NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team came across a blog post written by a Massachusetts policy and communications adviser. In his post, titled "Outcry for Mandating Sprinklers Not Coming From the Public", he questions the importance of home fire sprinklers in all new homes while listing an array of inaccuracies and misstatements, including:
- sprinkler requirements will negatively impact the housing market
- firefighters will "be in the position to benefit financially" from sprinkler requirements, since home fire sprinklers require annual inspections from the fire service
Not taking these inaccuracies lightly, NFPA President Jim Pauley drafted a response to the blog post. "NFPA does not only back the installation of fire sprinklers in new homes for their ability to significantly reduce the risk of dying in home fires; sprinklers are also a requirement found in every model building code used in the U.S.," states Pauley in his letter. "Most Americans wouldn’t dare get into a new vehicle if it lacked seatbelts and airbags, since my guess is they would consider it a substandard vehicle lacking all of the modern features developed to keep them safe. Living in a new home without sprinklers is synonymous to entering a new car devoid of these features.
"No matter how many homebuilding advances have been made in safeguarding residents from the atrocities of fire, constructing homes without home fire sprinklers—a code requirement—is creating substandard housing."
Responding to the claim that the fire service will experience a financial gain if fire sprinklers are required, Pauley stated that this claim is amiss. "If fire sprinklers are installed in accordance to our standard, NFPA 13D, +Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes,+ annual inspections are not required. Annual tests to assure a home’s sprinklers are functioning correctly can be easily done for free by the homeowner."
Pauley also noted that "perpetuating the many myths associated with home fire sprinklers is taking a step backwards, fails to place value on saving a human life, and is missing the benefit of this simple technology that has been protecting lives and property for more than a century."
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Please help us tell this author why home fire sprinklers are necessary. Join Jim Pauley in responding to this blog post and state your case for why you support home fire sprinklers. Click on this link to access the blog post, and write your comments in the comments section on that page. The more voices we have in support of sprinklers, the better.
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