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2015

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7b64a6f970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7b64a6f970b-320wi|alt=Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7b64a6f970b img-responsive!Hear from some of America's top fire sprinkler advocates by attending the Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition Summit, September 9, in Wisconsin Dells. The event provides valuable information for residents, homeowners, builders, architects, fire service, and building code officials on the benefits of home fire sprinklers. 


Topics will include:


    • national trends involving home fire sprinklers

    • the fire dangers of today's built environment

    • legal liability and the national model building codes


 

Registration is $30, and special hotel room rates are available. For all details, download the summit brochure available on the Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition site.



 


!http://i.zemanta.com/350550331_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/350550331_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Anti-sprinkler sentiment fuels fire officials' promotion of these life-saving devices
!http://i.zemanta.com/353577884_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/353577884_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!State's code-making body "dysfunctional" for not updating its building code

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13f36b8970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13f36b8970c-320wi|alt=Fire Sprinkler Initiative|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Fire Sprinkler Initiative|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13f36b8970c img-responsive!The home fire took so much from Lionel Crowther. It killed his captain and burned 70 percent of his body. But what seemed to impact the firefighter most was the long-lasting effects the fire had on Crowther's wife and two children.


 

Crowther's impactful story is featured in the latest issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. Also in this issue are stories on:


    • a fire chief who broke NFPA blog records and will be offering regular commentary for the Fire Sprinkler Initiative

    • a resident now living in a sprinklered home who opens up about losing three family members in a home fire

    • legislation that would require homebuilders to produce sprinkler installation costs 


 

Subscribe to the free newsletter today in order to stay up to date on home fire sprinkler news from your state, region, and across North America.


!http://i.zemanta.com/353768602_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/353768602_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Two families say hello to their sprinklered homes, courtesy of Habitat of Humanity
!http://i.zemanta.com/351824699_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/351824699_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Test your knowledge on home fire sprinklers by taking NFPA's new quiz

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ecf98970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ecf98970c-800wi|alt=Dayleen and Andrew|title=Dayleen and Andrew|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ecf98970c image-full img-responsive!
Dayleen Marrero heard sirens as she answered an afternoon phone call from her soon-to-be husband, Andrew Taylor. The couple was set to marry that evening.


Standing next to the couple's pit bull mix, Taylor was outside their home grasping his tuxedo, the only thing he was able to take with him after escaping a fire inside their home. Prepping for her big day at a nearby hotel, Marrero was stunned by the news.


 

As reported by +The Chicago Tribune,+ two groomsmen also living in the same building lost their dog and cat in the fire. Silks and costumes used by Marrero, an aerial acrobat, also perished, as did Taylor's paintings and instruments. The more sentimental itemsjournals and photoswere destroyed. 


Despite the sadness, cancelling the wedding wasn't an option. "Probably the only thing that could distract us from our house burning down is the wedding," Taylor told the paper. Unable to secure their wedding rings post-fire, Taylor borrowed an uncle's ring and Marrero used her engagement ring during the ceremony. Their spirits lifted during the ceremony, but Marrero told the paper she had to be by herself throughout the night to cry. "It was the saddest I've ever been in my whole life, and I was the happiest as well."


 

While waiting for the possibility to reenter their home, the couple has been crashing on a friend's couch. The discovery of their wedding certificate by the fire marshal was one bright spot, as was the "GoFundMe "fire relief fund" webpage set up by friends.  


"[The wedding] was everything I dreamed of," Marrero told the paper. "It just happened to be the same day where we lost everything."


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ed002970c-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ed002970c-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ed002970c img-responsive!
Other couples have experienced similar hardships from home fires. Share these stories, made possible by NFPA's Faces of Fire Campaign. (Scroll down to the "Homeowners Stories" section.) If you have any personal stories involving home fires, respond to this post. We would love to read them, and will possibly highlight them in future posts. 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/353777649_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/353777649_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Two families say hello to their sprinklered homes, courtesy of Habitat of Humanity

 

I wanted to resurrect a 2011 post from blogger Brad Phillips, since its message is timeless.


 

The way you present home fire sprinklers to the public or decision makers is just as important as your content. Captivating presentations keep your audience engaged, and have the power to affect change. 


