Sprinkler expert outlines the fire challenges of modern homes

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Sep 18, 2014

The Northwest Residential Fire Sprinkler Summit winds down this afternoon, after a full day of providing sprinkler advocates with the latest information and inside scoop on home fire sprinklers.

Bob Eugene
Bob Eugene, senior regulatory engineer from UL, LLC, Building and Life Safety, discusses the fire challenges in modern residences.

Also see: In a recent post on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog, we outlined several reasons why newer homes may pose a higher risk to occupant and firefighter safety in the event of a fire:

  • New methods of construction negatively impact occupant and firefighter life safety under fire conditions. Specifically, risks created by engineered lumber. Studies point to the failure of lightweight engineered wood systems used in floors and roofs when exposed to fire. Read more about the issue of lightweight construction materials.
  • The synthetic construction of today’s home furnishings also add to the increased risk by providing a greater fuel load.
  • Larger homes, open spaces, void spaces, and changing building materials contribute to faster fire propagation, shorter time to flashover, rapid changes in fire dynamics, shorter escape time and shorter time to collapse. Fire sprinklers can offset these increased dangers and create a safer fire environment for occupants and responding fire crews.

Gary Honold
Gary Honold, NFPA's regional director for the Northwest region of the United States, introduces members of a sprinkler panel discussion at the Northwest Residential Fire Sprinkler Summit.

Special thanks to Nanette Tatom, public information officer for Gig Harbor (WA) Fire & Medic One, for providing photos from the summit.