Skip navigation
All Places > FSI > Blog > 2013 > February


February 2013 Previous month Next month

From the March/April 2012 issue of NFPA Journal®

Mfg homeNFPA staff members offered their expertise at a meeting with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) federal advisory committee on manufactured housing, also known as the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). Among the items considered were residential sprinklers in new manufactured homes.

The MHCC discussed the best way to address how the federal standard for manufactured housing should consider the sprinkler issue. While an across-the-board mandate for sprinklers was not supported, the question ultimately came down to what criteria should be used when a system is installed.

Following all testimony, the committee deliberated on a range of issues, from the need to mandate the systems for new homes to what rules should be considered if the home is in a jurisdiction requiring sprinklers. The recommended language that was ultimately agreed to by the MHCC includes design criteria based on the requirements of NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes. The language also includes a section that notes “fire sprinkler systems are not required…however, when a manufacturer installs a fire sprinkler system, this section establishes the requirements for the installation of a fire sprinkler system in a manufactured home.” This language marks the first time federal standards will address sprinklers in any form.

Read the entire NFPA Journal article

WA_FSIThe Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition participated recently as an exhibitor at the Seattle Home Show to demonstrate the importance of home fire sprinklers to all those who stopped at their booth. In addition to the booth, the coalition held fire sprinkler trailer demonstrations throughout the show.

Greg Rogers, chairman of the coalition said; “It was really a great experience and we could not be more pleased with the 58+ shifts that where covered by our volunteers working more than a total of 240 hours to cover the 10 days, not including the time spent planning the event and getting it set-up and taken down.” NFPA's Jeff Hudson assisted with the event coordination and staffing. Rogers added that the best part was getting the chance to speak with people and recognizing the far-and-wide impact that participation at this event brought.

Keep up the great work Washington!WASprinklerfacebook

NFFF_logoThe National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has issued a call-to-action online letter campaign in support of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act.

The Act “amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow: (1) 100% expensing in a current taxable year of the cost of an automated fire sprinkler system, as defined by this Act; and (2) accelerated depreciation (i.e., a 15-year recovery period) of such an automated fire sprinkler systems that is installed in a building where the floor of any occupiable story is greater than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.”

The online letter campaign is intended to let your senators and representatives know that you support the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act. From the call- to-action missive: “Your support is key, as we hope to move this important life safety legislation forward. It's time for there to be an economic incentive for business owners to install fire sprinklers, and we are hopeful that our efforts will encourage Congress to pass this legislation.”

Go to the NFFF site to take action

IBHSThe Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) is urging policymakers to support new residential construction standards that call for the installation of fire sprinkler systems in all new one- and two- family home construction.

All national model codes now include the requirement. Several states have prohibited the adoption through legislation, or have left it up to local governments to adopt.

IBHS President and CEO Julie Rochman said there could be cases of legislators feeling apprehensive of the new design of the sprinkler systems. “There are people who are a little afraid of new technology, perhaps don’t understand how sophisticated it is, how well it works, how efficient it is...” said Rochman. Home fire sprinkler systems are vastly different from the commercial systems most are familiar with. Systems designed and installed in accordance with NFPA 13D standard are cost effective and efficient.

This action by IBHS is mainly due to NFPA’s U.S. Experience with Sprinklers report which reveals that the death rate in homes with sprinklers is 83% lower than homes without sprinklers. The direct property damage in homes with sprinklers is 69% lower than homes without sprinklers. Fire sprinklers respond quickly and effectively to control and often completely extinguish a fire, providing occupants with additional escape time, and a safer environment for responding fire crews.

The current legislative session has started or will soon start in your state. One of the goals of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative is give you the tools you need to advocate for requirements of fire sprinkler systems in all new one- and two-family homes. Here are some tips* on how to effectively interact with lawmakers.

  • Technology has made it easy to send blast e-mails, prewritten faxes, and form letters. But nothing compares to the value of a personalized and thoughtful contact with a lawmaker.

