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Sprinkler2The British Automatic Sprinkler Association (BASA) announces that Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority (DFRA) has supported a proposal to promote safer houses for residents of communities within Derbyshire by providing £200,000 (more than $300,000 USD) funding towards the retrofitting of domestic sprinklers and installing them in new developments identified for vulnerable persons at risk to fire.

This was based on the criteria that £20,000 (more than $30,000) would be offered to each Council, Borough/District, or Housing Association, on the basis that it would be match-funded by them up to the same amount. Nine community councils have committed to implementing the program.

SprinklerThe Honolulu Fire Department responded to a fire at the Admiral Thomas condominium complex on Victoria Street in the evening of March 22nd and found that it has been extinguished by one fire sprinkler activation.

The fire was caused by unattended cooking. The resident was home sleeping at the time and was not injured. The fire caused approximately $5,000 damage.

This is one more example of the life safety and property protection benefits of home fire sprinklers.

•     If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by 83 percent when sprinklers are present.

•     People in homes with sprinklers are protected against significant property loss—sprinklers reduce the direct property damage by 69 percent per fire.

Visit the Tools and Resources section of our website for additional information.

Grinnell Mutual’s Special Investigations Unit releases a video that puts home sprinkler systems to the test in a home fire safety burn cell demonstration.

The test was conducted using 8 by 10 foot burn cells, each identically furnished as a living room, to simulate a typical residential fire caused by a candle, cigarette, or overheated electrical unit. Sensors were placed in both cells to monitor room temperatures during the test

“What we hope to show is that a sprinkler system within your home buys you and your family time to get out safely if there’s a fire,” said Alan Clark, assistant vice president of Special Investigations.


The results of the tests and the effectiveness of a home sprinkler system is found in this “Grinnell Mutual Talks about Safety” videocast.

PaulCooperHome fire sprinkler coalitions face daunting obstacles, but one of the biggest is that many lack a clear and comprehensive plan to achieve home fire sprinkler adoption. Developing a strategic plan won’t assure a group’s success, but moving forward without a plan virtually assures its failure. 

Through my work with fire and life safety groups, I’ve encountered an array of reasons coalitions can’t get started on their own strategic plans. Here are the five biggest myths that hold them back:

Myth 1: Nobody reads plans, so they’re a waste of time. Writing a smart plan is the beginning of a process of change, not the end. So it’s essential that coalition members also commit to implementing its most important components, and create a process for assuring accountability. But even if every strategy isn’t implemented, merely creating a consensus plan can help a group improve its effectiveness. Dwight Eisenhower echoed this idea when he said, “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensible.”

Myth 2: A plan will lock us in and prevent flexibility. Planning involves a certain amount of guesswork about the future, and planners are wise to be modest prognosticators. The best plans are forward-looking and flexible, with clear timelines and metrics, plus contingency options if things go awry.  

Myth 3: We don’t have to put our plan on paper. The only reason to keep your plan in your head is if one person (you) is going to do all the work. A true coalition shares responsibilities, and the only way to assure that everyone knows their roles and completes their tasks is to get together and write them all down.

Myth 4: Planning is a lot of work. Writing a coalition plan is easier than you might think. Plan writing will take some forethought, and it should be a consensus process that includes all the major stakeholders; there are numerous guides online and in the bookstore to get you started. If creating a plan still seems daunting, get some outside expertise to minimize the pain and maximize your chances of success.

Myth 5: We don’t really need to plan. If your coalition is content with things as they are, then you don’t need a plan. But change is never easy: If you want to change the law, change the code, or change opinions, you need a strategic plan to marshal your resources and advocate effectively for home fire sprinklers. 

Paul Cooper is a facilitation and strategic planning consultant based in Washington, DC. He has worked with NFPA, the Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and numerous other fire and life safety advocates around the country.

ColoradologoThe Colorado Fire Sprinkler Coalition is now included among the other coalitions in the State initiatives section of the Fire Sprinkler Intiative (FSI) website. Home fire sprinkler advocates from Colorado now have their own place to call home on this site.

From the site - "The Colorado Fire Sprinkler Coalition is dedicated to promoting the installation of fire sprinklers in future generations of homes. The Coalition is a resource for information about home fire sprinklers and, through a cooperative effort with stakeholders, works to identify and overcome barriers to the acceptance of sprinklers as a critical component of home fire safety."

Advocates in Colorado have been working diligently to study all aspects of home fire sprinklers since the requirement was included in all national model codes, in 2008.

If you have questions or would like to participate in the Colorado Fire Sprinkler Coalition, call Coalition Chair Mike DellOrfano, Assistant Chief, Community Safety Services South Metro Fire Rescue Authority, +1 720 989-2232.

If you would like to start a fire sprinkler coalition in your state, contact your respective NFPA Fire Sprinkler Specialist Tim Travers or Jeff Hudson.

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Chief Grupp accepts honor at summit

The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board  featured Dave Grupp, home fire sprinkler advocate and retired fire chief of the Long Grove Fire Protection District, as the guest of honor at the Illinois NFPA 13D Residential Fire Sprinkler Symposium.

