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2011

As part of its Safety Awareness Fair to promote campus safety, the University of Iowa held a side-by-side demonstration to educate students on the effectiveness of fire sprinklers. Through the demonstration, students witnessed just how quickly a fire spreads and how quickly a sprinkler can activate, preventing extensive damage. In collaboration with the Iowa City Fire Department, the school's student government hosted the event to spread the safety message to the community.

 

Unable to host your own sprinkler demonstration? The Fire Sprinkler Initiative has many available videos on our website

- Karen Wallingford

 

An aparment buidling in Ontario, Canada was spared last week when a fire in one of its units was promptly extinguished by a sprinkler head. According to an article in the Our Kingston online newspaper, the fire started on the stovetop in a 10th floor unit. According to the article, the smoke alarm in the unit had been disabled, but a single sprinkler head was able to extinguish the fire before it set off the building alarm.


 

Residential sprinkler systems save lives and property. See more sprinkler success stories on our website.


 

- Karen Wallingford


 

Massachusetts sprinkler initiative adDid you know that every national model building code in the United States includes a provision for fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes?

And in Massachusetts, every major fire organization -- the state fire marshal, fire chiefs, firefighters and fire prevention officers from across the Commonwealth -- supports home fire sprinklers in new homes.

But in a recent action, the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) promulgated a building code for the Commonwealth and removed the provision for fire sprinklers in new construction. The new code became effective August 4, 2011.

Aren’t our lives and homes worth protecting?
NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative, supported by fire organizations from across Massachusetts, says the BBRS should reverse its action to better protect the citizens and firefighters of the Commonwealth, or at a minimum, push out the implementation date for the provision to become effective.

There are several ways you can take action for safer homes in Massachusetts. Visit www.firesprinklersma.org to learn more about:

  • attending the BBRS public hearing on November 8.
  • writing or calling the BBRS to ask that the provision for fire sprinklers in new homes be added back to the building code.
  • placing our print ad and radio spot on your website or blog.

Don't allow substandard homes to be built in Massachusetts. Learn the facts and how you can help in this effort by visiting http://www.firesprinklersma.org/

The city of Anderson showed support for a residential sprinkler mandate this past weekend when they held a side-by-side sprinkler demonstration hosted by the South Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Association. This marked the fourth event to be conducted in the state as part of a campaign to build awareness about the life and property saving power of home sprinklers. Presently, the legislation to require home sprinklers in new one- and two- family homes in the state has been delayed until January 2014.

NFPA's regional director, Maria Figueroa attended the event along with home fire sprinkler advocate, Princella Lee Bridges to show support for the mandate. As Ms. Figueroa told the Independent Mail, “We’ve got people who are dying, and they are dying needlessly.”

Firefighters extinguish blaze during sprinkler demonstration in Anderson SC
Firefighters prepare to extinguish blaze in un-sprinklered room

Princella Lee Bridges speaks at sprinkler demonstration in Anderson SC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Princella Lee Bridges stands in front of the sprinkler protected room as she 
addresses the audience following the side-by-side demonstration 

If you are looking for a powerful tool to educate the public on the effectiveness of home fire sprinklers, sprinkler demonstration kits are available through the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Visit our online resources for other valuable tools to spread the advocacy message that home fire sprinklers save lives. 

- Karen Wallingford

Murray Pound is the owner of Gold Seal Homes in Alberta, Canada. One hundred percent of the homes he builds are outfitted with fire sprinklers. “I think builders face a lot of obstacles today in that some of the information they are given regarding residential fire sprinklers isn’t completely accurate” says Mr. Pound. “They start to realize sprinklers are not as costly as they thought, and are not as hard to install as they thought, and people do actually want them when asked.”

  

"Faces of Fire" is a project of the National Fire Protection Association funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency Fire Prevention and Safety Grant. The campaign is designed to put a face on the life-saving impact of home sprinklers. With funding from the U.S. Fire Administration, this campaign features real people telling personal stories to demonstrate the need for sprinklers.

