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Indiana home showcases future of residential fire protection

Blog Post created by freddurso Employee on Jun 4, 2015

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Sprinkler advocates at the site of a sprinkler open house



More than 3,000 communities, including the states of Maryland and California, have requirements for fire sprinklers in new homes, a concept that is new to Lake County, Indiana.


Indiana’s code adoption process is done on a statewide level, so the issue of building and fire codes is not usually on the minds of most local fire chiefs. That's not true, however, for Fire Chief Bill Timmer and his son, Matt, a former firefighter, who are building a new home in Highland. They chose to voluntarily install fire sprinklers and host an open house to display them.


"This was a wonderful opportunity for my son and my family to lead by example and show the community about the importance of fire sprinkler protection in today's new homes," says Chief Timmer with the Highland Fire Department. "Educating the public is an important part of what we do at the fire department, and this open house allowed us to highlight the ultimate life-safety system."


 

The open house event showcased sprinklers in accordance with NFPA 13D,+ Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes,+ before the drywall was installed. Attendees saw and touched the piping and hangers. Following the walk-through was a burn in a fire sprinkler demonstration trailer and a recognition ceremony for those involved with the project. Builder Brandon Smith of Homes of Distinction, Highland Councilman Konnie Kuiper, the Highland Fire Department, and Matt Timmer were recognized.


Matt Timmer says he is proud to have the first NFPA 13D fire sprinkler-protected home in Lake County and hopes others will follow his lead.


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Fire Chief Bill Timmer



Any fire chief, fire marshal, or public educator can conduct one of these open house events. In towns and states where anti-sprinkler legislation and codes have been enacted, the elected officials who supported the fire sprinkler bans may be long gone from office, which leaves the opportunity to educate new elected officials who may not know there are bans in place. In Illinois, we had a 40 percent turnover in elected state officials, necessitating events similar to what occurred in Highland that underscore the importance of fire sprinklers.


 

If the education process does not continue, there will be major hurdles to sustain what current fire sprinkler requirements are in place or adopt new codes. Educational events are one of the basic steps needed to dispel fire sprinkler myths and misinformation. Matt and Chief Timmer have helped pave the way in Highland and provide a example for others to follow.


 

This post was written by Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and government policymakers on home fire sprinklers. Lia regularly offers his perspective on sprinkler activities taking place in his state and elsewhere. 


This post was written by Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and government policymakers on home fire sprinklers. Lia regularly offers his perspective on sprinkler activities taking place in his state and elsewhere. - See more at: http://sprinkler.blog.nfpa.org/tom-lia/#sthash.RvYbFeJF.dpuf


This post was written by Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and government policymakers on home fire sprinklers. Lia regularly offers his perspective on sprinkler activities taking place in his state and elsewhere. - See more at: http://sprinkler.blog.nfpa.org/tom-lia/#sthash.R3ULdHHL.dpuf


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