The following was written by Paul Eichler, chair of the Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition:
I feel obligated to alert everyone of two, devastating fires that recently occurred in Delaware. On June 12, a fire destroyed three homes and damaged several others in the Meadows at Chestnut Ridge neighborhood outside of Magnolia. A young man suffered critical injuries due to a fire that destroyed his home in the Paris Villa neighborhood on June 23.
The Chestnut Ridge fire alone brought in emergency responders from eight volunteer fire companies, the Kent County Emergency Medical Services Department, the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Red Cross.
With these tragedies in mind, I encourage families considering the construction of a new home in Delaware and elsewhere to build with home fire sprinklers. This technology provides continuous protection for families to quickly escape a fire before responders arrive. Sprinklers help to contain the fire, protect your property, and minimize your losses. Since sprinklers use less water than fire hoses, you might be able to stay in your own soon after the fire is extinguished by sprinklers.
Sprinkler costs have come down tremendously in the last few years, with an average cost now at $1.35 per square foot of livable space. We owe a tremendous amount of thanks to our neighbors in Maryland for bringing these costs down due to their sprinkler requirement for all homes.
Need more information? Please visit the Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition website and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site to read more about the benefits of home fire sprinklers. Also, please feel free to contact me.
These fires were terrible tragedies. I hope that the families are able to get their lives back to normal as soon as possible. Building with sprinklers will help to make sure lives and property are well protected.
Are you a safety advocate with the need to get something off your chest? Send your commentary to NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative, and we can showcase it to a national audience.