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The “Bringing Safety Home” award recognizes a fire chief who uses educational materials from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and resources from NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative as a key part of a program to educate and ensure that decision-makers have information to upgrade or pass new residential fire sprinkler legislation at the local level. This year, the award went to Chief Tonya Hoover, Acting State Fire Marshal CAL FIRE, and was presented at the Fire Rescue International conference in Atlanta.  

Gary Keith & Tonya Hoover
NFPA's Gary Keith presents Acting State Fire Marshal (CA), Tonya Hoover, with this year's Bringing Safety Home award 

"Chief Hoover was chosen because she led the charge to facilitate a successful adoption and implementation of the residential fire sprinkler requirement in California,” says Gary S. Keith, Chair of HFSC’s Board and Vice President of NFPA’s Field Operations.      

Tonya Hoover

Chief Tonya Hoover speaks after being presented with the Bringing Safety Home award. 

- Karen Wallingford  

The winning tweet in the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition's (HFSC) competition to win a flip camera belonged to Rocky Lopes.

His personal story of installing home fire sprinklers, in 140 character or less, was a touching tribute to his mother: "My Mom gave us our home fire sprinklers. She wanted everyone in our home to be safe. Her final gift before her death is a lasting tribute." Congratulations Rocky!

If you have a personal story you would like to share, visit our website and share the details. 

- Karen Wallingford

The Westminster Patch reports that a home fire sprinkler activation saved three people on August 18th. In addition to saving these lives there was minimal fire damage to the home. The system was installed during the house's construction two years ago.Sprinklerhand

According to the article Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Jason Mowbray aptly stated; “the public often doesn't hear about the successes of these residential sprinkler systems because the fire damage and human injury are avoided, leaving little to report.”

"It's not exciting news but it's important to get the word out that these sprinkler systems do work in saving lives and minimizing damage from fire and smoke. Because they work so well, we often don't hear about them;" the patch quotes Mowbray.

The news release from the fire department informs that Suzanne Wagner, her 2-year-old daughter, and a caregiver, were upstairs when a smoke alarm alerted them to the fire Thursday evening in their home. The two-story home was equipped with a residential automatic sprinkler system which controlled the fire allowing the occupants time to escape to safety.

Fire Marshal Mowbray has done a great job highlighting this single family home sprinkler save and the importance of home fire sprinkler requirements. Are you using home fire incidents and home fire sprinkler saves as “teachable moments”?

On the scene, or after the fact with a press release; the existence of a fire sprinkler system that saved home occupants from death or injury; or the lack of one that may have prevented a tragedy, must be publicized. This will help to “educate and let people know how effective these sprinklers are” as Fire Marshal Mowbray stated.

Click here to read the full article

Maria FIgueroa

Homesystemlarg The non-profit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and State Farm Insurance have teamed up to provide fire sprinkler protection in new homes that will be occupied by low income families and people with disabilities. According to HFSC’s Peg Paul, “the program’s intent is to provide protection to those at highest risk of fire death, and to provide education to major stakeholders on the importance of home fire sprinklers.”

An online article informs that on Wednesday, August 17th from noon-5:00pm, HFSC and local fire service organizations will be hosting an open house for the first home built by the program in Frankfort, IL. Using money from the grant and with donations from numerous local organizations disabled homeowner Dan Turner, will be protected by a fire sprinkler system. An educational demonstration will also be included.

Fire sprinkler systems represent critical protection in homes occupied by people at high risk of fire death; older adults, young children, and people with disabilities. These high risk groups may not be able to exit on their own, even with working smoke alarms. They may need the additional escape time provided by home fire sprinkler systems; or to be rescued by the arriving fire force, if incapable of self rescue. Low income is also a factor in fire death risk.

Fire departments that participate in HFSC’s “Built for Life” program are able to apply to bring this project to their community. Contact HFSC at 815-464-8001.

Maria Figueroa

Common Voices, an Advocates’ Coalition of individuals affected by fire, has received two Bronze Telly Awards – one of the most prestigious awards in advertising and video and film production – for a fire safety public service announcement campaign, as well as for one of the individual videos within the campaign: "Sleep with a Firefighter"


The award-winning Common Voices PSA campaign was among more than 11,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents and is comprised of six testimonies from advocates who are either burn survivors themselves or have lost loved ones to fire. The advocates each tell their own compelling story, using their harrowing experiences as a way of promoting lifesaving fire sprinklers. 

See more videos about the life-saving impact of home fire sprinklers on our website.

