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Until recently, there was no sound literature documenting why homeowners opt to purchase a home with fire sprinklers, their opinions on these devices, or how their opinions relate to policies supporting mandatory sprinkler requirements. Identifying this research gap, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Injury Research and Policy initiated a study gauging public opinions of fire sprinklers in one- and two-family homes.


 

Noted in the study's report as a "preventable public health problem," home fire injuries and deaths are still a cause for alarm in America; more than 42,000 people have died in U.S. home fires between 2000 and 2014, according to NFPA. Understanding the life-saving successes fire sprinklers have had in other occupancies and current code requirements for home fire sprinklers, researchers surveyed more than 2,300 homeowners living in sprinklered and unsprinklered homes to understand how home fire sprinklers are perceived and the role these devices can play in future fire prevention strategies.


Of the homeowners surveyed: 


those who lived in a sprinklered home learned about this safety feature from a variety of sources, but fire service officials who had informed them were rated as most helpful

more than half of homeowners living in a sprinklered home stated that sprinklers made them more likely to purchase their home; nearly 75 percent of these respondents would choose sprinklers again

ten percent of respondents in sprinklered homes documented home fires where "fire sprinklers put out the fire completely" more than half of the time

owners of sprinklered homes noted that the benefits of sprinklers far outweighed the costs; owners of unsprinklered homes had an opposing opinion

    1. while unsprinklered homeowners had more uncertainty about choosing a sprinkler-equipped home or willingness to pay for the safety feature, sprinklered homeowners more often indicated they would pay for sprinklers in a new home

respondents in sprinklered homes were twice as likely as those in unsprinklered homes to support mandatory sprinkler requirements for one- and two-family homes


 

Analysis of these results from the study's researchers underscores focus areas when advocating for fire sprinklers. Since most respondents either supported or were uncertain about buying a sprinklered home, "this lack of strong opposition to presents an opportunity for educational and policy efforts to increase in new homes, and to affect more general social norms on the issue," states the report. 


Furthermore, the results indicated a high proportion of people with disabilities living in sprinklered homes. To appeal to those "undecided" about sprinklers, the researchers suggest ramping up the fact that these devices can give this group ample time to escape a home fire. 


 

Using the free resources from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) as a means to incorporate sprinklers into professional training and certification, particularly for real estate and insurance agents, was another suggestion. (Last year, HFSC conducted its own study highlighting the likelihood of homeowners purchasing sprinklered homes.)


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08974dae970d-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08974dae970d-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08974dae970d img-responsive!


 

Read the full report, "Public Opinion Concerning Residential Sprinkler Systems for One- and Two-Family Homes," and use the data and report's suggestions to bolster your sprinkler advocacy efforts. 


 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_117_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_117_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!The truth about home fire sprinklers--from a former homebuilder
!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_87_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_87_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Your feedback is needed! Take our new poll on home fire sprinklers
!http://i.zemanta.com/310081628_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/310081628_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!NFPA President Jim Pauley rallies safety advocates at NFPA sprinkler summit
!http://i.zemanta.com/352648917_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/352648917_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://i.zemanta.com/289179884_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/289179884_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!What are your thoughts on a National Fire Sprinkler Week?

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d17b0347970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d17b0347970c-320wi|alt=NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d17b0347970c img-responsive!In the latest issue of our Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter, read about anti-sprinkler legislation filed in Maryland, one of two states with a requirement to sprinkler all new homes. (California is the other.) You’ll also read about:


    • a magazine catered to the homebuilding industry instructing this group to pay more attention to fire safety at home, particularly home fire sprinklers

    • startling stats on home fires from NFPA’s new report

    • a New Hampshire fire marshal who let NFPA into his new home to document his sprinkler installation


 


 


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7f14a8d970b-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7f14a8d970b-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7f14a8d970b img-responsive!


 

Stay on top of sprinkler news from across North America by subscribing to the monthly newsletter today. It takes but a few seconds.


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/338179680_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/338179680_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Another U.S. state takes a big step in support of home fire sprinklers
!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_3_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_3_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Practicing what he preaches: State fire marshal sprinklers his own home
!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_36_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_36_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Builder Magazine: Fire safety is an issue homebuilders can't afford to ignore
!http://i.zemanta.com/312445548_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/312445548_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Looking to convince legislators to support sprinklers? Start with relationship building

Throughout my career, I have always cringed at the notion that “the fire service should be run more like a business”. This statement has typically been connected to the desire to find efficiencies, which is often code for “spending cuts.” I have typically responded with the common retort, “The fire service is focused on service delivery. And when it comes to service delivery, perhaps businesses should be run more like the fire service.”

