!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07df87c7970d-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07df87c7970d-320wi|alt=New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Coalition|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Coalition|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb07df87c7970d img-responsive!Earlier this month, a number of publications picked up an opinion piece by David Kurasz, executive director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board and member of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Similar to trends that have occurred in other states (Alabama, for example), New Jersey saw an unfortunate uptick in fire fatalities in 2014. More specifically, there was nearly a 30-percent increase in fire deaths in 2014 when compared with 2013 totals.
"I urge people to never leave space heaters unattended. Clean chimney flues before use, check all smoke detectors, and consider installing residential fire sprinklers," pleaded Kurasz in his op-ed. "Sprinkler systems are the answer to reducing fire-related fatalities, protecting New Jersey residents and first responders from the horrors of fire."
Kurasz was right. Days after his op-ed was published, a fire started inside a Toms River, New Jersey, residence. A potentially disastrous outcome was thwarted thanks to a sprinkler activation inside a bedroom, the place where officials believe the fire had originated. Only one sprinkler head activated, resulting in minimal heat, smoke, and water damage. The structure remained intact.
"A properly designed and maintained fire sprinkler system combined with properly installed, maintained, and tested smoke alarms are essential elements in fire and life safety," James Mercready, director of the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention, told Toms River Patch.
Learn how other sprinklers advocates are spreading the good word in New Jersey by visiting the state's Fire Sprinkler Coalition site.