 

Such was the case for Rob Feeney, a burn survivor who was at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, when a massive fire injured him and killed 100 people, including his fiancée. Following training by the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Feeney has since advocated for sprinklers in a variety of settings, including new homes. Feeney delivered this emotional presentation in support of new sprinkler requirements in Tennessee:


 


 

As for why this video was so effective, Phillips offers these tips:


 

1. He began with a powerful analogy. Rob was only allowed three minutes to testify, so he began his testimony with this sentence: “The irony is that in three minutes…96 people in the Station Nightclub fire lost their life …including my fiancée and two of our friends.”


He continued to use that analogy throughout his testimony. Thirty seconds into his testimony, he talked about what was happening in the nightclub at the 30-second mark, and he continued to use that powerful device throughout his testimony.


 

2. He started small, then zoomed out. Toward the end of his testimony, Rob listed a series of major fires with their related death tolls. But that list wouldn’t have been effective if he had started with it. Instead, Rob started “small” – with his personal story – and then zoomed out to the larger picture. By beginning with something concrete, it made it much easier for the audience to understand the abstract. 


 

3. He was emotional. Rob’s emotion underscored just how “real” this issue was. But what struck me was how he managed it. When he got overwhelmed, he just put his head down, paused for a few seconds, and resumed when he was ready. Perfect.


 

4. He was on message. Even though he was emotional, Rob never lost sight of his objective. Everything he said was intended to convey that message to the members of the City Council.


 

Media professional Brad Phillips has worked closely with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivorsto help its advocates spread messages on burn injury and prevention, including the importance of home fire sprinklers. He is the author of The Media Training Bible and the Mr. Media Training Blog.  


!http://i.zemanta.com/353768602_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/353768602_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Two families say hello to their sprinklered homes, courtesy of Habitat of Humanity

!http://i.zemanta.com/354115120_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/354115120_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Use these tips to get home fire sprinklers on the media's radar

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_23_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_23_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Test your knowledge on home fire sprinklers by taking NFPA's new quiz

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_46_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_46_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Fire chief passionate about home fire sprinklers becomes latest NFPA blogger

 

 !http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08578fc2970d-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08578fc2970d-800wi|alt=Live burn demo|title=Live burn demo|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08578fc2970d image-full img-responsive!
Creating visually-stunning events showcasing fire sprinklers are a sure-fire way of getting your local media's attention.


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ce69e970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ce69e970c-320wi|alt=Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13ce69e970c img-responsive!Understanding this point is the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition, whose members recently attracted the press thanks to a thrilling demonstration comparing sprinklered vs. unsprinklered homes on fire. Once the Laramie Fire Department, a coalition member, wowed the crowd with the demo, they were then able to distill some valuable information.&#0160;“[Fire sprinklers average to about the] cost to upgrade your carpet in your house, but upgraded carpet isn’t going to save you or your kids’ lives,” Bill Bershinsky with the Laramie Fire Department told a reporter from LaramieLive.com.<br />


If you're looking to get on the media's good side, here are some tactics:


Get to know your local reporters. Go to your local news websites, search for their names, follow them on Twitter or Facebook, and introduce yourself. If you&#39;re a pro-sprinkler fire department or member of a state sprinkler coalition, educate them on home fire sprinklers and tip them off to any sprinkler-related events you may be hosting. Make sure you&#39;re constantly on their radar. As a former newspaper reporter, I can attest to the fact that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

Do not reinvent the wheel. NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) have free resources that take the guesswork out of creating media-friendly events. Use HFSC&#39;s free Fire and Sprinkler Burn Demonstration Kit for these events, which includes information on media outreach.&#0160;

Maximize attendance at your events. What some state coalitions have done is to host sprinkler demonstrations/events around larger events, such as a state fair or conference, that the media may already be attending. Since you&#39;ll have that built-in attendee base, it may be easier to attract people and press to your event.

Give your audience and the press a takeaway. You have just wowed the group with an amazing sprinkler display. Don&#39;t let them forget what they had just witnessed. Give them some sort of informational memento, or send them somewhere for more information. For example, print out NFPA's new infographics and hand them out at the event.


Watch the following video showcasing the Laramie Fire Department's recent event:


 


 

&#0160;Related articles


!http://i.zemanta.com/353768602_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/353768602_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Two families say hello to their sprinklered homes, courtesy of Habitat of Humanity
!http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!In their push for a building code with sprinkler requirements, advocates produce fiery demonstration
!http://i.zemanta.com/351821774_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/351821774_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Test your knowledge on home fire sprinklers by taking NFPA's new quiz

Estero, Florida, is proposing to sprinkler all of its new homes, and it's getting an informative lesson on the ease of installation from one of its own communities.

