Sprinkler advocates from across the U.S. and Canada received a motivational jolt this week during NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Durham, North Carolina. Addressing the crowd of more than 60 attendees, NFPA President Jim Pauley underscored grassroots efforts occurring in North America that spotlight the importance of home fire sprinklers and how this work is creating a wave of support for sprinkler requirements in new homes.
"NFPA knows it can't be everywhere," Pauley told attendees, some of them members of the 21 state sprinkler coalitions that have formed over the years. "We know the work gets done by people on the street--and that's you."
This type of sprinkler education and advocacy, added Pauley, has led to statewide sprinkler requirements in California and Maryland. Using a one-community-at-a-time approach to sprinkler code adoption, Illinois has close to 100 communities with sprinkler requirements on the books.
While showcasing a strength-in-numbers approach toward acquiring sprinkler requirements, Pauley also praised the power of the individual's voice. One of the summit's speakers, for example, was burn survivor Pam Elliott, who was recently honored by NFPA and other fire safety groups for her pointed op-ed on home fire sprinklers. "Pam shows us that one voice can begin to make a difference and affect change."