Tip of the hat to Paul Eichler, chair of the Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition, for setting the record straight on home fire sprinklers. Following a letter to the editor in which Eichler promoted the importance of fire sprinkler requirements, a reader responded with less-than-flattering statements about requiring this technology.
The reader questioned sprinkler installation costs and doubted the necessity of these systems. "I lived in dormitories and apartments for years, none of them ever burned down," she stated. "The only fires I knew of were from careless smoking, cooking and unattended irons. The fire alarms were adequate for rousing even the deepest sleepers," she stated.
The reader continued: "You'd make more headway in this ridiculous campaign by lobbying the insurance companies. Nothing gets done in this country without their blessing."
In a response Eichler shared with NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative (which the news outlet will hopefully pick up), he quickly addresses installation cost. "[That] is an area that the Coalition is also concerned about and is addressing. Fortunately here in Delaware, two avenues to address these costs indirectly are developing. Impact fees for development and construction have been reduced, thus making new construction purchases more affordable. Also, the Coalition was kindly hosted recently by representatives of the Delaware Department of Insurance to discuss the availability of discounts to home purchasers on their home owners’ policy if sprinklers are present."
Please read Eichler's full response, which is attached to this blog post. And please follow his lead; if you see or hear comments that appear anti-sprinkler, please set the record straight and share your thoughts with the media and us.