  • Policy-makers are busy people. Every day, they receive dozens (if not hundreds) of requests. Keep your letter short and to-the-point.

  • Make sure your letter (or e-mail) mentions the problem, the remedy (often supporting or opposing a bill), and your personal interest in the issue.

  • Make sure to specify how the legislation would help - or hurt – constituents in that lawmaker's district. If the legislation has a bill number, mention it in your correspondence.

  • One-time contacts with legislators can have value, but developing a relationship with the lawmaker and his or her staff is preferable. Stay in touch and maintain regular contact with key policy makers.

  • Use the proper title for each public official. If you're unsure, call the policy maker's office and ask the receptionist for guidance.

  • When calling a legislative office, ask for the legislator. If the lawmaker is not available, ask for the aide handling your issue.

  • Don't be disappointed if you get a staff member instead of the legislator. They often know as much (or more) about your issue, and are often the people the lawmaker leans on prior to a vote. Treat staff members the same way you would the legislator.

  • Maintain an e-mail list of supporters so you can quickly contact dozens (or hundreds) of people to ask them to send an e-mail or make a phone call to lawmakers prior to a critical vote.  Although you should offer guidance on “what to say”, your supporters should use their own words and stories to have a greater impact.

  • Regardless of the situation, maintain respect for local lawmakers and keep your communications firmly fixed on the high ground.


+ !|src=|alt=Mediatraining|width=197|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Mediatraining|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8b9e1ad970d|height=71!* Source: Brad Phillips, president of Phillips Media Relations  and author of the Mr. Media Training blog , specializes in media and presentation training or nonprofit organizations. Materials developed for The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, the largest national non-profit serving the burn survivor community.+



!|src=|alt=Sprinkler|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Sprinkler|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee89c66b2970d!Novato Fire District reports that a single fire sprinkler activated and extinguished a fire in a clothes’ dryer at an apartment complex in the City of Novato, California. Firefighters completed extinguishment of the burning clothes inside the drum.

“The fire sprinkler made the initial stop of the fire’s progression, and our firefighters quickly overhauled the closet and the appliance and got the family back in their home,” said Battalion Chief Jeff Veliquette.


Residential fire sprinklers save lives and protect property. With wet-pipe sprinklers the fire death rate per 1,000 reported home structure fires was lower by 83% and the rate of property damage per reported home structure fire was lower by 69%

The fire damage to the combination washer dryer is approximately $1,500.00. The heat, smoke, and water damage to the structure was less than $500.00. The damage to the apartment complex could have been exceedingly more without the fire sprinklers.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Successful fire sprinkler activation saves Tucson home

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire in campus housing controlled by fire sprinklers legislative sessions have started and anti-sprinkler bills have been filed in two states. These bills prohibit the adoption of codes requiring fire sprinkler requirements in single family homes and would threaten communities’ ability to mitigate home fire related death risk. The good news is that one of the bills is already dead in committee, and the other is currently lingering in committee.

South Dakotas’ SB93 was introduced on January 17, and assigned to the Local Government Committee. The bill was heard in committee and tabled on January 31; thus the bill is dead.

Minnesota’s’ HF499 was introduced on February 11 and assigned to the Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee, where it is pending. We will continue to watch this closely.

In a noticeable trend, these bills - in contrast to previous years - prohibit fire sprinkler requirements in single family homes and do not include the two-family home prohibition.

The Fire Sprinkler Initiative legislation/adoption page is updated weekly. Visit often to stay informed and to find bill history from previous years.

!|src=|alt=NM%20Logo_Blue%20Cross_Final|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=NM%20Logo_Blue%20Cross_Final|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8839fe9970d!The National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System includes several reports  during fires in homes constructed with lightweight/engineered wood. The system is a voluntary, confidential, non-punitive and secure reporting system with the goal of improving fire fighter safety.


New methods of construction negatively impact firefighter safety under fire conditions. Studies  point to the failure of lightweight engineered wood systems routinely used in floors and roofs of new homes, as early as six minutes from the onset of fire. Fire sprinklers could help mitigate these dangers and improve safety for firefighters and home occupants.

