Fred Durso

Connecticut advocate receives Bringing Safety Home Award for relentless push for fire sprinkler requirement

Blog Post created by Fred Durso Employee on Nov 16, 2017

Keith Flood (second from right) is the 2017 recipient of the Bringing Safety Home Award. Honoring Flood during NFPA's recent Sprinkler Coalition Chair Summit was (from left) Fred Durso, communications manager for NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative; Tim Travers, NFPA regional sprinkler specialist; NFPA President Jim Pauley; and Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.

 

The Bringing Safety Home Award is a joint effort by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative. The award honors members of the fire service and other sprinkler advocates who use HFSC and Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources to educate decision makers on fire sprinklers and convince them to support sprinkler requirements.

Announced at NFPA's recent Sprinkler Coalition Chair summit, this year's recipient is Keith Flood, fire marshal for the West Haven, CT, Fire Department.


Keith launched the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition in October 2014. The night before the kickoff event, local firefighter Kevin Bell was killed in the line of duty while conducting firefighting operations at a house fire. While some wanted to postpone the event, Keith insisted that the event take place in order to honor Kevin and promote a technology that might have saved his life.


The event was a success. Keith used resources and guidance by HFSC to build a side-by-side demo, send out media alerts, and create the proper speaking points. His fire department is also one of HFSC’s Built for Life Fire Departments, meaning it promotes fire sprinklers during its outreach efforts.


Following the coalition’s launch, Keith has been instrumental in championing for pro-sprinkler laws. Recently, Keith and the coalition have been diligently urging Connecticut’s code-making body to adopt a fire sprinkler requirement for new homes. He’s been an active voice on a codes and standards subcommittee, educating this group on the necessity of a statewide, fire sprinkler requirement. Keith has been instrumental in leading thoughtful discussions on this technology. Thanks to his efforts, this committee recently voted to require sprinklers in all of the state’s new townhomes. Keith will continue to champion for this requirement as a state legislative body weighs in on this potential requirement.


In front of TV cameras last year, Keith joined NFPA at a news conference following the death of a six-year-old girl in her home following a fast-moving fire. The family moved into the home only months before the incident. Responding to a local homebuilder’s claim that “nobody is dying in new homes from fire,” Keith reinforced the point that the home—which was a new home—also has its fire challenges and its working smoke alarms weren’t enough to save this child.

 

Keith’s presence is also felt throughout West Haven. As fire marshal, he conducts many public fire safety education events in schools and civic organizations. All of these efforts exemplify Keith’s tireless advocacy for home fire sprinklers. HFSC and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative applaud his efforts.

 

For previous winners of the award, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.

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