However, a couple of years ago, I read the book We Don’t Make Widgets by Ken Miller. In his book, Miller claimed that public sector agencies operate from the premise that we provide services instead of producing products. He explained that one advantage private sector companies have is that they have clearly defined products (generically referred to as widgets), and they concentrate on improving the process by which their widgets are produced. Improving the production process can result in better widgets delivered faster and/or cheaper. This is considered good business practice.

Miller then argued that public sector agencies often make widgets and need to identify what those widgets are. Then, he continued, we could concentrate more on improving our processes that better widget production. He defined widgets as anything that:

  1. are specific and tangible
  2. can be counted and measured
  3. can be delivered (handed off to a customer)
  4. results from a process

Applying this definition, I realized that we do produce widgets in the fire service. Our widgets include “products” such as extinguished house fires, uninjured occupants, and firefighters safe enough to return home. These items fit the above criteria and result from a process we call fire suppression operations. This altered my perspective regarding how we can best improve our process that would result in better widgets delivered faster and cheaper. This is not only a good business practice but also results in better customer service.

Let’s look at the traditional fire suppression process in the form of a timeline. The elapsed time of each step in the sequence will vary, but the sequence of these steps remains the same: 

Traditional fire suppression process

There’s ignition, discovery, notification, call processing, turn-out, travel, set-up, water on the fire, and overhaul. This process often results in the production of widgets but the quality of them or the ability to deliver them can be inconsistent and vary due to factors out of our control.

Now imagine an improved fire suppression process to produce better widgets. In fact, we don’t have to imagine such a process. This process would follow the sequence of water on the fire, discovery, notification, call-processing, turn-out, travel, set-up, and overhaul. This process has already been exemplified in a variety of case studies underscoring fire sprinklers in the built environment:

Improved fire suppression process

The key to the fire suppression process is applying water to a fire at a rate of flow that exceeds the rate of heat release. We have spent decades researching and developing ways to shave seconds from the various segments on the front end of the process, trying to improve efficiencies and reduce the time until fire service involvement. The main problem with our traditional fire suppression process is that the fire continues to develop throughout the entire process until we can finally apply the adequate rate of water flow.

Moreover, changes in the built environment are significantly increasing the rate of fire development in lesser time. This rapid fire development reduces our chances of delivering high-quality widgets. Our antiquated process can no longer keep up in our changing environment. The chances of delivering repairable—and extinguished—house fires, uninjured occupants, and unscathed firefighters will decrease.

Acknowledging, embracing, and promoting fire sprinklers as the key to meaningfully improving the fire suppression process will help us deliver better widgets. Isn’t that our job, our responsibility, our duty? If we were corporate executives of private sector companies ignoring such an obvious and significant improvement to our production process that has been available for so long, we would undoubtedly be looking for work.

This post was written by Rick Ennis, fire chief for the City of Cape Girardeau in Missouri and chair of the Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Read Rick Ennis' previous blog posts written for the Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

Who better to offer sage advice on the benefits of home fire sprinklers to homebuilders than a former homebuilder?

 

With 20 years of experience in residential construction and land development, Eric Gleason showcased how home fire sprinklers can be beneficial to a homebuilder's bottom line. Some examples highlighted during his presentation at NFPA's recent Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Phoenix included an increase in the number of developed lots, reduced street widths, and increased distance between hydrants if sprinklers are present.

 

While opposition groups view sprinklers as yet another expense, Gleason said the same was said for other items that are now commonplace in homes, including double-pane windows, interconnected smoke alarms, and copper wiring.

 

Gleason, now a regional manager for the National Fire Sprinkler Association, pointed to articles penned by the National Association of Home Builders highlighting double-digit gains in the housing industry. "If they're saying they can't afford sprinkler installation, it's not true."

We've developed a new poll that gauges the topics you'd like to see more of on this blog and in our Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. (Please subscribe today if you haven't done so already.) Take a few seconds to answer the following question. The results will help us shape the stories and news you see going forward. 

