Four children--ranging in age from 11 to 17--and two adults, all from the same family, died from a Illinois home fire a couple days before Thanksgiving. The Associated Press has reported that 10 fire departments responded to the blaze, which occurred in a rural area of the state. According to NFPA, fire death rates in rural areas are very high.
"This is the latest in a long line of terrible fire losses in our state that underscores how fast a fire becomes deadly," Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board and member of the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition said in a statement.
Though more than 100 Illinois communities have passed requirements for home fire sprinklers, the state still experiences intense pushback for these requirements from homebuilders and real estate associations, adds Lia. All model building codes used in the U.S. require fire sprinklers in new, one- and two-family homes.
"This family's tragedy should also serve as a reminder to officials of how shortsighted it is to omit or water down home fire sprinkler legislation," says Lia. "Rather, we should be working together to make our communities safer for residents and for firefighters."
NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team sends its condolences to the family and all impacted by this tragedy. Please learn how to amplify your voice in support of home fire sprinklers by visiting the Take Action page on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.