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 A story by WCIV News 4 Charleston describes Charles Stewart's one man mission for residential fire sprinklers. Mr. Stewart is the owner of Phoenix Distributing, a plumbing contracting company that installs potable water home fire sprinklers systems. As reported, his direction is derived by his family. Stewart's father was a fire chief and his son is a firefighter for St. Andrews Fire Department.

The South Carolina Building Code Council adopted the 2009 IRC with the home fire sprinkler provision and an implementation date of January 1, 2011. Later, legislation was passed that delayed the enforcement of the requirement until January 1, 2014. The requirement has come under attack by the home building industry.

SC_FSI LogoMr. Stewart is to be admired for his tenacity but he is not alone in his quest. The entire life safety community and advocates in SC have united under one umbrella, the SC Fire Sprinkler Coalition, to ensure that the requirement stays in the code and to fight any anti-sprinkler legislation. The coalition has defined goals and strategy to ensure a smooth transition as SC gets ready for 2014. The coalition model has been used extensively to tackle community risk reduction. A collective effort that brings all stakeholders to the table is the best way to tackle the issue.

Visit the SC Fire Sprinkler Coalition to learn more about home fire sprinklers in SC.

Maria Figueroa

Murray Pound is vice president of Operations for Gold Seal Homes in Alberta, Canada. Founded in 1989, his company has built the majority of the residences in the town of Carstairs (population 3,500). He relishes that accomplishment, but he’s more pleased that every home that his company has built since the summer of 2008 is safeguarded by residential fire sprinklers. Read "The Crusader", an NFPA Journal® feature about Mr. Pound.

“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.”

During NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in Chicago, Mr. Pound talked about his journey to becoming an advocate for home fire sprinklers.

"I knew about sprinklers for years," he said. "I had talked with my local fire chief, local building officials, and the chief from another town. My father and I are business partners, so I called him up and said, 'Hey dad, what do you think about fire sprinklers?' He started hitting me with a barrage of myths, the same myths that he'd been fed by my industry - they're too expensive, they they take too much time, customers don't want them, they don't work, they'll freeze - all the arguments you've heard before. But you know what? That was my dad, and you believe what your dad says, so we went on building houses without sprinklers."

In this video, Mr. Pound describes an event that changed his mind about home fire sprinklers.

 

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