A deadly end to 2017 and similar start to 2018 in Delaware prompted a recent story on the state's home fire problem. The story also debates the necessity of fire sprinkler requirements in new homes, and gave NFPA the chance to offer its perspective.
While smoke alarms have helped decrease home fire deaths, we cite a plateau--2,500 people, on average--that is unfortunately occurring year after year. (More on this trend can be found in our recent "Home Structure Fires" report.) The inclusion of fire sprinklers in new homes can help reduce and eventually eliminate these tragedies.
Backing up our stance in the story while offering his own perspective was Paul Eichler, chair of the Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition. He compared water use of fire sprinklers with water from a fire hose. The "noxious fumes and billowing, black air pollution" from a fire that's given time to grow versus quickly extinguished by a sprinkler has become a firefighter health and safety issue.
While sprinkler opponents complained about installation cost in the story, they failed to recognize the cost-effective results of fire sprinkler ordinances, specifically what has occurred in nearby Prince George's County, Maryland.
Read the full story, and add your thoughts on this debate in this blog post's comments section.