And thanks for the feedback!

 

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08927b6a970d-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08927b6a970d-800wi|alt=Homebuilders|title=Homebuilders|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb08927b6a970d image-full img-responsive!
A recent article in Builder Magazine titled "Playing With Fire" eloquently summed up the concerns over today's new homes and the materials typically housed in them. Of equal importance is the article's directive to the homebuilding industry that it "needs to pay more attention" to today's fire protection measures, including home fire sprinklers, as fire threats at home continue to grow.


"Over the last 10 or 15 years, the trend has gone from passive to active fire detection--sprinklers and smoke detectors as opposed to fire-rated walls," James Langhorne, a 30-year, fire service veteran and fire protection engineer told the magazine. "I believe that fire sprinklers in the residential environment will be adopted around the country."


 

The homebuilding industry has been slow to act in embracing fire sprinklers. While the National Association of Home Builders declined to comment for the Builder article, a few builders went on the record to express their concerns over cost. "If you're talking to a guy who is struggling to support his family and you hit him with thousands of dollars of bills because the code requires it, he's going to look at you and say, 'I won't build. I'll go rent,'" Mike Hudek of Del Mar Builders told Builder Magazine.


 

Data from both California and Maryland, where sprinklers are required in all new homes, does not indicate that these states are suffering massive losses in either housing stock or home purchases. In California, a housing boom is currently taking place. In Maryland, the Office of the State Fire Marshal recently surveyed the state's licensed sprinkler contractors on their cost to install sprinklers in a 2,800-square-foot home. The average was a paltry $1.44 per sprinklered square foot, pennies above the national average determined by NFPA.


Flooding was another concern addressed in the article, but Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of Outreach and Advocacy, noted that deluges aren't common. "Only the fire sprinkler closest to  the fire typically activates," she told the magazine. "Most fires are controlled by one sprinkler."


If more builders can start embracing today's proven home safety features while turning a profit, "they might be able to save some lives in the process," stated the article.


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ee5a53970b-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ee5a53970b-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ee5a53970b img-responsive!


 


 

Help share these resources with the homebuilding industry and local developers on the benefits of sprinklering new homes.


 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/355691503_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/355691503_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Do your legislators know you support home fire sprinklers? If not, take action

!http://i.zemanta.com/324467158_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/324467158_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!A frank conversation with Fire Marshal Joseph Thomas, chair of America's newest sprinkler coalition

!http://i.zemanta.com/290159713_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/290159713_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Life safety pioneer paved the way for sprinkler requirements in Illinois

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_39_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_39_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Court's reversal of state sprinkler requirement underscored in latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter - National Fire Protection Association Blog

 

One of NFPA's key experts on home fire sprinklers shared his knowledge at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit earlier this year. Matt Klaus, NFPA's principal fire protection engineer and staff liaison for NFPA 13D, +Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes+, gave thorough insight into the operation, importance, and cost of these life-saving devices. We've turned his presentation into bite-sized segments on the most popular myths surrounding home fire sprinklers and the truth behind these statements. 


 

Visit the sprinkler myths vs. facts page on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site to view all of the videos, which tackle such statements as "water damage caused by sprinklers will be more extensive than fire damage" and "home fire sprinklers aren't practical in cold climates." Here, Klaus discusses the newer-homes-are-safer-homes myth:


 


  


!http://i.zemanta.com/344704360_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/344704360_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!The many myths associated with NFPA's residential sprinkler standard countered by sprinkler expert

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_25_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_25_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Sprinkler coalition to host educational event on home fire sprinklers

!http://i.zemanta.com/337135746_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/337135746_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Minimal damage, no deaths following home fire sprinkler activation

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_79_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_79_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Court's reversal of state sprinkler requirement underscored in latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter - National Fire Protection Association Blog

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ed4189970b-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ed4189970b-800wi|alt=Maryland sprinkler requirement|title=Maryland sprinkler requirement|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ed4189970b image-full img-responsive!
Maryland's fire service and other advocates stand ready to defend the state's sprinkler requirement following the filing of a bill this month to eliminate this feature in new, one- and two-family homes. Maryland is one of two states (California is the other) with a statewide, sprinkler requirement.