Firefighters have come very close to being killed, or severely injured, fighting a home fire in homes built with engineered wood. Firefighter fatalities in residential structures are documented* in*

"death in the line of duty" reports from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) , and listed in the firefighters’ resource page of this site. These incidents provide evidence of the threats of lightweight construction methods and its impact on firefighter


!|src=|alt=LWPresentation|width=114|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=LWPresentation|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017d410fb6c8970c|height=94!NFPA has created a Powerpoint® presentation that you can use to help educate your community's decision-makers and the public about the dangers of lightweight construction materials under fire conditions.


For a *free *copy of this presentation, please e-mail NFPA's Maria Figueroa.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Free presentation: The dangers of lightweight construction

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Lightweight construction and the need for home fire sprinklers


!|src=|alt=Lightweight_contruction_600|width=586|style=margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block;|title=Lightweight_contruction_600|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c36e031f5970b|height=179!The dangers of lightweight construction when exposed to fire are documented in several studies. An NFPA Journal cover story  highlights UL studies on lightweight construction and the threat it poses to firefighters. These threats could be mitigated by installing fire sprinkler systems in all new one- and two-family homes.


Several incidents of firefighter deaths in structures built with lightweight construction are featured. 'Such incidents have fueled a growing concern for the fire service and pose a significant challenge to the code community. In recent decades, an expanding range of construction methods and building products, particularly wooden truss roofing systems and wood I-joists that together are often termed "lightweight construction," have been widely embraced by residential builders for their ability to deliver economy and functionality.'

The trend for the use of lightweight construction is here to stay as a great number of new construction around the country is built entirely of lightweight structures; as much as 65 percent according to the wood truss industry.


Visit the firefighters resource sectionto obtain a free presentation on the threats of lightweight construction methods.


!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Lightweight construction and the need for home fire sprinklers

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Free presentation: The dangers of lightweight construction

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!IAFF encourages fire service involvement in building codes

SprinklerICMAKVOA Tucson reports that a fire starting in a home while the family was away was extinguished by the home’s fire sprinkler system.

The family arrived at their home to find evidence that a fire sprinkler had worked to protect it when a fire ignited. Tracy Koslowski, from the Drexel Heights Fire Department said “the family could have found the house in flames, had they not had a fire sprinkler system.”

A home fire sprinkler, whose purpose is to save lives, also protects property from devastating damage in the event of a fire. The latest NFPA statistics reveal that when fire sprinklers are present the rate of property damage per reported home structure fire was lower by 69%

NASFM guideThe National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and the NASFM Foundation recently announced the release of "Bridging the Gap: Guide to Implementing a Residential Sprinkler Requirement." The updated guide is available for free.

The guide is “intended to provide a roadmap for jurisdictions that have adopted residential sprinkler system requirements to help implement the regulation" based on the implementation experiences of other jurisdictions

Included in the guide are sample policies, procedures, and checklists to assist jurisdictions in formulating their own best practices. These samples are a compilation of those from successful implementations across the country, and are considered "open source" so that anyone can copy, modify, and use them as they see fit.

A new on-line course has been included as part of the update. Additionally, a new on-line virtual help-desk has been created.

Attendees at NFPA's home fire sprinkler summit in Chicago got an opportunity to break into regional groups to strategize and share experiences about their efforts to require sprinklers for new homes in their communities and states. The break-out sessions followed a full day of presentations, case studies, and an overview of the advocacy resources available on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative web site, including a monthly e-newsletter, fact sheets, research, legislative information, and of course, this blog. 

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

Group 6

Group 7

Counterfeit ULUL has issued a notification to distributors, contractors, fire departments, regulatory agencies, and authorities having jurisdiction of a fire sprinkler that bears a counterfeit "UL Mark" for the United States and Canada.

