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The[ National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation  |](NASFM Foundation) and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company[ announced  |]that 117 fire departments across the United States have earned the Life Safety Achievement Awardfor their fire prevention accomplishments in 2012.

For over 20 years, this award has recognized fire departments nationally for actively promoting fire prevention in the pursuit of saving lives. “The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention programs that have been proven t save lives year after year.”said Alan Clark, assistant vice president of Special Investigations at Grinnell Mutual.


!|src=|alt=Side-by-side-1|style=width: 450px; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block;|title=Side-by-side-1|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff8f75cd970b!
This year’s award recipients have organized educational programs targeted to specific groups in varied activities. “We are impressed by the variety and creativity of many fire department programs reported by our award winners,” said NASFM Foundation Executive Director Jim Narva. “We are also seeing more emphasis on residential sprinkler implementation, as well as an increased use of social media to reach audiences, particularly younger people in communities.” Mr. Narva informs there were 57 Fire Departments that indicated they were working to increase fire sprinklers in occupancies, including the use of residential fire sprinkler trailers (side-by-side demos).


Fire departments are encouraged to become a Built for Life Fire Department and use the free educational materials available from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition  to increase their residential fire sprinkler community educational outreach efforts.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NASFM introduces free guide for implementation of residential fire sprinklers

Recognizing the fire problem in the United States the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has officially launched Fire is Everyone’s Fight™ during a recent webinar that included partners from the American Red Cross, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Common Voices, a coalition focused on improving fire safety.

Fire_is_everyones_fightThe initiative seeks to unite the fire service and many others in a collaborative effort to reduce home fire injuries, deaths and property loss. The campaign includes targeted messages in key areas, such as; cooking, smoking, smoke alarms, escape planning, heating and home fire sprinklers.

“There are compelling statistics demonstrating the need for more working smoke alarms, safer cooking behaviors and fire sprinklers in homes. Now is the time for fire prevention action,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell Jr.

USFA will include a web page and a range of trademarked graphics for use on partner materials. Other resources for partner discussion and sharing will be available via the web page.

Obtain home fire sprinkler tools and resources and home fire sprinklers safety tips from NFPA and free educational materials from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition to learn about home fire sprinklers and emphasize their importance in your community. Mountain CO
All residential units at the new Badger Mountain South development located in Richland, Washington will be equipped with fire sprinklers. A total of 5000 residential units will be built; comprising of 3000 single family and 2000 multi-family homes on 850 acres, estimated to serve a population of 14,670.

According to Battalion Chief/Fire Marshal Kurt R Hubele of the Richland Fire and Emergency Services the location is distant from any staffed fire station and the layout incorporates “skinny streets” for most of the community. To offset this - and as part of the plan approval process - the developer agreed to install fire sprinklers in all homes.

The plan for Badger Mountain South describes the development as a “walkable and sustainable community…intended to foster neighborhoods that are unique to the community and that provide a high quality and healthy living environment…that looks to the long-term social and environmental health of the community.” Installing fire sprinklers in all homes will protect lives and property and ensure sustainability, because fire sprinklers also protect the environment.

Chief Hubele said construction has already started and hopes that “this example of fire protection in residences will educate developers, builders and political leaders in our area.”

For more information contact Fire Sprinkler Specialist Jeff Hudson.

Visit the Colorado Fire Sprinkler Coalition website.

Tim Travers discussing NFPA 13D
The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) recently held its annual convention and exhibition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative participated as an exhibitor. NFPA’s Tim Travers and Maria Figueroa were on hand to network with, and provide information to, conference participants.

AFSA is a non-profit, international association organized in 1981 to provide the open shop fire sprinkler contractor with training, consulting, communication, representation and many more services. Membership is open to contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, designers and Authorities Having Jurisdiction.

Currently,  AFSA represents approximately 750 companies and individuals in the United States and throughout the world.

The association holds the largest fire sprinkler industry convention and exhibition in the world. Besides presenting the latest in products and technology, the convention includes a variety of industry-related seminars. top story2
Our newest Faces of Fire story features Mayer and Sheryl Fistal from Falmouth, Maine. They moved from New Jersey to live in their brand new, custom built, retirement dream home. Three months after moving in, on a chilly morning in October 23, 2006, a fire broke out in the fireplace located in their living room. The fire grew, rapidly spreading heat and smoke throughout the house.

The Fistals, their dog and their guests escaped serious injury, although Sheryl suffered smoke inhalation. The house was a total loss and they were literally left with their vehicle and the clothes they were wearing. Everything else they owned was gone.


