by Gary Keith, NFPA Vice President of Field Operations
This past summer, the worst drought in more than 50 years fed wildfires and crippled crop production throughout the West, the Midwest, and the South. The historic combination of widespread high heat and too little rain dramatically underscored our reliance on water and the critical need to conserve it.
Ironically, responsible water use is one of the most obvious benefits of home fire sprinkler systems. In fact, a study conducted by FM Global for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) showed that fire sprinklers reduce water use to fight a home fire by as much as 91 percent and dramatically reduce water pollution resulting from suppression efforts.
Nevertheless, water supply requirements for sprinklers are not well understood and often are not accurately presented. That’s due in large part to groups working to prevent the adoption of state and local residential fire sprinkler requirements, which often quote erroneous claims that home fire sprinkler systems require complicated public water supply connections and increase demand for water services.