The sprinkler identified in UL Sprinkler Public Notice Release 13PN-06 is provided with a counterfeit "UL Mark." Especially important to home fire sprinkler advocates, it is unknown if the sprinklers were distributed or marketed for residential use, according to UL spokesperson Carla Swanson. “The fire sprinkler has not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate standards for safety and it is unknown if the fire sprinkler complies with any safety requirements,” said Carla.

The counterfeit fire sprinkler can be identified by "NX" and "C-I" marking on the wrench boss of the fire sprinkler frame and may have model NX005 on the sprinkler deflector. Sprinklers manufactured by Nanjing Fire Protection Technology Co Ltd that are authorized to bear the "UL Mark" do not have "NX" and "C-I" marking on the wrench boss.

GavelThe 2013 legislative session has started and Senate Bill 93 has been filed in South Dakota to prohibit fire sprinkler requirements in single family homes.

In the past four years sprinkler opponents have pushed state legislation that would restrict a community’s ability to make its own decision about model safety codes for new construction. The legislation would prevent communities from implementing any new sprinkler mandates in one- and two-family homes. If it becomes law, such legislation will put lives at risk.

While in the past the opposition has gone on record to offer its arguments during hearings, the trend now is to handle it through “back door” maneuvers out of the sunshine. It has been found that long before hearings are held, legislator’s minds are made up. Just because the opposition may have become less visible does not mean that its efforts have declined.

It's time for home fire sprinkler advocates to start "walking the halls" to educate legislators. Arm yourself with statistics, including victim patterns and the latest  research/reports to debunk the opponents’ arguments and provide policy-makers with the facts. Look around our website and obtain the resources needed to engage your legislators.


Steel Building Design

Posted by ryan.quinn Employee Feb 1, 2013

A concentrated public awareness campaign to increase support for home fire sprinkler requirements is taking place in the State of Alabama. The catchy title of the project should sound very familiar and was aptly named with the song "Sweet Home Alabama" in mind.

Jerri Ayers, Public Education Specialist, Jefferson State Community College has written an article outlining the project. It is a model to be emulated. The following is an excerpt from an article written by Jerri:

+In the past few years the fire service in Alabama has taken on the Home Fire Sprinkler Initiative. As Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk stepped into the issue of home fire sprinklers the Fire Chiefs Association of Alabama, Fire Marshal’s Association of Alabama and the Alabama Fire Sprinkler Association quickly joined him at the state capitol in Montgomery.  As the initiative began to grow throughout the state it wasn’t long before the Fire Marshals Association of Alabama along with the Alabama Fire & Life Safety Educators Association stepped up to the plate to bring the initiative to the front door of communities throughout the state with home fire sprinkler statistical information and facts being taught in educational workshops and at conference training tracts to firefighters across the state. +

+Realizing that there were still many questions and misconceptions among fire service personnel concerning home fire sprinklers the Safe Home Alabama Project was put into place to not only educate fire fighters with the statistical information but to dispel the myths surrounding the topic and assist the fire departments with understanding of the NFPA 13-D sprinkler systems. The class also includes constructing the side-by-side live fire demonstration units as well as how to use the units to educate local officials and the members of their communities about the advantages that home fire sprinklers can provide for home builders, insurance companies, realtors and most of all the citizens of the communities which they protect.  +

+At a time when many fire departments are experiencing cut backs and layoffs the Alabama Risk Watch Program of Jefferson State Community College teamed up with the Fire Marshals Association of Alabama to provide resources and training to get the facts about home fire sprinklers to local officials and community members as many local municipalities are beginning to update local fire codes. “Our goal is to empower our firefighters with the tools and resources needed for them to reach their public with the truth about the safety of what they value most…their families and homes” says Dallis Johnson, President of the Fire Marshal’s Association of Alabama and Assistant Chief of Prattville Fire Department. +

+At the recent Alabama Fire Chiefs Association/Fire Marshals Association of Alabama Summer Conference Safe Home Alabama hosted training with speakers from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, NFPA Education Division and Fire Team USA to “Bring Safety Home” to Alabama fire departments.  The end of the training included a local live burn demonstration hosted by Orange Beach Fire Department with assistance from Jeff State Community College, Prattville, Gulf Shores, and Foley Fire Departments. The event which drew over 100 attendees was a successful tool used to show fire chiefs and fire marshals just how powerful the live burn demonstration is as a public training tool to show the effectiveness of having fire sprinklers installed in homes in their communities. +