 

Sponsoring the bill is Maryland Delegate Chris Adams, who told a local newspaper that this legislation "brings a responsible return of critical decision-making to the local level, where these decisions are best made." Adams also fears sprinklers will halt economic growth, a myth that has been addressed by various reports by NFPA. For example, the report "Comparative Analysis of Housing Costs and Supply Impacts of Sprinkler Ordinances at the Community Level," examined certain counties in the Maryland and Virginia area. It concluded that the enactment of sprinkler ordinances did not cause any detrimental effects on housing supply and costs. Furthermore, the data revealed that fire sprinkler requirements were a minor influence on regional housing costs compared to fees, population and job growth, and land availability.


 

Defending the necessity of the sprinkler requirement has been Maryland's fire service. In a recent piece written for a local publication, volunteer firefighter Mark Cotter used NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative research  to state his case. He also offered an apology to readers. 

"I want to apologize on behalf of the fire service for this delayed response to a significant threat to the safety of our fellow citizens," he stated. "We had been led to believe this life-saving building feature, costing less than many cosmetic upgrades to a new home, could no longer be ignored by local jurisdictions. We were surprised and alarmed by recently reported efforts to seek assistance from the Maryland state legislature to circumvent this requirement.


"Another apology: No fire department will arrive in time to stop a fire that has extended beyond the room of origin in a home built with modern components. Our efforts will likely instead be directed at preventing its spread to nearby structures." This reality underscores the need for fire sprinklers, he added.


Citing the benefits of sprinklering the state's townhomes, Cotter noted that failure to sprinkler its new homes will continue to result in needless fire deaths. "We in the fire service have sworn to protect the lives and property of our citizens. It would be nice if our elected officials acted in the same interests."


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1770c3d970c-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1770c3d970c-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1770c3d970c img-responsive!


 


[Subscribe to this blog today | http://feeds.feedburner.com/firesprinklerinitiativeblog] to make sure you're receiving news and various perspectives on the Maryland sprinkler requirement.


 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/278598568_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/278598568_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!CBS radio report on the home fire sprinkler debate receives high honors from the Associated Press

!http://i.zemanta.com/312655501_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/312655501_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Fire deaths on the decline in a state requiring home fire sprinklers

!http://i.zemanta.com/343749147_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/343749147_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Maryland County enacts Building Safety Month, promotes building codes and home fire sprinklers

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1735b21970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1735b21970c-320wi|alt=Michigan Fire Sprinkler Coalition|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Michigan Fire Sprinkler Coalition|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1735b21970c img-responsive!The Michigan Fire Sprinkler Coalition is hosting a one-day program dedicated to fire sprinklers on December 4, 2015, in Howell, Michigan, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This course is intended to provide municipal code officials, code inspectors, and plan reviewers with resources to meet code requirements as it relates to home fire sprinklers. The program will discuss inspection and plan review based on the Michigan Residential Code and requirements of NFPA 13D, +Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes.+ Representatives from the National Fire Protection Association and other industries will be on site during the training. 



 

 

The course includes a copy of the 2013 edition of NFPA 13D and lunch. The day will conclude with a live fire/sprinkler demonstration.


 

Visit the event's registration page for more information.


 



 


!http://i.zemanta.com/344704360_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/344704360_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!The many myths associated with NFPA's residential sprinkler standard countered by sprinkler expert

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_69_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_69_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Court's reversal of state sprinkler requirement underscored in latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter

!http://i.zemanta.com/337135746_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/337135746_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Minimal damage, no deaths following home fire sprinkler activation

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb088dd872970d-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb088dd872970d-800wi|alt=091|title=091|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb088dd872970d image-full img-responsive!
Made possible by a grant provided by NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative, a fire sprinkler demonstration trailer has been making the rounds in Oregon and wowing its residents in the process. 


Both sections of the trailer mimic a setting inside your average home. There's bedding, a mattress, couch, drapes. One section is set aflame to mimic the way fire quickly impacts today's modern furnishings, while the other section showcases the speed in which sprinklers can avert fire's catastrophe.


 

Leading the charge for these educational events are members of the Oregon Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Last month, the trailer rolled its way to the Oregon Building Officials Association Annual Conference in Wilsonville, Oregon. This was the first time that many building officials witnessed the effectiveness of home fire sprinklers. Following the event, they asked a number of questions, giving the coalition the chance to offer clarifications on some of the more popular fire sprinkler myths.