 

Described on its website as a "beautiful, gated enclave," the Pebble Pointe at The Brooks development in Estero includes 90, fully sprinklered homes. Initially hesitant to include this life-saving feature, homebuilding company Taylor Morrison was eventually persuaded by expedited inspections and lower insurance rates that will offset the installation cost over time.

 

"With the benefits of personal safety and a discount in insurance, it really is a win all the way around," Taylor Morrison sales representative Dawnn Dollar told the Naples Daily News. "With as many seasonal homeowners as we have here, the sprinklers really served to be a piece-of-mind thing. We've had a positive response to it."

 

Estero's fire safety officials are banking on an ordinance to bolster these "wins" throughout the town while tackling its home fire problem. The news story reports that an economic impact study commissioned by Estero Fire Rescue concluded that Estero has a high percentage of elderly living in expensive homes. Therefore, notes the study, fires there will lead to more deaths, injuries, and damage than what's statistically seen across the state or U.S.

 

Home fire sprinklers, notes the study, have the ability to &quot;reduce fire fatalities from 25 expected deaths per 10,000 fires to less than five deaths,&quot; states the news report. Since many of Estero&#39;s homes are new and likely built with lightweight construction materials that burn hotter and faster than traditional lumber, sprinklers can rapidly cut the risk of fire death or injury.

 

Public hearings on the ordinance have been scheduled.

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13bdf98970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13bdf98970c-800wi|alt=Habitat for Humanity families|title=Habitat for Humanity families|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13bdf98970c image-full img-responsive!
In June, two ecstatic families were given the keys to their new homes in Hanover, Massachusetts. Local safety officials also joined in the cheering, since both homes are fully protected with sprinklers.


 

Getting a peek at their new abodes were the Patry and Plahn families, who joined town officials in a home dedication ceremony last month. Members of the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition were on hand to congratulate the families and underscore how well-protected they will be thanks to the homes&#39; fire sprinklers. The coalition collaborated with NFPA, the South Shore Habitat for Humanity, and the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) to fully sprinkler the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath homes. NFPA's staff even contributed some elbow grease to the project.&#0160;


The Patry Family noted their gratitude for their new dwelling in a statement placed in the ceremony's program. "Our youngest child was born with a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis 1, which keeps us forever busy with doctor appointments. Our oldest is in transition to adulthood. Knowing that, with everything going on, we have ... a safe place to come home to everyday, which is a huge burden off all of our shoulders." 


Here are some photos from the event:


!http://a3.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be063970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://a3.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be063970c-800wi|alt=Sprinklered home|title=Sprinklered home|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be063970c image-full img-responsive!

Notice the sprinklers on the ceiling?



!http://a3.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be08b970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://a3.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be08b970c-800wi|alt=Martine Taylor|title=Martine Taylor|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be08b970c image-full img-responsive!

South Shore Habitat for Humanity's Executive Director Martine Taylor hands over keys to the new homeowners



!http://a3.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be0b3970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://a3.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be0b3970c-800wi|alt=Dave LaFond|title=Dave LaFond|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be0b3970c image-full img-responsive!

NFSA's Dave LaFond notes the home's life-saving feature



!http://a4.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be1fc970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://a4.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be1fc970c-800wi|alt=Barbara Stone|title=Barbara Stone|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13be1fc970c image-full img-responsive!

Barbara Stone, deputy fire chief with the Hanover Fire Department, spoke at the event. Watch a video highlighting her presentation as well as others from the event.

For more information on this project, watch NFPA's video case study highlighting the ease and affordability of sprinklering the two homes:


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!In their push for a building code with sprinkler requirements, advocates produce fiery demonstration

!http://i.zemanta.com/348887809_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/348887809_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Illinois fire and building officials enlightened on home fire sprinklers during kickoff event at NFPA Conference and Expo

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08561089970d-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08561089970d-320wi|alt=Pennsylvania Fire Sprinkler Coalition|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Pennsylvania Fire Sprinkler Coalition|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08561089970d img-responsive!In an op-ed written for the +Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,+ two fire service officials did not mince their words when it came to a Pennsylvania code-making body&#39;s inability to update the state building code.&#0160;


 

&quot;Dysfunctional...is the perfect word to describe the Uniform Construction Code&#39;s Review and Advisory Council,&quot; says John Waters and Larry Christie, co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Fire Sprinkler Coalition. &quot;Not the term you want to hear about a state-appointed review panel whose job is to review changes to the various codes that safeguard our citizens&#39; health and safety.&quot;


Since the council couldn't agree on adopting the 2012 or 2015 editions of model building codes, the state is still enforcing the 2009 editions. "Changes to these codes are ongoing and based on extensive research," the authors stated. "The codes are meant to protect those occupying the buildings--our families."


