It's not too surprising that Peter Simpson likely irked the fire service. As the former head of two Canadian homebuilding associations, he admits to constantly battling safety advocates who pushed for home fire sprinklers. At city council meetings, he would slam sprinkler requirements, citing his industry's long-held belief that this technology is too costly.
"Never did I — or anyone who knew me, for that matter — ever imagine me writing this next sentence: Automatic fire sprinkler systems save lives, protect property, and preserve the environment," Simpson stated in a recent commentary appearing in the South Shore Breaker.
Joining a volunteer fire department was the catalyst for Simpson changing his tune. Literally and figuratively stepping into a firefighter's shoes--"I can’t imagine what goes through their minds following a fire scene where there are fatalities," he states--has prompted a newfound respect for a fire sprinkler's role.
Read Simpson's column. NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team commends him for becoming a vocal ally and advocate.