Skip navigation
All Places > FSI > Blog > Author: lorrainecarli
1 2 3 Previous Next

FSI

38 Posts authored by: lorrainecarli Employee

FSI

The small community of Spryfield within Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada was overcome by sorrow last month when a usual day turned tragic as seven children died in a fatal home fire in what news reports described as a relatively new home.

In its aftermath, fire officials and local media pointed to the value of home fire sprinklers and called for their use to prevent future tragedies like this one.

Len Garis, who has been chief of the Surrey Fire Department in British Columbia for two decades, told The Chronicle Herald “The fire in its early stages would never have left whatever room it started in had a sprinkler system been operating in that structure, and I can say that with absolutely 100 percent confidence.” There are more than 30 municipalities in British Columbia that require sprinklers in all new homes.

According to National Fire Protection Association research, when sprinklers are present, flame damage is confined to the room of origin in 97 percent of fires, compared to 74 percent of fires in homes without sprinklers. Also, the civilian fire death rate is 87 percent lower in properties with sprinklers than in properties with no sprinklers.

“How many more people must die before Nova Scotia’s provincial and municipal elected officials take steps to make mandatory the installation of sprinklers in all new homes?,” said Peter Simpson, firefighter, to The Chronicle Herald.

The Chronicle Herald then weighed in with an opinion piece calling on Nova Scotia to follow the lead of the 30-plus British Columbia municipalities and the states of California and Maryland in making home fire sprinklers mandatory in new homes. Taking on the cost argument, they wrote, “The automobile industry once argued installing seatbelts would makes vehicles unaffordable. In the end, safety and common sense won out.”

The escalation of the fire can be seen in a unique video captured by a doorbell camera across from where the fire took place.

More information on making the case for sprinklers is available through NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative and Home Fire Sprinkler Canada. For regular updates, sign up for the Fire Sprinkler Newsletter.

The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) announced the passing of its former President, John Viniello on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. John served the Association as President from 1984-2012, and was involved in the fire sprinkler industry since 1973.

John was NFSA’s president when the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) was founded in 1997. He was always a major supporter of the HFSC mission and all of the work to educate on the value of sprinklers. 

In a press release Shane Ray, NFSA President  spoke of John’s impact, “John’s contribution to the growth of the fire sprinkler industry is visible today in the number of personnel and the number of programs dedicated to advancing the mission of saving lives and property from fire through the widespread acceptance of the fire sprinkler concept,” 

More information about John’s legacy and on arrangements can be found on the NFSA website.

As Burn Awareness Week, sponsored by American Burn Association (ABA) and heavily promoted by the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, winds down it is a great opportunity to talk about home fire sprinklers and their role in reducing burns.

According to a recent NFPA report, in 2017 there were 10,600 civilian burn injuries; the major cause of which is cooking. In 2015, almost half of all burn injuries were caused by the cooking equipment.  

Activities and information available during Burn Awareness Week are designed to increase awareness, provide safety education, and encourage injury prevention practices to help reduce the number of injuries.

fire sprinklers

Phoenix Society Executive Director and NFPA Board Member Amy Acton discuss the importance of Burn Awareness Week on WABC 13. Click here to view video.

NFPA is proud to support Burn Awareness Week by providing statistics, various safety tips and information about burn and fire prevention.

One of the important aspects of life safety protection is the presence of home fire sprinklers. Properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers can decrease the number of burn injuries. Key facts to support the benefits of sprinklers include:

  • the civilian death rate is 81 percent lower in homes with fire sprinklers than in homes without them
  • the average firefighter injury rate is nearly 80 percent lower when fire sprinklers were present during fires
  • when sprinklers were present, fires were kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time
  • the home fire death rate is 90 percent lower when fire sprinklers and hardwired smoke alarms are present.

More information to promote sprinklers can be found at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative

By a unanimous vote the New Jersey Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee moved to the full Assembly this month the New Fire Safety Act (bill A3974) which would require home fire sprinklers be installed in new single and two-family homes during their construction. 
According to the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety, there were 31,944 fires reported in 2016, with 18,623 of those involving structures. More than 70 percent of the structure fires occurred in residential homes of which 66 percent were two family dwellings. 
(A video produced by the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NJFSAB) showcases the quick intensity of today's home fires and rapid response of home fire sprinklers.)
Committee members testifying spoke to the aim to reduce loss of life to citizens as well as firefighters. “This bill has the potential to save residents and help our firefighters who put their lives on the line each time they go into a fire,” said Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (Middlesex, Somerset). “That alone makes this a crucial legislative effort.”
New Jersey would join Californiaand Marylandas well as hundreds of communities across the country in requiring sprinklers in new one and two family homes, the place where the vast majority of fire deaths occur today.
For more information on this effort in New Jersey, visit the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board.
One of the arguments being used by Worcester County Commissioners in Maryland to try and opt out of the statewide requirement for home fire sprinklers in new homes is that sprinklers thwart building, a notion that has been proven erroneous in other areas. According to an article in The Dispatch, county commissioners voted to draft a document allowing single family homes to opt out of requirement which has been on the books since 2015. Quoted in The Dispatch article, Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said, “I believe that this is hindering building in the county.”
This is an example of unsupported reasoning being used to allow substandard homes to be built and deny new homeowners the protection home fire sprinklers afford.   A research reportdone several years ago concluded that the presence of sprinkler ordinances had no negative impact on the number of homes being built. The study compared residential construction in the Washington D.C. suburban counties of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s, Maryland and Montgomery, Maryland and Fairfax, Virginia. Prince George’s County and Montgomery County have sprinkler requirements; Fairfax County and Anne Arundel County did not at the time. The counties were selected for comparison based on their demographic matches to each other. A similar study was done in Californiamore recently and concluded there was no indication the presence of sprinkler requirements negatively impacted housing starts. 
Fire Marshal Jeff McMahon was also quoted in the article letting the commissioners know that there had been about 3,000 structure fires in the county in the past five years and the average response time is 17 minutes. This too is valuable information to support the importance of sprinklers. With a response time of 17 minutes, you need all the help you can get in keeping fires small or even extinguishing them before the fire department arrives and significantly reducing loss from fire.  
While there is a lot of misinformation out there about home fire sprinklers, there are a number of resources available to refute them. To arm yourself with the facts, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiativeand the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition
Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), laid down a new year’s challenge he calls “Ban the Ban” to others concerned about reducing home fire loss. In a recent articlein the organization’s newsletter he pointed out that while a number of jurisdictions had success in passing sprinkler requirements, others were held back by anti-sprinkler efforts. Lia spurred advocates to press on. He wrote, “How can we allow a ban on improving public safety?” Further saying, “We can’t afford to sit back and watch sprinkler codes blocked … Let’s unite behind this challenge.” The overarching theme for ban the ban is to work together to change the map pictured here to reflect stronger public safety. 
Lia outlined the key steps including developing an action plan, using the resources of the Fire Sprinkler Initiativeand the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalitionto bolster local efforts and participating in National Home Fire Sprinkler Day
As we head into the new year, take the time to read his full article and commit to making greater strides in 2019. 

!http://a4.typepad.com/6a0111685e14d2970c019b035e9804970d-450wi|src=http://a4.typepad.com/6a0111685e14d2970c019b035e9804970d-450wi|alt=IMG_2683|style=width: 450px;|title=IMG_2683|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a0111685e14d2970c019b035e9804970d!

Green Builder Media President Ron Jones addresses the crowd in front of VISION House Tucson.



 

What do home fire sprinklers have in common with floor tiles made from recycled toilets, countertops crafted from glass bottles and sea shells, a low flow showerhead that plays music from your bluetooth device and solar panels on the roof? They were all featured this week at the grand opening of the VISION House® Tucson, the latest in Green Builder ® Media's series of high performing, sustainable homes being built around the country.