 

Even more frustrating to the authors was that the Commonwealth passed legislation in 1999 to createand updateits state building code. The interests of the building industry seem to trump the safety of the state&#39;s citizens, they added.


Furthermore, home fire sprinkler opponents effectively persuaded state lawmakers to remove a statewide, sprinkler requirement that would have taken effect in 2011. 



!http://a5.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13b6195970c-120wi|src=http://a5.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13b6195970c-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d13b6195970c img-responsive!Read a research report that counters myths used by sprinkler opponents during their push to nix the Pennsylvania sprinkler requirement. Use the report as a tool to combat the following arguments:


    • "Sprinklers will harm efforts at providing affordable housing nationwide."

    • "Sprinklers will not improve firefighter injuries and fatalities."

    • "Sprinklers aren't needed since current construction assemblies have increased protection and safety measures in place."  


!http://i.zemanta.com/350550331_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/350550331_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Anti-sprinkler sentiment fuels fire officials' promotion of these life-saving devices
!http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!In their push for a building code with sprinkler requirements, advocates produce fiery demonstration

!http://a3.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d1399c8b970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://a3.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d1399c8b970c-800wi|alt=Ronnie Walkup and Christian Young|title=Ronnie Walkup and Christian Young|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d1399c8b970c image-full img-responsive!

Ronnie Walkup (left) and Christian Young, who both died in a 2015 home fire



Flashback 1989.


Then Fire Marshal Jeff Hudson was one of the first on the scene of a home fire in Shawnee, Kansas, where he noticed heavy smoke billowing from the structure. The fire department's response was immediate, but they were unable to save a five-year-old boy, Cody Young. He was survived by his two grandparents, mother, and brother. All were home at the time of the fire, but had survived.


"We lived in a community that rarely experienced a tragic death of any kind," Jeff Hudson, now one of NFPA's fire sprinkler specialists whose region covers Kansas, tells NFPA. "An event like that touched the hearts of the entire community. There was consolation to help the family get their lives back."


 

Around the time of the fire, some buzz around the U.S. was brewing on home fire sprinklers, says Hudson, who notes that San Clemente, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona, had adopted sprinkler ordinances. &quot;It was clear, even in their infancy, that home fire sprinklers could save lives.&quot;

However, in 2010, the&#0160;Kansas Legislature passed anti-sprinkler legislation, preventing local jurisdictions from adopting sprinkler requirements.


 

Fast forward to May of this year. To the shock of the Shawnee Fire Department, a fire erupts at the same household where Cody had died more than 25 years ago. A neighbor who sees the fire breaks down the front door and notices two womenone of them being June Younglying on the floor. With help from the neighbor, they escape. A man in his 30s also survives the blaze, but 63-year-old Ronnie Walkup and his great-nephew, Christian Young, 3, die of carbon monoxide poisoning from the fire. Christian was the grandson of June, who also lost her son, Cody, in the 1989 fire.&#0160;


 

&quot;Our hearts go out to them,&quot; Shawnee Fire Marshal Corey Sands, a member of the Kansas Fire Sprinkler Coalition, tells NFPA. &quot;We can’t imagine what they went through and had to live through it again.&quot;


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08544783970d-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08544783970d-320wi|alt=Kansas Fire Sprinkler Coalition|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Kansas Fire Sprinkler Coalition|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08544783970d img-responsive!The latest tragedy serves as a reminder to exercise safe practices at home, says Sands. Hoarding conditions and improper use of electrical cords were found inside the home. Understanding fire&#39;s rapid spread is another important lesson people need to learn, he added. &quot;People&#39;s perception of&#0160;fire is what they see on TV and in movies. Every fire I’ve been to, I sit curbside with homeowners and they always tell me, &#39;That fire moved faster that I thought it would have.&#39;&quot;


All the more reason for increased safety at home, notes NFPA's Hudson. "What's crystal clear everyday for sprinkler advocates, you watch another family experience another tragic loss. It makes the sprinkler advocacy more important, more driven, more crystal clear. There's such a simple solution to this problem."