When they rebuilt their home there was no question that a fire sprinkler system would be included in the plans. “As you get older in life you are not apt to respond as fast as you would when you are young, you’re not as quick to realize what’s happening…sprinklers are definitely worth the investment” said Mayer. “Now I feel very secure…,” added Sheryl.

Mayer and Sheryl were very fortunate to have survived this fire, pretty much unscathed. As Mayer very eloquently pointed out to us, age is a risk factor in fire death and injury. Fire sprinklers control and may fully extinguish the fire, providing the additional time to escape that older adults and other high risk groups may need to get out alive.

Visit our Faces of Fire page to read our other stories and see more videos. !|src=|alt=House-Fire|width=286|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=House-Fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff8fbd16970b|height=200!Every 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the U.S., according to a new report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) . "Fire Loss in the United States in 2012" provides a comprehensive look at fire in the United States, including civilian fire deaths and injuries, property damage and intentionally set fires.

In 2012, there were:

    • 1,375,500 fires responded to by public fire departments

    • 2,855 civilian deaths

    • 16,500 injuries as result of fire

Last year, there was:

    1. a civilian fire injury every 32 minutes

    2. a civilian fire death every 3 hours and 4 minutes

    3. a home fire occurred every 85 seconds, which accounted for 76 percent of all structure fires.

    4. the majority of civilian fire injuries and deaths occurred in the home, accounting for 78 percent of fire injuries and 83 percent (2,600) of fire deaths.

Other key findings from the report:

    1. property damage of roughly $12.4 billion occurred as result of fire

    2. $7 billion of property loss was from home fires

    3. amount of property damage that occurred as result of fires increased by nearly 7 percent


Home fire sprinklers have a significant impacton home fire deaths and property loss, injury costs, and the cost of loss.


Visit FSI's Research and Reportssection for additional information.

!|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%;!Home fire sprinkler research, reports and statistics


!|src=|alt=Silver fire sprinkler|width=220|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Silver fire sprinkler|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff8ff547970d|height=182!The Herald Citizen has reported an early morning fire at an apartment that was extinguished by the fire sprinkler in the kitchen. It could have been much worse, fire officials said, if not for the sprinkler system activation.

According to the report the man had stepped away from the stove, coming back to find it had caught fire. The man then put the pan in the sink where it flared up and activated the sprinkler system in the apartment.
“It did its job,” Cookeville Fire Department (CFD) Captain Daryl Blair said. “That is just another case that shows sprinkler systems are very effective and do their job when activated.”

There was some water damage to the apartment, but no structural or burn damage.
All four stations of the CFD responded, but when they arrived, all they had to do was make sure that the fire was out. The sprinkler had done the rest.

“It could have been a different scenario if there hadn’t been a sprinkler system,” Blair said. “But all that had to be done was to have the maintenance people come in, change the sprinkler head out, recharge the system and things were back in order.”


!|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%;!Apartment fire kept in check by fire sprinkler system

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Home fire sprinkler saves lives in fire started by toddler

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Rochester, NY apartment fire extinguished by sprinkler system

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Home fire sprinkler system saves lives, property in Nolensville, TN

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

Child playing with fireEye On Annapolis informs that firefighters from Anne Arundel County Fire Department were dispatched to a reported dwelling fire in a townhouse to find that the home’s fire sprinklers had extinguished the fire set by a toddler.

The first unit to arrive on the scene reported nothing evident from a three-story townhouse. Upon further investigation, personnel found a bedroom fire on the third floor that had been contained by the homes sprinkler system. The cause of the fire was determined to be a 4 year-old child playing with a lighter.

Fires started by children playing accounted for an average of 56,300 fires with associated losses of 110 civilian deaths, 880 civilian injuries and $286 million in direct property damage per year between 2005 -2009.

Without sprinklers this fire could have had dire consequences. The very young are at high risk of death from home fires. Based on 2003-2007 experience data, children under age five are almost one and a half times as likely to die in a home fire as the general public.

This family was protected by home fire sprinklers because Anne Arundel County has required them since 2009. The State of Maryland adopted the requirment statewide in 2011.


!|src=|alt=Apartmentfirejpg|width=145|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Apartmentfirejpg|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff7de82e970b|height=118!ABC 6 News reports that an apartment fire was controled by the sprinkler system.


The reports states that, according to the Rochester Fire Department , crews were called to Lofts on 3rd just before four o’clock Sunday for an alarm going off in an apartment. They discovered a small fire had started on the stove and spread to nearby cabinets. But fortunately, the apartment's sprinkler system activated and put out the fire.

The damage is estimated at more than $5,000, but the fire officials say it could have been much worse if the sprinkler had not gone off.

The purpose of a residential fire sprinkler system is to save lives, but they also protect property and the environment.