 

While the fire safety benefits of sprinklers have long been recognized, the green aspects are now becoming  more widely recognized. According to a groundbreaking study conducted by FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition , greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment.


greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study, a collaborative effort of FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment. - See more at: http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/research-reports/environmental-impact-of-fire-sprinklers.aspx#sthash.RBf3kkuQ.dpuf


how that greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study, a collaborative effort of FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment. - See more at: http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/research-reports/environmental-impact-of-fire-sprinklers.aspx#sthash.RBf3kkuQ.dpuf


how that greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study, a collaborative effort of FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, also found that automatic fire sprinklers: reduce fire damage by up to 97%; reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90%; and reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment. - See more at: http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/research-reports/environmental-impact-of-fire-sprinklers.aspx#sthash.RBf3kkuQ.dpuf


NFPA and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition have been working with Green Builder Media to showcase home fire sprnklers as an integral part of sustainable homes. Our first project Green Builder Media’s VISION House® exhibit in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which opened on Earth Day 2012. VISION House Tucson will remain open for 90 days. If you visit either house, check out the home fire sprinklers!


 


Green Builder® Media’s VISION House® exhibit in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which opened on Earth Day 2012 - See more at: http://www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/research-reports/environmental-impact-of-fire-sprinklers.aspx#sthash.RBf3kkuQ.dp


 


Green Builder Media President Ron Jones talks about the project and the importance of home fire sprinklers.

 

Action will lead to substandard homes in Commonwealth

 

MA Chief Paul Zbikowski
Chief Paul J. Zbikowski, president, Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, spoke at a Massachusetts press conference before the BBRS hearing in the fall.

Fire chiefs from across the Commonwealth expressed outrage and disappointment at the recent vote by the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards to defeat a proposal that would have amended the Massachusetts One and Two Family Building Code to allow for home fire sprinklers.

“The BBRS is letting down the people of Massachusetts today and for generations to come by allowing substandard homes to be built in Massachusetts,” said Ashburnham Chief Paul Zbikowski, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts (FCAM) in a press release issued today. “Not only are they ignoring the minimum level of safety established by model codes, they are putting our firefighters unnecessarily in harms way.”

All national model building codes include the requirement for fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The BBRS promulgated a building code for the Commonwealth in August and omitted the provision to require home fire sprinklers in new construction. The state fire marshal filed a proposal to allow local communities to be able to set the requirement if they chose to do so which the BBRS defeated at a February 14th meeting.

FCAM joined every other fire service organization in the state to support the inclusion of home fire sprinklers in the MA code.

According to the non-profit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the risk of dying in a home fire decreases by more than 80 percent with sprinklers and property damage is reduced by 74 percent. Massachusetts statistics show that in the last decade there have been more than 54,000 fires in one- and two-family homes in Massachusetts. These fires injured more than 2,300 firefighters and 1,500 civilians, and caused more than 753 million dollars in property loss. Forty percent of all firefighter injuries happen in one- and two-family homes.

“These staggering statistics aren’t just numbers. Behind every digit is a human being that has been tragically effected by fire,” said Chief Zbikowski. “Today we have the technological means to do better by adding sprinklers in homes and we should.”

Home fire sprinklers: Proposal denied: MyFoxBOSTON.com

For more information visits www.firesprinklersma.org

A fire this past weekend in a six year old Glen Ellyn, IL home proved the success of the community's home fire sprinkler ordinance passed for all new homes ten years ago. According to the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler
Advisory Board (NIFSAB)
, the
event marked the first home fire sprinkler activation within Glen Ellyn, since the provision was enacted in March 2002 to protect
residents, their homes and the Village’s volunteer firefighters. At the
time, Glen Ellyn was only the eleventh community in Illinois to adopt
such an ordinance, providing a model for many other communities to
follow. The Village currently stands as one of 79
jurisdictions in Illinois that require residential fire sprinklers.


 

By contrast, media covered a June fire that gutted a single family in the same community. According to a news report,  firefighters worked for three hours to extinguish the flames and the home had extensive damage. There were no fire sprinklers in the home.


 

We recently highlighted the City of Blue Island, IL when it became the 79th community in Illinois to require home fire sprinklers. The Fire Sprinkler Initiative provides a number of key resources for use by advocates to push for the increased use of home fire sprinklers.


 


 


Ma ad
NFPA President Jim Shannon took exception to comments made in a recent Boston Globe article by  sprinkler opponents saying that sprinklers have not been proving to be more effective in saving lives than smoke detectors. Shannon's letter, printed today, shot back with the facts. He stated, "That is simply not true." His letter went on to site the statistics that prove the life and property saving value of sprinklers. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a reported home fire by  about 50 percent. The risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when  sprinklers are present. The coverage came as part of NFPA's continuing work with every major fire service organization in the state to oppose action by the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards to omit the provision for fire sprinklers in new one and two family homes from the building code. For more information on the Massachusetts action visit www.firesprinklersma.org.