Earlier in the year, coalition members with the Clackamas Fire District #1 hosted a similar demonstration at the Oregon City Hilltop Safety Fair. Close to 400 people from the community witnessed the demonstration during a day filled with fire safety education. This is the fourth year Clackamas has hosted a sprinkler demonstration at this event.


 


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ea04e5970b-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ea04e5970b-120wi|alt=Act now|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act now|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b7c7ea04e5970b img-responsive!


Were you unable to attend these events? No problem. Check out this video produced by the coalition, which includes important tidbits about today's home fires and a stellar soundtrack:


 


 


 


 


  


!http://i.zemanta.com/317924240_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/317924240_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Deadly blaze underscores Connecticut's home fire problem and growing group of safety advocates working towards a solution

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_86_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_86_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Court's reversal of state sprinkler requirement underscored in latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter

 

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"Policymakers need to be gently nudged along the right path," Shari Shapiro told attendees at NFPA's recent Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Phoenix. Nudging legislators in a pro-sprinkler direction has been a task of Shapiro, founder of Calliope Policy Advisers, which represents nonprofits and other industries in state and local affairs, including building code updates.


During her presentation, Shapiro outlined necessary actions that can get and keep home fire sprinklers on the radar of legislators and influential groups. "Fire sprinklers are a taxpayer issue," she told the crowd. "When a home burns down, it has an impact on the community, and that impact can be quantified. It can be used to engage community members." Use your state or region's home fire statistics to your advantage, she added.


 

If a state or region is going to initiate a push for home fire sprinklers, inviting all stakeholder groups to the table is a must, Shapiro added. The most effective state sprinkler coalitions, she noted, are the ones that make it seem like it is in a specific group's best interest to join the cause. "You need to make it as easy as possible for other organizations to participate in your efforts. You need a strong coalition with a strong strategy."


Before you even propose the idea of a sprinkler ordinance, legislators also need to know who you are, Shapiro said, adding that inviting legislators to informal community events is a great means of introduction. "You need to be in their office, just to say hi."


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1735970970c-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1735970970c-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1735970970c img-responsive!


 

Looking to showcase support for a sprinkler ordinance in your town? Start a petition! Use this template produced by NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative. If you'd like to create an online petition, we can help you. Email us for assistance.


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_74_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_74_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Safety advocates across North America obtain invaluable advice during NFPA home sprinkler summit

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_20_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_20_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Court's reversal of state sprinkler requirement underscored in latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter - National Fire Protection Association Blog

!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

 

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Media outlets in Maryland continue to produce slanted stories on the impact of the state's sprinkler requirement, which fail to give the public the full story on these life-saving devices.


 

Case in point: An article recently appeared on a local news site with a headline stating the requirement will "dampen building." Only a sentence was devoted to sprinkler advocates, including NFPA, who support the statewide sprinkler requirement. The rest of the story focused on builders balking at the requirement, stating that it will "unnecessarily add to the housing market's woes."


 

The state fire marshal disagrees. In an op-ed Brian Geraci penned earlier this year, he places the average cost to sprinkler a new home in Maryland at $1 to $2 per sprinklered square foot. 


 

Furthermore, take a look at what is happening in California, the other state with a sprinkler requirement, which is currently experiencing a housing boom. 


 

If these facts aren't enough, this recent example of why fire sprinklers are so crucial should convince any naysayer. A 77-year-old Maryland resident mistakenly turned on a burner with a pot of cooking oil atop it. The oil burned, and the woman transported the pot to the sink. Her action resulted in the oil splashing, which set her hair on fire. (Here are NFPA's tips on dealing with cooking fires.)


 

The kitchen's sprinkler immediately activated and extinguished the flames, preventing the victim from receiving life-threatening burn injuries, stated a news release from Geraci's office. Four tenants were temporarily displaced, but the home was still deemed livable. "This is another example of the effectiveness and value of these life-saving devices," Geraci stated in the news release. "Residential fire sprinklers save lives and property. The presence of fire sprinklers undoubtedly prevented a more tragic outcome." Geraci also spoke at a recent live burn/sprinkler demonstration in support of sprinklers.


 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1723415970c-120wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1723415970c-120wi|alt=Act-Now-small|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Act-Now-small|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01b8d1723415970c img-responsive!