[Learn more |]...

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

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire sprinkler system stops Portsmouth, NH apartment fire

!|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%;!Apartment fire kept in check by fire sprinkler system

Modern home fire addresses the deadly nature of modern homes in an online broadcast. The extensive coverage shines the light - once again - on the need for fire sprinklers in today’s one- and two-family dwellings.

The article highlights the fact that “today’s house fires burn eight items faster and produce 200 times the amount of smoke that a fire would have 50 years ago…” and includes the UL video showing an average-sized room furnished with modern products fully engulfed in flames in three minutes, while the same room, furnished with items 50 years of age took 30 minutes to do the same.


One of the fire recruits interviewed for the piece said; “…It’s a big eye opener…it’s a lot different.” He talked about the changing nature of fire and how it will affect the way firefighters will approach modern home fires. The lack of fire sprinklers in modern homes is also a firefighter safety issue.

A home fire sprinkler advocate recently commented; “the litigation clock is ticking and no one is listening…” Oh, but I think the message is being communicated loud and clear and is being featured more and more in articles, broadcasts, blogs, etc.

We must continue to create awareness with consumers, firefighters and other stakeholders of the fact that homes built after January, 1, 2011 – when all minimum fire, life safety and building codes required them – without fire sprinklers is a substandard product.


!|src=|alt=Silver fire sprinkler|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Silver fire sprinkler|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff6d8252970b! reports that a fire at the Frisco Station Apartments, in Joplin, MO was kept in check by the building’s fire sprinkler system.

According to the article, the fire reportedly started in a seventh-floor apartment of the highrise building at 7:15 p.m., when a mattress caught on fire. Stammer said the fire was under control by 7:24 p.m. and extinguished by 7:30 p.m. The seventh floor of the building was evacuated and floors below suffered water damage.

Without the fire sprinkler system the outcome may have been grave. The apartment’s occupant was treated for a superficial burn at the scene.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire sprinkler system stops Portsmouth, NH apartment fire

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Bob Vila weighs in on home fire sprinkler systems!|src=|alt=Sofa-Fire|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Sofa-Fire|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff5f385d970c!In 2006-2010 US home structure fires that began with upholstered furniture  accounted for:

    • 480 civilian deaths per year (19% of all home fire deaths),

    • 6,700 structure fires per year (2%),

    • 840 civilian injuries per year (7%), and

    • $427 million in direct property damage per year (6%).


Why a white paperon this topic?

Due to the serious health effects attributable to the chemicals (polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs) that are used as fire retardant treatments of upholstered furniture filling materials - to comply with the open flame test portions of existing regulations - manufacturers began phasing out the PBDEs about ten years ago.

In late 2012, California began work on revising its state regulation to remove the only open flame test requirement for domestic upholstered furniture in the US. Meanwhile, CPSC is continuing work toward a possible federal regulation for upholstered furniture but one that is only intended to address cigarette ignitions (not open flame). 

Also potentially relevant is growing concern over the threats to occupants and firefighters of faster-growing, more severe fires. This issue is also often cited whenever home fire sprinklers are debated.

In the following video, Dr. John Hall, Division Director - Fire Analysis and Research at NFPA discusses the report:


This situation adds timeliness and urgency to several questions:

What is the size of the upholstered furniture fire problem?

    1. What are the +different parts of that fire problem +that involve different aspects of upholstered furniture fire performance, and what is the relative size of these different parts?

Which parts of the upholstered furniture fire problem are addressed by existing regulations, and what is the evidence on how well those regulations have worked?

    1. What are the different +engineered options +used to comply with existing regulations and intended to reduce furniture flammability, and what are the pros and cons of those options (e.g., effectiveness in reducing flammability, other effects such as health effects, cost)?

Find the answer to the above questions: [Download UpholsteredFurnitureWhitePaper |]


Get the fact sheet

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!California Proposal to Change Fire Safety Standards for Upholstered Furniture Could Jeopardize Consumer Safety

Pulti2Legacy Farms, a development in Hopkinton, MA is an open space, multi use community. As part of the planning board approval for this master plan development, they required fire sprinklers in one- and two-family homes.

The property is comprised of 700 acres. Zoning approval was for different types of uses; from retail, to restaurants, etc. The covenant required that the property maintain 500 acres of open space.

During the planning phase, the developer worked with the town to maximize the 250 acre space for residential use. To accomplish this it became necessary to cluster the homes, have narrower roads, longer dead ends. As a result, and as part of the planning board approval, fire sprinklers were required.