Twenty-five years ago, Grupp helped the Village of Long Grove pass the first NFPA 13D home fire sprinkler ordinance in Illinois.  At the time when Grupp began researching home fire sprinklers, they had just begun gaining momentum in municipal ordinances in California.

Grupp proposed the idea of an ordinance to the Long Grove Village Board and the Board decided in favor of an ordinance, which was enacted on April 12, 1988. Today, over 1,500 homes are protected with fire sprinklers in the Village of Long Grove.


Long Grove's ordinance became a groundbreaking event for home fire sprinklers in Illinois. Since that historic day in 1988, another 87 jurisdictions in Illinoishave joined Long Grove with home fire sprinkler ordinances of their own.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Read the March 2013 issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter

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State Farm announced that recently, homeowners got a chance to have their questions answered about home fire sprinklers systems by stopping at its booth at this year's Bloomington Home Show.

The show is a premiere event in Bloomington, Illinois.


Visitors to the booth were able to talk to representatives from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition , local fire departments and learn more about State Farm's support of residential fire sprinklers. State  Farm cites the death and injury toll of house fires and recognizes the life saving benefits of these systems.

"Residential fire sprinklers are incredibly valuable to produce stronger, safer homes where lives are saved and a family's biggest investment, their home, is better protected," said Bloomington Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling.

State Farm Agent Rick McLean and representatives with State Farm Bank also were present to answer insurance related and home financing questions.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition announces two new stipends for fire departments

!|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

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire sprinkler saves apartment complex

FSI newsletterThe 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. The new issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter takes a closer look at lightweight construction and the relationship between fire and engineered wood construction assemblies.

Also in this issue:

  • Manufactured housing committee considers fire sprinklers
  • Fire Marshal Tony Apfelbeck talks about financial incentives for sprinkler installations
  • Getting homebuilders on board with fire sprinklers
  • Ten tips for communicating with legislators
  • NFPA 13D: Update on sloped ceilings

Subscribe today to automatically receive our monthly Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. It's free, informative, and will keep you up to date on anti-sprinkler legislation, our advocacy efforts, and other sprinkler-related news.


!|src=|alt=FSRS_cvr|width=137|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=FSRS_cvr|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017d41c764a8970c|height=191!ISO has filedrevisions to its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule(FSRS) and to restructure property rating rules to recognize a revised Public Protection Classification (PPC) structure.

From its website –“The FSRS is a schedule filed with state departments of insurance that contains the criteria ISO uses in reviewing the fire suppression capabilities of individual communities. The schedule measures the major elements of a community’s fire suppression system and develops a numerical grade called a Public Protection Classification (PPC™).” The schedule has, so far, been approved by 27 states.

An important change is the reduction of distance to fire station below 3 miles (previously 5 miles) to impact the rating in the schedule. This is due to lightweight construction and modern home contents.

The schedule, filed in December 2012, includes a new Community Risk Reduction section that “recognizes community efforts to reduce losses through fire prevention, public fire safety education, and fire investigation.”


The new schedule will be implemented in July, 2014. A free webinar is available

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Evaluation of Fireflow Methodologies - new Foundation Project

Significant changes to the 2012 IRC have been announced by The International Code Council as follows:

  • With some exceptions, Section R501.3 Fire Protection of Floors now requires ½-inch gypsum board or equivalent material to be applied to the underside of floor assemblies in buildings regulated by the International Residential Code (IRC). This change is intended to provide occupants greater ability for self evacuation before collapse and increased safety for firefighters
  • Reduction in fire separation distance for dwellings with non-rated exterior walls equipped with a fire sprinkler system, from 5 ft. to 3 ft. This change recognizes the inclusion of the home fire sprinkler requirement.

It is very important to note that studies on ceiling/floor assemblies built with lightweight materials in a basement fire scenario, conducted by the National Research Center Canada, found that the protection of these assemblies provide longer time to failure and collapse. However, incapacitating factors and untenable conditions are still reached within 3 – 5 minutes from the onset of fire. This change should not be viewed as an alternative to fire sprinklers throughout the dwelling.

NFPA 1 Fire Code and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code have included fire sprinkler requirements in all new one- and two-family dwellings since 2006. With the inclusion of the requirement in the 2009 IRC, all national model codes now include this minimum requirement to achieve a reasonable level of safety.

A free webinar is available for more information on the above, and other changes.



!|src=|alt=13D13|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=13D13|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c375ccbb1970b!The current issue of the Sprinkler Age, an American Fire Sprinkler Association publication, contains an article by James Golinveaux of Tyco Fire Protection Products providing an update for sloped-ceiling installations included in the 2013 edition of NFPA 13D: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes.

Mr. Golinveaux says that the new simplified field installation for sloped-ceiling spaces is the result of eight years of study, testing, and cooperation. He tells us that this research was done to provide data on the “life safety” potential of residential sprinklers on sloped ceilings outside of the “listing”


A Fire Protection Research Foundation study  found that “residential sprinklers listed for applications with flat, smooth ceilings can be expected to perform adequately when installed on a sloped ceiling or sloped and beamed ceiling arrangements similar to those investigated as part of this study”; with certain restrictions and limitations related to design configurations.

