News reports indicate that civilian fire deaths in West Virginia rank among the highest in the nation. Understanding that home fire sprinklers can dramatically reduce these deaths, Anthony Carrico plans to prioritize the use of these systems in his new role as West Virginia's state fire marshal.
During an interview with the Charleston Daily Mail, Carrico says he wants to increase the number of sprinklered homes in his state. The State Fire Commission had approved the 2009 International Residential Code in full, including the requirement for sprinklers in new homes, but the state's Legislature removed this provision. (The Fire Sprinkler Initiative site documents all state sprinkler requirements.)
While working in the state fire marshal's office for 22 years, Carrico says a residential sprinkler demonstration years ago convinced him in "15 seconds" that sprinklers are necessary components to new construction.
“In conjunction, there’s not a better combination at protecting and saving lives than smoke detectors and residential sprinklers,” he tells the paper. “Sprinkler systems not only save lives but also go a long way in protecting property. The system would suppress fire at the point of origin and prevent it from spreading."
Carrico also plans to secure a mobile unit--similar to what is being used in Washington--to spread the sprinkler message to residents.