The builder of the project is Pulte Homes, part of PulteGroup, a company operating for more than 60 years. Today, PulteGroup operates in approximately 50 markets throughout the country. The builder is very familiar with residential fire sprinklers "because we build many communities with multifamily residences which is the majority of our business," said said Reid Blute, a representative for Pulte Homes.

A visit to the site, made possible by Chief Ken Clark of the Hopkinton Fire Department, offered a unique opportunity to see installations in completed homes, and in homes currently under construction. Mr. Blute indicated it is a work in progress and that "there is a learning curve by officials, inspectors, and even the fire service with these systems;" something that needs to be resolved to streamline the process and provide a positive experience for the builder.

Here's hoping that at the end of this large scale development Pulte Homes will walk away with a better understanding of the many benefits of fire sprinklers and will install them in all homes they sell.

Home sprinklerThe Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) has just released its Home Fire Sprinkler Cost Assessment – 5 Year Update. This latest report reveals that the national average cost per sprinklered square foot has decreased to $1.35, down from the $1.61 average in 2008.

In 2008 Newport Partners conducted a study for the FPRF to provide a national perspective on the cost of home fire sprinklers by developing data on system costs as well as cost savings for ten communities, distributed throughout the United States. At that time sprinklers were mandated in some communities, but not others. And, although sprinklers were becoming more common in one- and two-family dwellings, adoption was not widespread.

Sprinkler system application in homes has steadily increased in recent years, driven in large part by building codes, outreach, and education. Two states - California and Maryland - have sprinkler requirements in place for all new one- and two-family dwellings with numerous others in the process of partial or full adoption of the provision.

The goal of the project is to review the current costs of home fire sprinkler systems against the 2008 benchmark study to better understand the relationship between adoptions, various elements of cost (installation, materials) and total costs, how efficiency in design or installation may be introduced, and other innovations.

Read the report

NFPA has just released a new fire safety tips for consumers video featuring home fire sprinklers. In the video, NFPA’s Lisa Braxton from the Public Education Division talks about the benefits of fire sprinkler systems.


The Public Education Division maintains a page of safety education for consumers featuring fire sprinklers.

This new video is just one more tool to help public educators raise awareness of the life safety and other benefits that fire sprinklers provide, when reaching out with education in their communities.


!|src=|alt=ICMA sprinkler|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=ICMA sprinkler|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef019aff2da4e7970d!An article in Public Management (PM), the official magazine of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) makes the case for home fire sprinklers. Excerpts from the article follow:

As the decision whether to require residential fire sprinklers reaches state and local governments, passionate arguments are being made by proponents and opponents alike. Encompassed in this emotional debate are data and research—some more reliable than others—along with myths and unsupported assumptions.

The challenge for managers and elected officials is determining the acceptable level of fire risk and making the best decision for their communities.
Several states have prevented local governments from adopting new sprinkler protection standards.

For local governments, installation of sprinklers offers a number of quality-of-life benefits, as demonstrated in recent studies.

ICMA’s Center for Public Safety Management staff members have worked with a number of communities that are researching current and future sprinkler deployment decisions. Addison, Texas, presented ICMA with one of the best views of what a community can look like if it is entirely sprinkler protected.


The Fire Sprinkler Initiative will be participating in the upcoming ICMA 99th Annual Conference  being held in Boston this month. Our participation will ensure that home fire sprinklers remain front and center in the mind of public officials.

!|src=|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!Fire Sprinkler Initiative at the National Association of Counties conference

Foundation heading
Based on the premise that the next 25 years will bring many challenges to fire safety in the built environment, the Fire Protection Research Foundation “convened a series of meetings to learn from members of NFPA technical committees, staff, and leadership about the strategic issues likely to affect future fire safety.” The Foundation captured the results in a white paper, published earlier this year.

The goal was to identify key emerging challenges for NFPA standards and how to structure to develop research information to help address those challenges. The result is “a research agenda designed to focus and set priorities for the Foundation’s research program in the near term and to ensure that it is meeting the emerging research needs of NFPA technical committees and other constituents.”

The Foundation addressed the changing furnishings in today’s buildings that create hotter faster developing, and more toxic fires can impact safety and NFPA codes and standards. This has an impact on firefighter tactics, protective clothing and equipment, tenability conditions, and challenges some basic assumptions in the design of buildings for fire.

Changes in building materials are also challenging some of the basic assumptions about the role of structural elements in overall fire safety design. Fire sprinklers – in the context of the home built environment - are certainly a key element that will impact fire safety and NFPA codes and standards.

As NFPA and the Foundation develop goals and strategies for the future – among many other important issues - residential fire sprinkler advocacy will certainly be front and center, in order to address future fire protection and safety for homes.

Join the conversation during a meeting November 13-14, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Download Fire Protection and Safety The Next 25 Years

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