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb085446dc970d-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb085446dc970d-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb085446dc970d img-responsive!

Please do your part to help spread the message that sprinklers save lives. Use the free resources from NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative for assistance.</p>

"I didn't realize my burn injuries would affect not just me, but my wife and kids. It affected all aspects of our lives. I thought we would never get back to the life we had before."

 

Those jarring words are from Firefighter Lionel Crowther, who received burns on 70 percent of his body from a home fire that eventually killed his captain. While attempting to come to terms with his physical injuries, Crowther experienced emotional torment also felt by his wife and two children. His inability to regain his independence was an emotional drain that strained the family. The incident also tested the couple's marriage, even after Crowther's injuries started to heal.

 

Giving an emotional and honest look at the impact of fire, Crowther and his wife are sharing their story through NFPA's Faces of Fire. The campaign is a collaborative effort between the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors and NFPA that underscores lives altered by home fires and lives saved by home fire sprinklers.&#0160;

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7aefa52970b-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7aefa52970b-320wi|alt=Rick Ennis|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Rick Ennis|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7aefa52970b img-responsive!Fire Chief Rick Ennis broke an NFPA blog record when his commentary on a fatal fire death involving a two year old was viewed more than 20,000 times.&#0160;


 

He has graciously accepted our request to regularly blog for NFPA&#39;s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, joining our other unique voices in the push for increased acceptance and use of home fire sprinklers. Here is his inaugural post:


I am honored to have been asked to contribute regularly to this blog. I am guessing you have two pressing questions at the moment: One, who the heck is this guy? And two, why the heck is he writing a monthly blog about fire sprinklers? I thought I would open by offering this basic premise: The U.S. fire service has always been divided into two general camps—prevention people and suppression people.


Prevention folks have generally believed that the best fire is the one that never starts. Their beliefs are rooted in the findings of President Truman’s National Conference on Fire Prevention in 1947 and focused on fire protection through engineering, enforcement, and education. They are associated with taking a proactive approach to fire and life safety. Prevention people strive for a future in which unfriendly fires cease to exist.


Suppression guys have generally believed that the best fires are the ones to which they are first-in. Their beliefs are rooted in traditions pre-dating President Truman and focus on fire protection through aggressive firefighting strategies, tactics, and task assignments. They are associated with taking a reactive approach to firefighting and rescue. Suppression people strive to hone their craft to be the best of the best at what they do.


Fire sprinklers have traditionally been seen as a “prevention” issue. They are mostly discussed in prevention bureaus. Sprinklers are something fire protection engineers design, code enforcement officials endorse, and public education officers promote. Suppression people simply learn about the components of various fire sprinklers in the academy, during an occasional drill, or while studying for a promotion. Suppression folks pre-plan which buildings are sprinklered and respond to sprinkler activations. To the average prevention and suppression person, fire sprinklers are most often associated with large- or special-occupancy hazards.


Let’s be honest: we need both prevention and suppression people, and we need them to better balance themselves. Fortunately, there are those who achieve a balance in their beliefs and in their approach to fire protection. No matter how well we achieve prevention, as long as there are human beings, we will have fires and, therefore, we will need suppression. Which brings me back to the purpose of this blog.


Fire sprinklers are, in my opinion, not a prevention issue. Sprinklers are a fire-suppression issue. Rather than prevent fires from starting, sprinklers quickly suppress fires when they do start. Fire sprinklers are not proactive. They react quickly to the heat of a fire. Yes, sprinklers need to be engineered to national industry standards. Yes, sprinkler requirements are enforced through code adoption. Yes, we need to educate the public (including consumers, builders, realtors, elected officials, etc.) about the benefits of fire sprinklers. Just like we need to educate fire suppression personnel about the benefits fire sprinklers provide to the suppression process.


Fire sprinklers are a fire suppression issue. That is the premise on which this blog will be based. Check this blog often to see how fire sprinklers fit into the future of fire suppression. I look forward to making it an interactive blog, and invite you to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section. 


 

Rick Ennis is fire chief for the City of Cape Girardeau in Missouri and chair of the Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition.


