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Over 25,000 firefighters are gathered at the Fire Department Instructors Conference 2013 (FDIC) taking place this week in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative (FSI) is present.

Maria and TimAn exhibit, staffed by Eastern Regional Fire Sprinkler Specialist Tim Travers and Maria Figueroa, communications project manager for FSI, emphasizes the threats that lightweight construction, new homes, and modern contents pose to firefighter safety. Home fire sprinklers offset these threats; protecting home occupants and firefighters by providing additional escape time and maintaining a tenable atmosphere.

“It is important that firefighters are aware of these dangers and that they support fire sprinkler requirements in all new one- and two-family homes and townhomes,” said Travers.

All who visit are able to view the newly developed Lightweight Construction and Firefighter Safety presentation, running continuously at the booth.

Future firefighters from Central Nine Career Center Public Safety Academy in Greenwood, Indiana, watch the presentation
The exhibit also includes a new sidewinder display listing the latest statistics on firefighter deaths and injuries that occur in homes built with lightweight construction, and the impact of fire sprinklers in increasing firefighter safety during fires at these structures.

IN recruits
Future firefighters visit the exhibit
All major fire service organizations; the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) support the home fire sprinkler requirement and affirmed their support by approving the inclusion of their logos in the display.

Visit the firefighter resources section of the FSI site to learn more and to obtain a free copy of the lightweight presentation.

Google announced recently that Google Reader is closing down. This popular RSS feed reader will be history on July 1, 2013, which means you’ve got a little more than two months to move your Google Reader subscriptions to a new RSS reader. You don't want to miss out on any of our blog posts in your RSS readers, right?

In the PC World video below, Nick Barber shows you how to migrate your Google Reader subsciptions to a new RSS reader. He uses Takeout, Google’s way of providing your information in a format you can take with you to other programs. He turns his Google Reader subscriptions into a file that can then be used with different RSS readers. 



Looking for more information about Google Reader’s impending shutdown? You can read about three alternatives to Google Reader here. 

If all of this sounds too complicated but you still don't want to miss out, you can always subscribe to our blog's RSS feeds again, adding them to another RSS feeder directly from our blog. 

NFPA’s new [Home Structure Fires |] report shows that U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 366,600 home structure fires from 2007-2011.

Seven people died each day in U.S. home fires, on average, and older adults were the age group most likely to die in a home fire.

Cooking equipment remains the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries; however, smoking materials persist as the leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the report.

Roughly one in every 320 households per year had a reported home fire during this five-year period. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,570 civilian deaths, 13,210 civilian injuries, and $7.2 billion in direct property damage per year.

One-quarter (25 percent) of the home fire deaths resulted from fires that originated in the bedroom, another quarter (24 percent) from fires in the family room, living room, or den, and 16 percent from fires starting in the kitchen. Half of home fire deaths were caused by incidents reported between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.


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The home fire problem underscores the importance of early warning provided by smoke alarms and the protection provided by fire sprinklers. If you have a reported fire in your home, your risk of death decreases by 50% with working smoke alarms. Fire sprinklers sytems reduce the risk of fire death by 83%.

Fire sprinklers are intended to keep the fire in check and provide additional excape time from a fire in the home. Older adults, young children and persons with disabilities may need the additional time provided by fire sprinklers.


Download the home fire sprinkler impact fact sheet

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA report details $328 billion impact of fire

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA report available for free: U.S. Fire Experience by Region

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!2011 latest estimates on major fire causes now available

Ruth Ballser

Ruth B. Balser is the State Representative for the 12th Middlesex District, Massachusetts, was a featured speaker at the recent Bringing Safety Home Fire Sprinkler Summit. She shared her experience as a legislator advocating for fire sprinklers in Massachussetts

A multiple fatality office fire in Newton, MA - where five people lost their lives in the middle of the day - motivated Rep. Balser to begin advocacy efforts. After a nine-year battle to require sprinklers in commercial properties, she advocates for the expansion of fire sprinkler requirements, including the efforts to extend requirements in the home.


Representative Balser says a strong coalition and local media involvement is key to advocacy efforts.



!|src=|alt=Bill Kirkpatrick|style=width: 450px;|title=Bill Kirkpatrick|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01901b83997f970b!

“Statistically at EBMUD, about 70% of the time applicants will fall within the capacity of the 1-inch meter, regardless of domestic allowance applied. For the other 30% who need a 1.5-inch meter, that’s what’s required already today due to domestic fixture count, so there wouldn’t be a change.“

*Bill Kirkpatrick is an Engineering Manager at East Bay Municipal Water District in California (EBMUD), a public utility company that supplies water to 1.3 million people in 20 cities in northern California.


