(From left: NFPA Regional Director Randy Safer; Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition Chairs Wendy Niles and Kingman Schuldt; and NFPA Regional Sprinkler Specialist Tim Travers)
NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative awarded the newly formed Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition $10,000 aimed at furthering state education on home fire sprinklers. The funding is part of the initiative's Bringing Safety Home Grant, awarded to 15 recipients this year to further education and advocacy efforts that support home fire sprinklers.
Local safety advocates point to fire sprinklers as the technology that can directly impact the state’s home fire problem. Between 2005 and 2014, there were approximately 230,000 home fires in Florida that resulted in $2.5 billion in property damage. Home fires were also responsible for more than 70 percent of all civilian fire deaths in Florida during this period. (National statistics on home fires are just as dire.)
“These figures prove that Florida’s home fires have devastating consequences,” says Wendy Niles, fire marshal for the Lake Mary Fire Department and co-chair of the Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition. “The solution to this problem exists. The coalition will educate the public on the necessity of fire sprinklers in new homes and combat the many myths surrounding sprinkler performance. For instance, if a fire occurs in a sprinklered home, only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate. All of them do not go off at once.”
The Florida coalition received its grant check on behalf of NFPA and announced its official formation at the recent Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The coalition now joins nearly 30 other state coalitions championing for increased use and education of fire sprinklers in new homes. Join one of these coalitions today, or reach out to NFPA about starting one in your state. Here's more information on this grassroots movement sweeping North America: