According to NFPA's "U.S. Fire Death Rates by State" report released last year, South Carolina has one of the highest in the nation; its fire death rate was ranked seventh in the nation. Eight of the 10 states with the highest fire death rates between 2011 and 2015 were in the South.
Safety advocates are confident that the best way to remove South Carolina from this dreaded top 10 is to start embracing home fire sprinklers. “Unfortunately South Carolina has elected to not adopt that provision in the code so we are still building buildings without putting sprinkler systems,” Daniel Byrne with the Burton Fire District told a local NBC news station. “That frustrates us at the firefighter level because not only are we watching families become homeless, not only do we see the injuries and deaths, but we’re putting our lives at risk going in to put out a fire that technology and codes could have eliminated before it even really got started."
The news story adds that the state legislature has debated the option to sprinkler the state's new homes, but has not adopted the model building code requirement to sprinkler one- and two-family dwellings. Continuing to increase awareness of sprinklers and the need for them is the South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Coalition.
For the state to alter its fire problem, the South Carolina Building Codes Council and General Assembly need to take fire sprinkler requirements more seriously, added Byrne.
Before you can champion for home fire sprinklers, understand your state's home fire problem. Download NFPA's "U.S. Fire Death Rates by State" report.