!http://i.zemanta.com/349928641_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/349928641_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Latest Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter highlights advocates receiving up to $10,000 for sprinkler advocacy

!http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!In their push for a building code with sprinkler requirements, advocates produce fiery demonstration

!http://i.zemanta.com/351824699_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/351824699_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Test your knowledge on home fire sprinklers by taking NFPA's new quiz

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d135dcf5970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d135dcf5970c-320wi|alt=Quiz|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Quiz|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d135dcf5970c img-responsive!Take a minute (maybe less) to see if you can answer some basic information on home fire sprinklers.&#0160;


 

NFPA&#39;s Fire Sprinkler Initiative has developed an online quiz in an effort to gauge the public&#39;s understanding of these life-saving devices and sprinkler requirements across the U.S. If you&#39;re able to answer all questions correctly, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, don&#39;t fret. We&#39;ve embedded the quiz on our popular Fact Sheets page so you can obtain more information on a particular question.


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb0850808d970d-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb0850808d970d-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb0850808d970d img-responsive!
[Take the quiz, | http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/quiz] and use social media to share it with your work contacts, family, friends, and anyone else who could use a dose of sprinkler education. Tell us how you scored in the comments section below!


 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/348887809_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/348887809_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Illinois fire and building officials enlightened on home fire sprinklers during kickoff event at NFPA Conference and Expo

!http://i.zemanta.com/347277847_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/347277847_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA announces recipients of its Fire Sprinkler Initiative Grant Program

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Delaware State House. Photo by Dennis Deitrick on Flickr




The Delaware's House and Senate recently passed a bill that would link home buyers with cost estimates of home fire sprinklers.


 

According to theDelaware State Legislature website, the bill requires builders of new, one- and two-family homes that are three stories or less to provide a purchaser with a sprinkler cost estimate. Additionally, the bill also requires the state fire marshal&#39;s office to supply these homeowners with information highlighting&#0160;the benefits of fire sprinklers.&#0160;


NFPA joined other state advocates in producing letters of support for the bill. Per the Legislature's website, Governor Jack Markell has yet to act on the bill. 


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13535ce970c-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13535ce970c-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d13535ce970c img-responsive!


 


 

Enact your own letter-writing campaign that urges your local decision makers to support sprinklers in new homes by using the Fire Sprinkler Initiative's templates.


 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/348887809_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/348887809_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Illinois fire and building officials enlightened on home fire sprinklers during kickoff event at NFPA Conference and Expo

!http://i.zemanta.com/347277847_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/347277847_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA announces recipients of its Fire Sprinkler Initiative Grant Program

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d134387b970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d134387b970c-320wi|alt=South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Coalition|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Coalition|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d134387b970c img-responsive!Bolstering awareness on the power of home fire sprinklers is a priority for the South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Focusing on the damaging effects of today&#39;s home fires has been as important for the group as highlighting actual instances of sprinklers saving lives.


 

Exemplifying the latter, the South Carolina State Firefighters&#39; Association, a coalition member, took to its blog to describe a recent sprinkler save in West Columbia. Upon hearing his home&#39;s water flow alarm, a sleeping occupant awoke to discover fire on the outside patio. He escaped the house before the arrival of the West Columbia Fire Department, but by the time they arrived, sprinklers had already doused most of the fire.


"Without the sprinklers, the fire would have most likely accelerated up the outside of the building, causing a major fire," Fire Chief Wyatt Coleman with the West Columbia Fire Department stated in the blog post.


Watch this new video by the coalition highlighting ways it's increasing the acceptance of home fire sprinklers in South Carolina:


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/350093386_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/350093386_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Losing three family members in a fire, resident speaks up in support of home fire sprinklers

!http://i.zemanta.com/348316327_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/348316327_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Advocates unite near burning structure to underscore impact of home fire sprinklers

 

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Last month, the Township of Langley Council in British Columbia unanimously supported a resolution that aims to bring the province one step closer to increased fire protection at home.


The resolution's intent is to convince British Columbia officials to maintain and expand the use of home fire sprinklers in Langley. The council's resolution follows the decision of the township's Community and Transportation Safety Advisory Committee to have the council send "a letter to the Province requesting that local governments be permitted to use fire sprinklers as part of their community fire protection strategy."


The decision follows the passage of the new Building Act earlier this year, eventually giving the province sole authority in establishing more consistent building requirements across British Columbia. As stated in the resolution, the "Province recognizes that some local governments may ... have legitimate reasons for wanting more stringent requirements ... such as residential sprinklers."