+Remarkably, just a few short days after the class and demonstration the city of Gulf Shores Alabama was the first to adopt the 2009 IRC as a complete document, a victory for not only Gulf Shores Fire Department but for all those who have contributed to the statewide effort to push for long overdue change but also a life saving benefit for all who reside and visit the beautiful coastal city of Gulf Shores, Alabama. +

+To date the Safe Home Alabama Project has trained 143 fire fighters from 33 fire departments which has resulted in 6 live fire burn demonstrations in Alabama and many more looming on the horizon. One home builder who recently attended a live fire burn demonstration with the intent of “seeing what you guys are up to” left after stating to fire service personnel the question: “What is it the homebuilders association is fighting… this is common sense”.  +


I believe in a safer future for you and your families. For firefighters I believe that you deserve to be protected to the highest measure that those you work for hold the power to provide that protection for you and for your families I believe they should have confidence that you are coming home to them after each shift. For children, the elderly and the disabled I believe that it is our place to educate your communities that you are most at risk to die a preventable fire death.  For everyone reading this I believe that if you stand united in agreement that home fire sprinklers save lives that you can be a part of a safer future for generations to come and the US can give up the ranking of highest fire deaths per year for an industrialized nation. For me I believe in you and the power you hold given the correct and current information concerning issues that surround your profession.


Jerri Ayers<br />Public Education Specialist<br />Jeff State Community College<br />&amp; most importantly - Mom of 2

The latest Safe Home Alabama demonstration was held at the to NASCAR races in Talledega last weekend in the parking lot of the Pell City Home Depot hosted by Lincoln and Pell City Fire Departments.

Thank you to Fire Marshal Ed Paulk  for his commitment to this life safety initiative. Hats off to the awesome trio of Jerri Ayers, Dallis Johnson, and Mike Brayman. Their passion for life safety is demonstrated in this incredible project. Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of the people in the State of Alabama.



+!|border=0|src=|alt=DSC_0929|style=WIDTH: 58.8%; HEIGHT: 223px|title=DSC_0929|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64be7b7970b |height=285!+<span>!|border=0|src=|alt=DSC_0821|width=207|style=WIDTH: 133px; HEIGHT: 224px|title=DSC_0821|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef0120a64bec85970b |height=338!</span></a><span>&#0160;<br /><span style="FONT-SIZE: 11pt; FONT-FAMILY: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: ES-TRAD; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 11px; FONT-FAMILY: "><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12px; FONT-FAMILY: ">In the picture above Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk speaks to State Farm Insurance Employees at State Farm Corporate Office during live fire burn held by Homewood Fire Department</span></span></span></span></span>

[Maria Figueroa |]


SprinklerThe Tufts Daily, the independent student publication of Tufts University, reports a successful fire sprinkler activation during a fire in a suite kitchen at Sophia Gordon Hall. The fire started in a suite kitchen as a result of unattended cooking. It set off the fire alarm and turned on a fire sprinkler, which contained the fire.

The suite sustained minimal damage and no one was injured. An announcement was released from the University via e-mail informing the Tufts community of the incident. According to the announcement, “The fire sprinkler system and fire detection system, present in all university housing, worked correctly and helped to minimize damage.”

13D13The Illinois Fire Inspectors Association and the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition are partnering to present the NFPA 13D Residential Fire Sprinkler Symposium. The event will be held March 6th from 7:30-4:30 at Medinah Banquets, 550 N. Shriners Drive, Addison, IL.

A range of important issues will be presented and include; lightweight construction, water supply, and plan review and technical aspects of NFPA 13D. California State Fire Marshal Tanya Hoover will be the keynote speaker. The symposium will culminate with an expert panel discussion/open forum,

Contact the Illinois Fire Inspector Association to register for the event.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: