“Home fire sprinklers are like having the fire department sitting in your living room, waiting for a fire to occur.”
This quote from Delaware Assistant Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio in a recent article in the Dover Post emphasizes just how crucial fire sprinklers are in protecting lives and property in a fire, to fire sprinkler advocates.
Despite all model residential standards calling for fire sprinklers in all newly-built homes, the state of Delaware has not required this safety measure. The most the Delaware legislation has done towards implementing fire sprinklers, according to the article, is requiring builders to give an estimate of the cost of sprinklers, and requiring the fire marshal’s office to send homebuyers information on the benefits of sprinklers.
As staunch advocates for the life-saving power of sprinklers, the Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition promotes the inclusion of residential fire sprinkler systems in newly built single-family homes. Paul Eichler, a volunteer for the Dover Fire Department and a fire battalion chief for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department in Maryland, in the same article, says that from a fire service perspective, when there’s a fire outbreak, it’s imperative to “get water on it.” According to an NFPA study, statistics show that fire deaths were 87 percent lower and property damage costs 30 percent less, if there was a sprinkler system.
New homes today are often built with unprotected lightweight construction and filled with lots of synthetic materials that burn hotter and faster than older homes. According to fire safety experts, we can have as little as two minutes to escape a home fire compared to eight to 10 minutes in previous decades. Armed with important facts about the benefits and true, affordable costs of sprinklers (high cost is one of the most persistent myths about home fire sprinklers), advocates in Delaware continue to educate others on this life saving measure.
Chionchio summed it up best when he said, “The number one thing, to save your life, and firefighters’, I would say, is fire sprinklers. You just can’t beat that, if you ask me.”
For more information about fire sprinklers, visit the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative webpage. Find additional information about the Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition and its work, on its coalition webpage.
As all of us continue to navigate the evolving situation with COVID-19, NFPA remains committed to supporting you with the resources you need to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, electrical, and other hazards. For information on NFPA’s response to the coronavirus, please visit our webpage.