- Karen Wallingford 

As part of Fire Prevention Week, the North Palm Beach Fire Rescue team put on a side-by-side demonstration during their annual fire safety fair. The demonstration provided a powerful glimpse of the effectiveness of home fire sprinklers. 

  
 
Advocating for residential sprinklers, Lt. Andrew Lezza told News Channel 5, "Within two minutes, the sprinkler activated, everything was out, and everybody would have been safe. That's why it's really important to look into residential sprinklers."

As part of the Built for Life Fire Depratment program, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition provides sprinkler demontration kits to Fire Departments. Sign up today!

- Karen Wallingford

The latest in a series of side-by-side sprinkler demonstrations leading an advocacy effort in South Carolina was held this past weekend in Lancaster, hosted by the Lancaster Fire Department and the South Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Association. As of January 2014, all new one- and two- family homes in the state will be required to have sprinkler systems installed per the 2009 International Residential Code. 

The live burn was an opportunity for people to witness the effectiveness of a residential sprinkler system in saving lives and property, and according to the Lancaster Herald, drew a crowd of hundreds to the local Walmart parking lot - a crowd that saw first hand how fast a fire can spread after the smoke alarm goes off. According to the article, the unsprinklered room in this demonstration was engulfed by flames in just 90 seconds and had reached temperatures exceeding 500 degrees.

The Herald Online published this slideshow featuring before, during, and after photos of the event.

- Karen Wallingford

Last week, to continue spreading safety messages throughout South Carolina, the town of Newberry featured a side-by-side sprinkler demonstration on the campus of Newberry College. Students, along with the general public, attended the event as part of a safety demonstration put on by the Newberry Fire Department and South Carolina Fire and Life Safety Education Association. "Fire safety, especially in a college dorm, doesn't always get much thought,” Fire Chief Keith Minick told The Newberry Observer. “People get so used to hearing the fire alarm, they ignore the fire alarm. And they tend to stay in their dorms and not practice getting out of the building."

 

Princella Lee Bridges, a former operating room nurse who was severely burned in 1992, was in attendance to discuss how her life changed following a fire in her home. 

Side-by side sprinkler demonstration kits are available through the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Raise awareness and spread the word that fire sprinklers save lives and property today.

- Karen Wallingford 

October FSI NewsletterThe October issue of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter includes a new Faces of Fire video featuring Murray Pound, a builder in Alberta, Canada who outfits all of the homes he builds with fire sprinklers. Also highlighted is an on-air interview with NFPA's Russ Sanders on the cost debate of residential sprinkler systems, and a recently published ad in AirTran's in-flight magazine.

Sign up today - it's free, informative and will keep you up to date on anti-sprinkler legislation and the ways in which NFPA is challenging it, as well as other sprinkler-related news.

- Karen Wallingford

The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently posted a video of a side-by-side burn demonstration that took place in Chesterfield, VA.  Hosted by the Chesterfield Fire Department, the powerful footage shows the extent of damage that can occur when sprinklers are not present. "While residential sprinklers will never replace the need for firefighters, it is our hope that in the future, these built-in firefighters will be as common in the residential structure as a smoke detector is today," said Edward Loy Senter, Chief of Chesterfield Fire and EMS.

 

Looking for a sprinkler demonstration kit to host a similar event in your community? Contact the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Sprinkler demonstrations provide a powerful educational resource to spread the safety message of residential sprinkler systems.

- Karen Wallingford

A home in Crestline (CA) burned to the ground last February, leaving just one survivor to witness the rebuild of her family's home. The new home is being outfitted with a sprinkler system. According to an article in Mountain News, the tragic fire left just a skeleton of the structure where Dawn Alexander once lived. Her husband and teenage son perished in the fire. 

Crestline Home Lost in Fire
Photo: Glenn Barr, Mountain News
 
Crestline Home Lost in Fire Rebuilt
Photo: Glenn Barr, Mountain News
 
When the fire started in the early morning hours, Mrs. Alexander's husband, Victor was awakened by smoke alarms. After getting his wife to safety, he reentered the house to rescue their son. Unfortunately by that time, flames and smoke had taken over and the two were unable to escape. 