During the recent Bringing Safety Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in Chicago, Mr. Kirkpatrick presented a water purveyor’s perspective  on home fire sprinklers, taking into account the balance between water supplier reliability issues and the issues of service, cost and liability.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Home fire sprinkler advocates gather in Chicago for NFPA summit


The National Fire Protection Association  (NFPA) released an updated report on the Total Cost of Fire in the United States . It can be seen from the report that the total cost of fire in 2010, adjusted for inflation, is 38 percent higher than in 1980, while its proportion of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) has declined by roughly one-third.


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The complete total cost of fire is defined as the sum of economic loss (e.g. property damage, business interruption), human loss (e.g. lives lost, medical treatment, pain and suffering), and the cost of provisions to prevent or mitigate the cost of fire (e.g. fire departments, insurance, and fire protection equipment and construction).

Other key findings from the report:

    • Although the core total cost of fire has increased by 45 percent
           since 1980 to total $108.4 billion, the economic loss due to fire
           decreased by 29 percent, totaling $14.8 billion.

    • The total cost of direct property damages, reported or unreported,
           was $13.2 billion. This figure represents 89 percent of the economic loss.
           The other 11 percent represents indirect losses, such as business

    • Building construction expenses needed solely for the purposes of
           fire safety and fire protection considerations totaled $31.7 billion.

    • Human losses were estimated at $31.9 billion.

Download the cost of fire [fact sheet |]

Download the impact of fire sprinklers in the cost of home fires [fact sheet |]

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA report available for free: U.S. Fire Experience by Region


!|src=|alt=VisionHouse150x204|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=VisionHouse150x204|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eea56a842970d!In celebration of Earth Day, Green Builder® Media (GBM) has released new consumer research on green living revealing that “respondents like green, think they live a green life, and understand that updating their homes to incorporate more green features increases the value of their homes."


According to the company, the results also highlight its VISION House® projects that offer “essential, forward-thinking ideas and educational information about how people can live a more sustainable lifestyle.”NFPA partnered with GBM to launch* *the VISION House in INNOVENTIONS in Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort to show the environmental benefits of home fire sprinklers. ++

The main purpose of home fire sprinklers it to save lives; and they also protect property and the environment. The findings of a

groundbreaking study </span>&#0160;- a collaborative effort of FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition - show that greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment.

GBM emphasizes that “these engaged and information-hungry consumers represent a prime market opportunity…to provide innovative solutions for improving quality of life, enhancing the health and safety of our housing stock…increasing home values, reducing pollution, and mitigating environmental damage.” As such, it represents an opportunity to educate consumers on the green value of home fire sprinklers.

Download "[The Environmental Impact of Automatic Fire Sprinklers |]" study from the FM Global website.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Getting homebuilders on board with fire sprinklers



!|src=|alt=Eileen Byrne|style=width: 450px;|title=Eileen Byrne|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eea4ee180970d!
Eileen Byrne* has been a registered nurse for more than 16

years, and has spent the past five years as Burn Community Educator for the

Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ. As a member of

the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Coalition, Ms. Byrne offers a unique perspective

on the effect that residential sprinklers can have on burn injuries and deaths.

“From the medical perspective, we don’t understand why this
(requirements for sprinkler installations in all new homes) hasn’t been taken
care of already,” she told attendees at NFPA’s Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in
Chicago.  “We didn’t realize how
difficult this effort was. In fact, a lot of us assumed there were already
sprinklers in homes.”

Ms. Byrne said that a fire at Seton Hall University in New
Jersey in 2000
, which killed three students, resulted in sprinkler requirements for campus dorms. “And that was good headway, but there’s so much
more we can do,” she said. 

She said that last year, her facility, the only burn center
in the state, had 49 in-patients due to house fires. “Burn patients are not
like any other patients,” she said. “They don’t stay for 3-4 days. They stay
weeks and weeks and months and months.” Every day, they must endure painful
bathing to fight off infections, the removal of dead skin, and physical
therapy. “And when they finally get out of the hospital, it’s just the
beginning of their healing,” she said.

Ms. Byrne said that she knows accidents will

happen. “But when we see patients whose burns were preventable, we must never

rest until something is done.”

Tom Lia
Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, has been named the recipient of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative’s first Home Fire Sprinkler Champion Award. The award, which was given at the Bringing Safety Home Sprinkler Summit on Monday, April 15, commends Lia for his dedication to increasing the presence of sprinklers in residences.

“Tom is a terrific example of what this effort is – passionate, driven individuals working all across the country to save lives and property from fire with the proven, effective technology of fire sprinklers,” said NFPA President Jim Shannon. “As a result of his leadership, hard work and dedication, more than 80 communities in Illinois have adopted NFPA 13D single-family home fire sprinkler ordinances.”

