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PEg Paul
HFSC's Peg Paul
As the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition's (HFSC) communications manager, my husband and I decided to protect our family from fire and retrofit our home with a fire sprinkler system 11 years ago.

I'll always remember the feeling of relief the day our fire sprinkler system was installed. Our daughters were 10- and 7-years old.

I felt that same relief this morning when I learned that my youngest daughter, who is now a freshman at the University of Arizona and a resident of Pueblo de la Cienega Hall, was protected by a fire sprinkler system during an early morning fire in a dormitory.

I was very happy to see Tucson Fire Dept. Capt. Jeff Langejans comment to the media about fire sprinklers saving lives.
Jeff LaFlam
Jeff LaFlam speaks at NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in Chicago, April 2012
Jeff LaFlam, Fire Marshal for the Northshore (WA) Fire Department, spoke about adopting a residential fire sprinkler ordinance in his community at NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in Chicago in April 2012. His experience is documented here and includes steps that are vital for success. He
also offers a summary of the residential sprinkler adoption process that was used in Kenmore, Washington.

Jeff says that the adoption of an ordinance requiring the installation of fire sprinkler systems in residential occupancies can be a long and difficult process. The first step in the process is to become extremely knowledgeable about these systems. This includes technical, historical, research and data. Developing a network of resources and experts in the field will pay substantial dividends throughout the education and adoption process.

According to Jeff these are essential steps:

  • Educate fire department personnel at all levels
  • Gain the support of the fire chief and board of commissioners (if applicable)
  • Educate the community
  • Work closely with water purveyors
  • Educate city officials

Read the Case study: Adopting a Residential Fire Sprinkler Ordinance in Kenmore, WA for more information

!|src=|alt=Renoburn|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Renoburn|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c32cde225970b!As reported by Sparks Tribunefirefighters conducted a side by side live burn in the parking lot of the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Tuesday morning to demonstrate the many benefits of home fire sprinklers.


Bob King, public information officer for Sparks Fire Department and the Northern Nevada Fire Protection Committee made a good point about the difference between the flow of water from a single sprinkler and the large amount of water that firefighters use to extinguish a home fire. A Fire Protection Research Foundation study  revealed that during 10 minutes of operation water consumption by fire sprinklers is approximately 280 gallons. Based on a survey of the reported water used by fire services at home fires, an average of 3,524 gallons of water was discharged by firefighting at homes without fire sprinklers; representing ten times more water usage by firefighters.


The article correctly&#0160;stated that State Farm Insurance  is an advocate for home sprinklers because of their ability to protect property. Robert Villegas, public information officer for State Farm said&#0160;that Nevada residents who are insured with State Farm receive a 10 percent discount for homes protected by fire sprinklers. He added; “It is not just protecting the home, it decreases the chance for injury as well.” Villegas is absolutely correct; NFPA statistics  reveal that 84% of home fire deaths occurred in one- and two-family dwellings in 2011. If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80% when sprinklers are present.</p>

Learn how your fire department can participate in theBuilt for Life Programand be eligible to receive a&#0160;stipend from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition  to conduct a side-by-side live burn demonstration in your community.

CookingAccording to a new report released by NFPA, cooking remains the top cause of home structure fires. Based on research by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the report also cited that cooking was the number one cause of home structure fires, both reported and unreported.

CPSC found that in 2004-2005, for every household cooking fire reported to the fire department, U.S. households experienced 50 cooking equipment fires that they did not report.

Forty-two percent of reported home fires started in the kitchen or cooking area. These fires were the third leading cause of home fire deaths (15 percent) and leading cause of home fire injuries (37 percent).

It is crucial to understand that although there were more fires starting in the kitchen, smoking materials are still the leading cause of home fire deaths.

The same report finds that the majority of home fire deaths were caused by fires originating in the bedroom, the living room, family room, or den. This is the reason why NFPA 13D systems require all living areas, not just the kitchen, to be protected by home fire sprinkler systems, .

For more information download the home fires involving cooking equipment fact sheet and cooking safety tips

ChildrendiedAs reported by two children died and a babysitter was injured in an early afternoon fire in Pittsburgh, PA. Fire sprinklers in the home could have saved the children's lives. Neighbors said they could hear the smoke alarm sounding and the children screaming.

Pittsburgh fire Lt. Gregory Niedermeyer crawled on his hands and knees through the thick smoke hoping that reports of two  young children trapped on the second floor were false. “I was praying, I was hoping that nobody was inside,” said Lt. Niedermeyer after he and his crew pulled the nearly lifeless body of one child out of a rear bedroom of the burning brick duplex on Mirror Street. “It was too hot. There was too much smoke.”