Fire sprinklers save lives and property. Smoke alarms alert occupants to the presence of danger, but do nothing to extinguish the fire. Use the tools our website to advocate for a sprinkler mandate in your community.

- Karen Wallingford

As areas around the country embrace building codes requiring residential sprinklers system in new homes, debates flare up between builders, developers, homeowners and fire officials. The main point of contention continues to be one of cost. While builders and developers quote astronomical numbers for the installation of a sprinkler system that would then fall on the shoulders of home owners, fire officials and fire safety professionals cite the affordability of this proven technology based on extensive research. For less than one would pay to upgrade their carpet, homeowners can protect their families from home fires. According to a report from NFPA's Fire Protection Research Foundation, on average, the cost to install home fire sprinklers is $1.61 per square foot. "What it really comes down to is priorities" says NFPA's Regional Director and retired firefighter Russ Sanders, "What's more important? Upgrading your carpet, or protecting your family from fire?"

According to Mr. Sanders, "on average, we are losing eight people every day in a home fire." Residential fire sprinklers are a proven and affordable life-saving technology, and with numbers like these, it is as important as ever to support the requirement for home fire sprinklers in new construction in your community. Listen to the complete interview, and access our website for a complete list of advocacy resources

- Karen Wallingford

Phoenix Society and NFPA logo

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors are delivering a “one-two punch,” according to a recent article in the New England Post.

The organizations leveraged the Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress this past week in Cincinnati to help advocate for the prevention of burn injuries, especially as it relates to codes, standards, education and more.

“It was an incredible event as always, with over 800 participants,” said Amy Acton, executive director of the Phoenix Society. Acton mentioned the Congress also enjoys the support and presence of “healthcare professionals and fire service professionals.”

Among them in Cincinnati was Gary Keith, Vice President of Field Operations for the NFPA. Representing both the NFPA and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), Keith spoke at the Congress’ ‘Walk of Remembrance,’ an event honoring those who have died due to burn injuries. Acton said that Keith’s focus was home fire sprinkler systems, encouraging those impacted by a burn injury to “talk louder about the issues, (and) getting codes passed at a national level that will require sprinkler systems for all new homes that are constructed.”

The article also brought awareness to volunteer firefighter and Keith’s fellow NFPA employee, Robert F. Duval. Inspired by the Phoenix Society and Keith’s call to action, Duval will be participating in the Hartford, CT based marathon on behalf of Team Phoenix, a running group that helps support the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.

Watch Amy Acton discuss the conference, and the opportunities it provided to advocate for home fire sprinklers in this interview on Cincinnati's Fox 19.

 

A fire that began in the basement of a two-story townhouse in Abingdon was successfully extinguished by a residential sprinkler system last weekend. The sprinkler system prevented the fire from spreading, and extinguished the blaze before further damage to the property could be made. Fire personnel responded to the call and discovered the sprinkler system activated, saving the life of the man who lived there. 

Elsewhere in Maryland, a fire that started in the living room of an apartment home was extinguished by its sprinkler system. The residents would have been trapped inside had it not been for the successful activation of home sprinklers. According to an article in the local paper, the fire was the result of a young boy's fascination with fire. The National Fire Protection Association has created many fire safety educational materials to prevent accidents such as these from happening.

- Karen Wallingford

As a resident of Apple Valley (CA), where sprinklers have been a state-wide requirement in all new one- and two- family homes since January, former firefighter Don Cox is preparing to move into one of the first houses in his community to be outfitted with the protection of a sprinkler system. “I think it’s a great thing,” said Mr. Cox, according to a recent article in the Victor Valley Daily Press, citing that the relative low cost of installing sprinklers is "nothing compared to the cost of a fire."

The California Building Standards Commission voted to adopt the 2009 International Residential Code, including its requirements for automatic fire sprinkler systems in new one- and two- family dwellings, in January. 

- Karen Wallingford

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