Lia has participated in more than 325 side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstrations. His model served as the basis for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s Fire and Sprinkler Burn Demonstration kit. As a result of Lia’s commitment to the fire sprinkler cause, thousands of fire departments around the country have implemented this tool in their own communities.

Read more about Tom and this award in the full press release. Congratulations Tom! 

Fire service representatives and other safety advocates from across the United States have gathered in Chicago for a one-day home fire sprinkler summit. The event, sponsored by NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, has brought together more than 100 attendees to network, share best practices, and learn more about efforts and strategies to require the installation of fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes.

Before dinner, attendees got a chance to meet each other at a reception. 

Orangio Shannon Balser
Mario Orangio of Massachusetts, NFPA President Jim Shannon, and Massachusetts State Representative Ruth Balser.

Bells Todd
Dawn Bellis and Rusty Todd from Kentucky. 

Honold LaFlam Rogers
NFPA Northwest Regional Manager Gary Honold, Jeff LaFlam and Greg Rogers of Washington.

Hoffman Behlings Broderick
John Hoffman of New Jersey, Tim Behlings of South Dakota, and Rich Broderick of South Dakota

Yates Large Glenn
Jim Yates of New Jersey, James Large of Florida, and Jack Glenn of Florida.

Paulk Martin Safer Bella
Ed Paulk of Alabama, AJ Martin of Alabama, NFPA Southern Regional Manager Randy Safer, and VJ Bella of Louisiana.

Bizal Vanwaller
NFPA Western Regional Manager Ray Bizal and Casey Vorwaller of Utah.

Cleveland Tinucci
Gregg Cleveland of Wisconsin and Bob Tinucci of Illinois.

Figueroa Kirkpatrick
NFPA’s Maria Figueroa and Bill Kirkpatrick of California.

Lia Tinucci Shannon Michehl
Tom Lia and Bob Tinucci of Illinois, NFPA President Jim Shannon, and George Michehl of Illinois.

Veilleux McCarthy Stemmer
Marc Veilleux and Rich McCarthy of Maine, and Luke Stemmer of Minnesota.

On January 26, 2007, Jim and Linda Daughetee experienced a parent’s worst nightmare when their only son Shane, a 24-year-old volunteer fire fighter, died at a home structure fire after falling through the floor which was supported by engineered wooden I-beams.

Without warning, the floor collapsed sending him into the basement. Crews attempted to rescue him from the fully involved basement, but a subsequent collapse of the main floor ceased further rescue efforts.

“Shane’s passion for firefighting and helping others still lives on. His death has shown that we must push to see that homes are built to protect the lives of residents and firefighters. We will continue to educate others for the need of home sprinklers,” said his father Jim Daughetee.

Lieutenant Eliott Mahaffey was within an arm’s distance of Shane providing back-up while he knelt in the doorway. Mahaffey suffered burns attempting to rescue his fellow firefighter. “There’s no telling how much more good he could have done in this world had we only been able to get him out in time,” said Mahaffey. all the proposals submitted to the IRC as equivalencies for fire sprinklers in homes and townhomes, the most controversial seems to be the requirement of a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

Proposal suggests revising the townhouse and one- and two-family dwelling fire sprinkler requirements with the following exception: “An automatic residential fire sprinkler shall not be required when a fire extinguisher has been installed in the kitchen and the separation for the townhouses is two 1-hour walls or a 2- hour common wall between units is provided...”

Last week, this proposal was the topic of discussion on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative Linkedin Group. It drew numerous comments and we heard many experts voice their opinions on the subject.

All see this is as a misguided attempt to usurp fire sprinkler requirements. Some of the comments follow:

  • The kitchen is 3rd on the list as fires that kill.
  • It's hard to use that extinguisher when I'm asleep in my bedroom!
  • Fire extinguishers in the kitchen would have to remain in the kitchen/home over the life of the home
  • The code change proposal appears to assume that the fire is originating in the kitchen. Only 15% of all home fire deaths were caused by a fire originating in the kitchen. Even assuming that intervention would occur 100% of the time, this proposal does nothing to address the other 85% of home fire deaths.
  • How about the sick,weak or otherwise impaired occupant, will they be able to accurately use the extinguisher?

Visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative Linkedin page to join our group and offer your comments on this and other discussions.

!|src=|alt=Money house (2).png|width=185|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Money house (2).png|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017eea2b4b1f970d|height=163!

According to an article by Housing Wirethe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is convincing buyers that they can afford a higher-priced new home by utilizing data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The report tells us that NAHB also studied the first year after tax costs of owning a home — purchase price, mortgage payments, annual operating costs and income tax savings — which revealed that a buyer can afford to pay 23% more for a new home than a property built before 1960 and +still +maintain the same amount of first-year annual costs.**


This reflects a prior prediction byLPS Applied Analyticsthat home prices could jump as much as 35% without affecting affordability.


