With help from a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an Illinois fire department gave real estate agents a valuable lesson on selling sprinkler-protected homes.
Hosted by the Clarendon Hills Fire Department, the educational event in August detailed sprinkler safety benefits, operation, and insurance discounts that, in time, cover the cost of installation. Since Clarendon Hills is one of about 100 Illinois communities that have an ordinance to sprinkler new homes, this event served as a critical lesson for agents selling these homes. "Real estate agents are on the front line of education about home fire sprinklers," said Tom Lia, a writer for this blog and executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, in an online article about the event. "They are the voice that homebuyers trust when buying or selling a home, so it’s important that they know the correct facts about fire sprinklers so they can point them out as an important fire safety feature in homes."
Following the event, some agents asked for another presentation to their entire staff. "They were pleased to learn the actual facts, so they could do a better job of answering homebuyers’ questions and marketing sprinklered homes," said Lia.
This training only adds to the strides Clarendon Hills has made in promoting home fire sprinklers. Its chief, Brian Leahy, spent hours meeting with his town's elected officials to address all concerns about adopting a sprinkler ordinance. The town now has more than 700 sprinkler-protected homes. NFPA and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition recognized Leahy for his efforts, awarding him the Bringing Safety Home Award in 2015.