- Karen Wallingford

The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) is the recipient of a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant (through the Grant Programs Directorate of FEMA) to underwrite a multi-faceted U.S. educational program. The funding will help fire departments increase local activities that improve knowledge of the dangers of home fires and the value of installing home fire sprinkler systems.  It will also educate homebuilders and others to refute common myths and increase interest in the life-saving sprinkler technology.

Highlights of HFSC grant include a national program to provide 50 fire departments with $1,000 stipends so they can build and present educational side-by-side flashover and sprinkler demonstrations to the public, and $1,000 worth of local fire safety educational media for another 50 departments.

- Karen Wallingford

A video produced by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition was featured in the online version of Builder Magazine recently, providing an easy-to-follow narrative on the installation of residential fire sprinklers. Aimed at providing the builders community with the myths and facts regarding the design and installation of home fire sprinkler systems, the video also promotes available educational resources, pointing out that there are trade ups available for builders, and that the marketability of their products could be increased when sprinkler systems are installed.

Check out other videos provided by the Fire Sprinkler Initiative. 

- Karen Wallingford

Midway Header

After a successful activation of a fire sprinkler system in a multifamily structure fire Midway Fire Rescue in Pawleys Island, South Carolina issued a press release highlighting the importance of the system in protecting life and property.

WMBF News online published an article based on the press release, stating; “If there had not been a fire sprinkler system in the building, the building would have suffered considerable losses and the lives of the residents and firefighters would have been in danger.”

The end of the piece contains the following bullet points:

  • Dramatically reduced the risk of personal injury to residents and firefighters
  • Saved a valuable community asset
  • Saved the insurance company from paying out huge fire losses
  • Saved the water district from huge water losses
  • Saved the county and the state from revenue losses
  • Reduced the need for additional firefighting units
  • Only 1 sprinkler head activated to contained the fire
  • And showed how valuable these systems are.

Emphasizing the many benefits that fire sprinklers provide in residential structure fires assists to increase community awareness and highlights the importance of including this minimum model safety requirement in all new one- and two-family homes.

Kudos to Midway Fire Rescue. Is your fire department prepared to follow its lead? Every fire department and public information officer should issue similar press releases immediately after these fires. Be ready to give the media the important “sound bites” on the difference a fire sprinkler makes.

Maria Figueroa

Berwyn Side-by-side burn demonstration "National Night Out", an annual event to raise public safety awareness endorsed by several towns
and cities across the country, was the stage for the town of Berwyn, Illinois to provide its community with an opportunity to witness the life saving power of residential sprinklers. According to the town's mayor, the primary focus of the event is to "allow the citizens to see how their police and fire departments keep them safe", providing the side-by-side demonstration with an effective platform to make the case that sprinklers save lives

- Karen Wallingford

NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative has created one succinct resource to spread the word on insurance discounts for sprinklers systems. Combining data pulled from the cost assessment report by NFPA's Fire Protection Research Foundation, and the ISO fact sheet on sprinklers, advocates now have one easy-to-reference fact sheet to use in educating their communities.

Discount savings ranged from 0 to 10% among all companies and agencies surveyed, with an average discount savings percentage premium of 7%, while credits for installation of fire sprinkler protection were available up to 13% for full sprinkler protection (including all areas of a home, including attics, bathrooms, closets,and attached structures) and 8% for fire sprinkler protection of all areas of a home excluding the attic, bathrooms, closets, and attached structures as long as fire detection equipment is installed in those areas where sprinklers are omitted.

More fact sheets are available to convince local authorities of the values of sprinkler system installation.

- Karen Wallingford

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a biennial program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. This year, all of the model homes are required to include a residential fire sprinkler system per the 2009 International Residential Code. As a result, the Decathlon is a perfect platform to showcase the life and property saving value of sprinklers while providing community leaders and law makers the opportunity to discuss the details involved in building with them - especially in homes of the future that foster environmental sustainability. According to a recent article in the Journal of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, common feedback about sprinkler systems from team members involved in the building of the model homes include its ease of installation, availability of resources for installation and relative low cost of the completed system installation.

The 2011 Solar Decathlon will take place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23–Oct. 2. Open to the public free of charge, visitors can tour the houses to collect ideas for their own homes, and learn abot building with sprinklers. 

Encourage your local Congressman or elected official to attend the Decathlon this year, and provide them with the facts about residential sprinkler systems to pass legislation in your state.

- Karen Wallingford

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