This new assertion by the NAHB presents evidence of its disingenuous arguments against home fire sprinklers. An NFPA 13D  home fire sprinkler system&#0160;is only estimated to add about 1 – 1 ½ % to the cost of a new home, yet opponents of home fire sprinklers - mainly the NAHB - maintain that the addition of this minimum fire safety requirement will price people out of homes. Doesn’t this new assertion impact their credibility and blows this argument out of the water?

Many states have prohibited jurisdictions from requiring fire sprinklers in new home construction. According to U.S. Census Bureau there is a[ housing boom |]starting. Millions of home buyers will be deprived of this cost efficient and effective model code requirement that will save their lives and property in the event of fire in their homes for many generations to come.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Legislation threatens home fire sprinkler requirement

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Controversial proposal to require fire extinguisher in kitchen in lieu of sprinklers

Washington State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy credited fire sprinklers and fast-acting staff at Merrill Gardens in Gig Harbor for saving lives during a recent fire at the facility.

Nursing homeMerrill Gardens is an independent and assisted-living facility containing 78 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments.

The fire started in the kitchen at approximately 9 p.m. Two fire sprinklers activated and contained the fire until the fire department arrived.

Staff dialed 911 and then proceeded according to their evacuation plan and alerted residents of the fire. Staff acted quickly and evacuated the residents to a safe area until the fire department confirmed that the fire had been extinguished.

Without fire sprinklers this fire could have had fatal consequences. Although residents at assisted living facilities are not confined, they are mostly frail and elderly with mobility problems and may need the protection that fire sprinklers provide in order to make it out alive. This is just one more example of the life safety benefits of fire sprinklers.

A new report, U.S. Fire Experience by Region, published earlier this year and available free from NFPA highlights patterns and trends in the fire problem by each of the four major regions of the U.S.—northeast, midwest, south, and west—including differences in relative risk and in leading ignition causes.

US Fire Experience Fact Sheet

Among its findings:

  • Number of fires per thousand populations for the 2007-2011 period indicate that the South and Midwest had the highest overall rates for the five year period.
  • The Midwest and South had the highest annual average fire death rates per million people for the period.
  • The Midwest had an average civilian injury rate 27% higher than the national rate.
  • The South had the highest civilian death rates for most community sizes under 100,000.
  • The Northeast had the highest occurrence of cooking equipment fires than other regions.

One more tool to assist in advocating for home fire sprinkler requirements

Download the fact sheet

Download the new report for free from the NFPA website

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) has published a new short video clip that shows how the heat of a fire causes fire sprinklers to activate.

HFSC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and the leading resource for independent, noncommercial information about residential fire sprinklers. HFSC offers educational material with details about installed home fire sprinkler systems, how they work, why they provide affordable protection and answers to common myths and misconceptions about their operation.

This new tool from HFSC is ideal for embedding into a presentation to show audiences how home fire sprinklers work. It is one of many videos and interactive materials that the organization makes available for free, and may be used to educate the community and other home fire sprinkler stakeholders.


Watch the video on You Tube


Uponor&#0160;makes available&#0160;a video highlighting ease of installation and benefits that an NFPA 13D &#0160;multipurpose fire safety system offers.

The video features Uponor's AquaSAFE Fire Sprinkler System, however; any multipurpose system that integrates with a home's cold water plumbing provides a cost effective, efficient alternative to stand alone systems.


The Fire Protection Research Foundation&#39;s Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessmentstudy found that in communities where multipurpose systems are used installation costs in dollars per sprinklered square foot were lower, on average.


!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA 13D 2013 update: Sloped-ceiling installations


!|src=|alt=Flowing20sprinkler|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Flowing20sprinkler|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017c38511b20970b!ABC News 4 reports that a recent fire at Palace Apartments on upper King Street in downtown Charleston, SC was contained by the building's sprinkler system.

According to the report, the Charleston Fire Department said that the resident was cooking when a fire started on the stove. The resident tried to put the fire out with water to no avail. The fire began to spread and triggered the sprinkler system.

When firefighters arrived around 10:20 p.m., they found that the sprinklers had contained the fire to the kitchen.

"The fire sprinkler system is a critical component in the life safety system of this property," said Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh. "In this case, a single fire sprinkler head operated and controlled the fire event until the fire department could arrive and mitigate any remaining hazards."

Without the fire sprinklers, the fire could have spread to multiple apartments and displaced several families instead of the minimal smoke and fire damage in one kitchen.

!|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 sprinkler saves apartment complex

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire sprinkler extinguishes fire in condo unit

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