on Christmas Day in Kentucky -- and how fire sprinklers could have made a huge difference in that event.

- Mike Hazell

Jim Shannon  NFPA President Jim Shannon praised the work of fire officials and fire safety advocates after three states (Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and California) adopted the 2009 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) which will require home fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes.

“The nation’s fire service and other fire safety advocates deserve tremendous recognition for their efforts to bring safety home by working to get sprinklers in every community,” Mr. Shannon said. Read more.

According to NFPA, about 3,000 people a year die in home fires. When fire sprinklers are present, the chances of dying in a home fire decrease by about 80 percent. Home fire sprinklers control heat, smoke and flames allowing occupants time to escape and giving firefighters a safer environment. 

Two brothers - 12-year-old Solon Bailey and 10-year-old William Bailey - died in a tragic house fire in Glenview, Kentucky on Christmas day. The boys were visiting their grandparents and were sleeping in an upstairs bedroom when the fire broke out. According to local news reports, preliminary autopsy results show that the boys died from smoke inhalation. Five other family members, including the boys' parents, managed to escape with injuries.

In this op/ed on, NFPA's Russ Sanders, former chief of the Louisville Fire Department, says that this terrible tragedy, along with other fire deaths in the Louisville Metro area in 2009, most likely could have been prevented with home fire sprinklers.

- Mike Hazell

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