According to NFPA statistics, young children and other groups of occupants are at highest risk of dying in a home fire. The two children who died in this incident were 3 and 4 years old. Children of this age are unable to make decisions about escaping - especially this fast moving, extremely toxic fire - due to modern contents made of plastic materials found in today's homes. Fire sprinklers provide additional escape time, which may help save the lives of occupants when fire strikes the home. Fire sprinklers also provide a safer environment for firefighters. Luckily, no firefighters were injured, or worse, in the incident.

Ironically, the State of PA prohibits the requirement of fire sprinklers in new homes. We will continue to see these kinds of tragedies in PA for decades to come.

Princella Lee Bridges and Jim Shannon
Princella Lee Bridges of Greenville, SC, and NFPA President Jim Shannon spoke about the value of home fire sprinklers at a recent presentation at NFPA headquarters.

On what began as a normal evening in March of 1992, a quick turn of events and the blur of maternal instinct and panic changed Princella Lee Bridge’s life forever. Princella was busy with the evening’s chores of making dinner and helping her daughter with homework when her son ran into the room to tell her the home’s heating unit was on fire. Princella went for the fire extinguisher, but quickly realized that it was time to get her family out of the burning house. Using their escape plan, the family sought safety outside.

“My son and my dad went out, and so did I. And I just assumed that my daughter went with us,” Princella says. “That’s not what happened.”

When Princella, an operating room nurse and Desert Storm veteran, didn’t see her daughter outside, she was frantic. She shouted to nearby firefighters that her daughter was still inside, then ran back into the burning home to rescue her on her own. In the meantime, firefighters had found her daughter and had begun treating her for smoke inhalation. The injuries that Princella suffered were much more serious. With burns on 49 percent of her body, Princella remained in a coma for two months.

In this video clip, Princella talks about how her life changed after being burned.


Princella has become a strong advocate for home fire sprinklers, and is featured as one of NFPA's "Faces of Fire", a campaign designed to showcase real people telling personal stories to demonstrate the need for sprinklers. Learn more about the "Faces of Fire" campaign and NFPA's efforts to promote the installation of sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes.

Fire hydrantWith the growing adoption of residential sprinkler ordinances in communities across the country, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) commissioned a study to assess the community impacts of water consumption in sprinklered and unsprinklered properties.

The study, Fire Flow Water Consumption in Sprinklered and Unsprinklered Buildings: An Assessment of Community Impacts, analyzes the estimated total fire protection water used in various building types, with and without fire sprinkler protection. It estimates the amount of water expected to be used per year for commissioning, inspection, testing and maintenance (CITM) of buildings with sprinkler systems.

The report reveals that the calculated water used during a fire when a building is protected by a fire sprinkler system is less than that of an unsprinklered building.

The findings conclude that an owner of an unsprinklered building receives the full benefit of unlimited water through the public water system in a fire scenario without an increased cost, while the owner of a sprinklered building pays for the water used.

Read the study report. letter to the editor posted on urges the passage of a bill in NJ that would require fire sprinklers in all newly constructed one- and two-family homes.

NJ fireWritten by David Kurasz, Executive Director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, and citing a recent tragedy in Berkeley, NJ on the early morning of Sept. 9, 2012, when a “quick-moving
fire claimed the life of an elderly man
” and injured one firefighter, the letter highlights the ability of home fire sprinkler systems to save lives and reduce risk to firefighters.

“Despite heroic efforts by the fire department and first responders, the grew too intense too quickly, making it difficult to enter the residence,” Kurasz said. He explains that NJ has seen an increase in the number of house and apartment fires recently with “catastrophic property loss and in this case a tragic loss of life.”

To prevent these tragedies Kurasz points out that these tragedies can be prevented with the presence of fire sprinklers to mitigate risk to individuals affected by the blaze; both occupants and responding firefighters.

Kurasz informs that there is pending legislation in New Jersey - bill A1570 – “which would mandate fire sprinklers for all newly constructed one-and two-family homes and that, “if passed, this legislation would help to reduce the devastating effects of fires and help protect New Jersey residents in the places where they should feel safest -- their homes.” home fire sprinkler advocates are united under the umbrella of the NJ Fire Sprinkler Coalition. If you would like more information about the coalition visit its website or contact NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Specialist Tim Travers.

Read David Kurasz" letter

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