Chesterfield, VA Fire Marshal Robbie Dawson and NFPA's Maria Figueroa were featured in a recent news story on the NBC affiliate in VA about the current debate to bring sprinklers to that state. Marshal Dawson correctly points out the need to have sprinklers because, while smoke alarms are a critical piece of home fire safety protection, they aren't always enough. He cited the fact that in Henrico County in the past quarter they had seven fire deaths, five of them occurring with with working smoke alarms. Advocates know the facts. Smoke alarms alert residents to a fire. Sprinklers control or extinguish a fire while the fire department is en route and give people more time to escape. You need both - smoke alarms and sprinklers - to give your and your family the best protection.This topic was covered in great detail in a previous blog post.
The piece also contained one of the most effective tools to make the case for home fire sprinklers, a side by side demonstration where one room had sprinklers and one did not. The visuals are compelling as the unsprinklered room goes to flashover as the fire is quickly extinguished in the sprinklered room.
All model safety codes now include a requirement for home fire sprinklers in new one and two family homes. The VA Board of Housing and Community Development is considering whether to adopt this requirement.