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."