Firefighters in Rutherford County, TN held a side-by-side burn to demonstrate the power of fire and the difference that fire sprinklers make; but according to DNJ.com, the president of the Rutherford County Home Builders Association said the display was based on emotion, not fact.
Proponents of home fire sprinklers provisions are used to opponents providing misleading figures and twisting facts, but this attack of a live side-by-side burn is a first. It should come as no surprise, as this demonstration is the most effective way to raise public awareness of the issue.
Steve Jensen, homebuilder association president and owner of Jensen Quality Homes said that the scenario was not representative of a real house fire or the danger that most Tennesseans face in a blaze, according to the article. For his argument to be true Tennesseans would have to live in unfurnished homes without appliances, and other contents that make today's fires burn hotter and spread faster; built with solid wood instead of lightweight materials. The fact is that new homes are deadlier.
As alleged in the report, this homebuilder repeated usual myths, such as; smoke alarms provide enough protection, and building with fire sprinklers will drive home buyers away. All the arguments attributed to this builder have been brought up before and disputed here in numerous posts. Larry Farley, chief of the Rutherford County Fire Rescue Department did an excellent job countering the fallacies.
Rutherford County is considering adopting one- and two-family home fire sprinkler requirements. The Rutherford County Planning Commission will hold a hearing next week, and will consider the adoption of the requirement. Stay tuned for the outcome of the effort.
For more information visit the Tennessee Fire Sprinkler Coalitionpage