According to Mr. Golinveaux “practically speaking” the 2013 edition of NFPA 13D results in the following benefits:

    • Sprinkler contractors will realize a reduction of labor costs from quicker installations;

    • Municipal authorities will be confident knowing that a prescriptive standard is being followed;

    • Homebuilders can be confident that the cost for a home’s fire protection system will come in on, or close to, budget; and

    • Homeowners will have an economical, effective and life-saving fire protection system in place that did not substantially increase the price of their home.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA 13D symposium to be held in Illinois

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Through funding from a U.S. FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Grant, the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) will offer two new stipend programs to U.S. fire departments looking to increase home fire sprinkler education within their communities.

HFSC will award 15 U.S. fire departments with $1,500 stipends to partner and complete an education program with their local technical/vocational schools. Working together, those students, who may be future members of the homebuilding industry, will learn about the benefits of home fire sprinkler systems.


The second stipend program provides $1,000 to 25 U.S. fire departments to pay for materials to build demonstration units and conduct live home fire sprinkler demonstrations within their communities. HFSC provides guidance for building the units and conducting a public education event through its free Fire and Sprinkler Burn Demonstration Kit.


Only U.S. fire departments that are members of HFSC’s free BUILT FOR LIFE Fire Department (BFLFD) Program can apply for the stipends. Visit HFSC and sign up to become a BFLFD


Apply for the $1,500 technical/vocational education program stipend by March 29.


Apply for the $1,000 side-by-side demo stipend by April 29. article in the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC)OnScene magazine, written by Gary Keith, vice president of field operations and education at NFPA and president of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), pinpoints the many ways that the HFSC reaches out to homebuilders with education about fire sprinklers.

The article underscores the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) opposition as the leader in the “powerful anti-sprinkler legislation charge” as evidenced by the fact that “the group's online document Value of NAHB Membership lists its work to defeat mandatory sprinkler protection as one of the membership benefits.”

Mr. Keith states that while other organizations have focused on advocacy HFSC has been “tackling the problem from another angle: education.” HFSC has reached out proactively to homebuilders and has exhibited NAHB's International Builders Show (IBS), “which is the best-attended conference for the homebuilding industry, drawing tens of thousands of professionals every year.”

As an example of HFSC’s educational outreach, the article explains that the organization “also offers an interactive, 3-D behind-the-walls educational online video, which shows how an NFPA 13D system is supplied and installed and how it operates in a house.”

Mr. Keith says that “the tide is turning as more homebuilders want to learn about home fire sprinklers and are starting to offer them regardless of their communities' codes.”

NFPA has published the latest statistics on major fire causes. The statistics are based on fires reported to local fire departments and include trend data that indicate the evolution of the problem.

Children playing chart’s latest estimates of:

The above fact sheets contain links to the complete statistical reports from which the data comes from. fire sprinkler advocates now have a place to connect with the Fire Sprinkler Initiative: Bringing Safety Home® (FSI) on LinkedIn.

We are hoping that the FSI LinkedIn group will become the place where advocates go to share ideas and discuss important topics. The discussions will also allow us to “hear” what our field advocates are saying, in order to continue to develop ways to support home fire sprinkler requirement efforts.

Each week, I will post a new topic for discussion. Members are also encouraged to start their own discussion.

I look forward to seeing you there. Join the group.
!|src=|alt=Tony|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Tony|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee8ed8dfa970d!I think the greatest impediment – to the home fire sprinkler requirement - is refusal of local governments to recognize the value that fire sprinklers provide in the home. Financial credits for fire impact fees, ad valorem property taxes, service delivery fees, water connection fee cre, zoning/density incentives, fire flow credits, street width reductions and numerous other financ incentives can be put on the table by local government in order to properly reflect the value of home fire sprinklers.

While this approach takes real work and leadership at the local level, and is not as easy as the “pass an ordinance and mandate it” approach. I am convinced it is the proper method to remove some, if not all, of the financial arguments against sprinklers.

In many states, a blanket mandate approach is no longer even an option. That does not mean we should give up in those states. It just means we need to work smarter with an aggressive incentive package. Even in those states where a mandate is still legal, we should still reflect the value provided to the community by way of incentives. Just because we can mandate without incentives, that does not mean we should.

If home fire sprinklers are as valuable as we say they are to the fire service, community infrastructure, sustainability and life safety, (and I think they definitely are that valuable) then we should clearly reflect that value in a financial return to the homeowner and builder for taking on the responsibility for their own fire protection rather than relying on local government services.


Read the Fire Protection Research Foundation Incentives for the Use of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in U.S. Communities study report.


Anthony Apfelbeck is Fire Marshal/Building Official/Division Chief of City of Altamonte Springs, FL. He is a member of the Florida Building Commission Fire Technical Advisory Committee and NFPA 1 Fire Code Technical Committee.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety supports fire sprinkler requirement

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Home fire sprinkler research, reports and statistics

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