 

The committee&#39;s conversations on mobility challenges of senior citizens and how that might impact their ability to quickly escape a fire prompted the resolution. NFPA research also notes that 30 percent of home fire victims are at least 65 years of age. (Download the free&#0160;"Characteristics of Home Fire Victims"&#0160;report.)


"Residential sprinklers play a part in the overall, comprehensive community fire protection strategy for the Township," states the resolution, which is also backed by the township's fire chief.


Check this blog for updates to this story. 


!http://i.zemanta.com/347277847_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/347277847_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA announces recipients of its Fire Sprinkler Initiative Grant Program

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_49_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_49_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Anti-sprinkler sentiment fuels fire officials' promotion of these life-saving devices

!http://i.zemanta.com/350093386_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/350093386_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Losing three family members in a fire, resident speaks up in support of home fire sprinklers

!http://a1.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d131d6f9970c-800wi|border=0|src=http://a1.typepad.com/6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d131d6f9970c-800wi|alt=Manhattan homeowners|title=Manhattan homeowners|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0162ff1d4766970d01b8d131d6f9970c image-full img-responsive!

Tom Lia (left), at the scene of a sprinklered home with homeowner/fire inspector Dennis Randolph and his wife, Melinda




In 2014, fire officials from 29 towns and fire districts in Will County, Illinois, gathered to discuss common code enforcement issues at a meeting with county board members. It was immediately apparent that certain board members had an anti-fire-sprinkler agenda.


While the meeting began with home fire sprinklers as a consideration in the county building code, county board members quickly decided to amend out the fire sprinkler requirement for new homes found in national model building codes. While there had been cooperation between the county and local fire departments/districts regarding fire sprinklers in commercial businesses, this mutual support for fire sprinklers in single-family homes wasn’t there. Fortunately, Will County has the benefit of a court ruling that allows fire districts to pass ordinances in unincorporated areas that they serve within the county.


One county board member publicly stated that he did not want any county code enforced for three years. The Manhattan Fire Protection District and Fire Chief Dan Forsythe used that statement as motivation to continue enforcing their own home fire sprinkler ordinance enacted in 2012. "Some jurisdictions may choose not to require fire sprinklers at all, while others only require fire sprinklers in homes over a certain, large-square footage,” says Chief Forsythe. “My duty as a fire chief is to protect the residents in my district the best way possible. My staff and I knew it was important to protect all new homes in unincorporated areas of Manhattan, regardless of size."


Others also understood the importance of this protection, and took action. Fire Inspector Dennis Randolph of the New Lenox Fire Protection District chose to build a new home in an unincorporated area served by the Manhattan Fire Protection District. Dennis and his wife, Melinda, used their home as an educational tool to explain to Will County officials the importance of fire sprinklers in eliminating fire deaths and injuries. In May, they hosted an open house with Rigsby Builders, the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, and the Manhattan Fire Protection District. Officials toured the home, guided by Engineer Bill Sutterlin of Advanced Fire Protection, and viewed the fire sprinklers before drywall was installed. Following the walk-through, a burn demonstration was held in a sprinkler demonstration trailer.


Randolph’s home and public display proves that fire sprinklers are not detrimental to homebuilders or the growth of a community. Furthermore, the sprinklers in his home were made possible by Chief Forsythe’s perfect pitch for a sprinkler ordinance and the ability to showcase accurate sprinkler information to the public. These actions will lead to increased fire safety and burn prevention.  


 

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. &#0160;


!http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/349377455_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!In their push for a building code with sprinkler requirements, advocates produce fiery demonstration

The state of Connecticut is benefiting from the efforts of a man who has turned tragedy into triumph.&#0160;

 

Jeffrey Block has been an influential force behind a legislative bill requiring landlords to inform tenants whether or not their homes are sprinklered.&#0160;His push follows the death of his 21-year-old daughter, Eva, in a 2012 house fire. Advocating for this bill, Block recently made a tearful plea to a local TV news station, urging lawmakers to get the bill out of legislative limbo. He also initiated an online petition to gain public support for the measure.

 

The legislature responded by passing the bill this week during a special session.&#0160;“The bit of awareness residents are going to get, they’re going to be notified now whether they have an active or inactive sprinkler system in their facility ... just to make them aware of their surroundings,” said Block, who joins the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition in advocating for sprinkler legislation.

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