 


 

Please do your part to counter the myths sprinkler opponents are using to prevent fire sprinklers in new homes. Write an op-ed, add the facts to the comments section of online news stories, and let NFPA know of any other stories you come across that don't tell the full story on sprinklers. 


 


!http://i.zemanta.com/309569023_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/309569023_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!New NFPA Journal highlights the work of four passionate home-sprinkler advocates

!http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_63_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/noimg_63_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Court's reversal of state sprinkler requirement underscored in latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter

 

!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb088bc733970d-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb088bc733970d-320wi|alt=Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01bb088bc733970d img-responsive!"I was shocked, stunned you know, especially hearing screams that I've never heard in my life. Horrific yelling," New Britain, Connecticut, resident Steven Ayala told an NBC affiliate following a nearby home fire. Firefighters responded to the two-alarm blaze (one of them getting injured in the process) and frantically searched for 11-year-old Cade Townsend, who was trapped inside.


The fire intensified, forcing firefighters to pull back. When they were able to reenter the home, they found Townsend--unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 


Some residents who escaped experienced other horrors before seeking safety. "The lights went off and I got scared because ... I couldn’t go out through either side because there was black smoke and it was getting hot," Kenneth Anderson told the NBC affiliate. "I had to jump out the second-floor window. I was dangling there until I really got up the courage to let go."


These experiences are not anomalies. They're a common reality in 2015 America. Rather than merely shake their heads at the senseless loss of life and injuries from home fires in their state, Connecticut's safety advocates have united to take action.


 

Within the past few months, the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition has been promoting a life-safety message: home fire sprinklers have the power to reverse the typical effects of home fires. In October, they hosted a live/burn fire sprinkler demonstration to about 300 people in Wilton, Connecticut. They recently partnered with the University of New Haven Fire Science Club to host a similar event on October 30. The New Haven Register captured eye-catching photos of the event, narrated by coalition Chair Keith Flood.


A constant presence in front of the public and the state's decision makers has been the coalition's tactic toward a hopeful adoption of requirements for fire sprinklers in new homes. One thing is certain: they're keeping sprinklers on people's radar.


 

Follow Connecticut's lead by hosting your own live burn/sprinkler demonstration using the free resources of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Also, watch this video from another live burn/sprinkler demonstration in Connecticut that took place earlier this year:


 


  


!http://i.zemanta.com/341182787_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/341182787_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!How to combat the popular myth that 'newer homes are safer homes'

!http://i.zemanta.com/302693248_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/302693248_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;!Firefighter death adds significance to new Connecticut sprinkler coalition

In July, NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team headed to the site of the future home of New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Bill Degnan. When we arrived, workers were scattered throughout the nearly completed home, sawing and drilling with purpose. Resting above our heads was Degnan's most prized feature in his home. 

 

Degnan guided us to his home's basement and pointed to the exposed sprinkler piping, noting this safety feature was on his list of must-haves. "For 41 years, I've been in the fire service," said Degnan, a member of the New Hampshire Fire Sprinkler Coalition. "I've seen too many people with severe losses from fire over the years. Sprinklers are the single, most-important thing that can take us to the next level in protecting people in their homes.

 

Joining Degnan for NFPA's video case study was Jason Lyon, fire chief with the New London Fire Department and fire sprinkler supporter.

Jim Ford, fire marshal for the Scottsdale, Arizona, Fire Department

 

Looking for sound evidence that a home fire sprinkler ordinance can save lives without posing added financial burdens to homeowners? Chat with Jim Ford.

 

The fire marshal of the Scottsdale, Arizona, Fire Department, Ford has an array of data underscoring the effectiveness of his town's sprinkler requirement that went into effect in 1986. The most eye-opening slides from his presentation during NFPA's recent Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Phoenix highlighted more than 20 home fires — electrical, smoking, and cooking were some of the causes— that led to successful sprinkler activations. "We're seeing the same types of fires occurring across the U.S., but we're seeing different outcomes," Ford told summit attendees.

 

More than half of all homes in Scottsdale are now protected by sprinklers. Ford said the average cost per sprinklered square foot for semi-custom homes has been as low as $1.50, pennies above the national average. During each code cycle, Ford says the ordinance goes through "without consent."

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