It is not uncommon for opponents to use inaccurate information or use NFPA statistics out of context. NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative provides research reports and statistical information to help advocates make the case for home fire sprinklers in their communities.

Lorraine Carli

 

Forty years and 19 surgeries later, Billerica Firefighter Phil Tammaro stood with representatives of every major fire service organization in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to urge the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards to include the provision for home fire sprinklers in new one and two family homes. At the age of two, Tammaro was burned in a home fire and suffered third degree burns on 35 percent of his body."I'm concerned that the BBRS is setting a dangerous precedent by going below the established minimum level of safety for home construction," said Tammaro. In addition to his work in fire prevention for the Billerica fire department, Tammaro works with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.

He spoke as part of a press conference hosted by the National Fire Protection Association to protest against the new building code in Massachusetts. 

All national model building codes include the requirement for fire  sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The BBRS promulgated a building code for the  Commonwealth in August and omitted the provision to require home fire  sprinklers in new construction.

More information on the code action in Massachusetts can be found at www.firesprinklersma.org.

Lorraine Carli

P1010650

Chief Paul J. Zbikowski, president, Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, speaks at the Massachusetts press conference.

Against the backdrop of the firefighters memorial at the Massachusetts State House,  NFPA President James M. Shannon and representatives of every major fire  service organization in the state came together to protest against the  new building code in Massachusetts. 

All national model building codes include the requirement for fire  sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The Board of Building  Regulations and Standards (BBRS) promulgated a building code for the  Commonwealth of Massachusetts in August and omitted the provision to require home fire  sprinklers in new construction.

“Your risk of dying in a home fire decreases by more than 80 percent  with sprinklers and property damage is reduced by 74 percent” said  Shannon. “By allowing substandard housing to be built in Massachusetts,  the BBRS puts firefighters and citizens at unnecessary risk. Their  action should be reversed.” 

 

According to Shannon, in the last decade, there have been more than  54,000 fires in one- and two-family homes in Massachusetts. These fires  injured more than 2,300 firefighters and 1,500 civilians, and caused  more than 753 million dollars in property loss. Forty percent of all  firefighter injuries happen in one- and two-family homes.

Preceding a BBRS hearing, representatives from Fire Chiefs  Association of Massachusetts, Fire Prevention Association of  Massachusetts, Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters Association and  Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts participated in the press  conference and voiced their strong unanimous support for fire  sprinklers. Speaking for the various organizatons were:

Chief Paul J. Zbikowski, president, Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts

Chief Kevin Gallagher, member, Board of Building Regulations and Standards

Edward A. Kelly, president, Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts

Thomas Burnett, president, Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Firefighters Association

Captain Rick Tustin, president, Fire Prevention Association of Massachusetts, fire prevention officer, Winchester Fire Department

P1010647

Over 400 communities in the U.S. now require home sprinklers.  California, Maryland and South Carolina have adopted the provision  statewide.

Additional information can be found at www.firesprinklersma.org.

Lorraine Carli

Newspaper

Home fire sprinkler advocates are used to those against them twisting and turning facts to make the argument that sprinklers should not be required in new homes. They say they cost too much, they don't. A report by the Fire Protection Research Foundation found that the average cost of home fire sprinklers in a  communities with a requirement was $1.61 per sprinklered square foot. They say that sprinklers will stunt  home building. They don't. A comparison of housing starts in comparable communities saw no difference in the number of homes being built in communities that require sprinklers and communities that do not. They say they cause water damage. They do, but far less than the water damage caused by a fire hose!

So it was not surprise when Keith Grant of Keith and David Grant Homes touted as one of his priorities as the new president of the Tennessee Homebuilders Association to prevent fire sprinklers from being required. But what was surprising was his quote in the Memphis Daily News that said, "What’s been found across the country is the fire sprinklers don’t save lives..." He is wrong.

One of the most important arguments for fire sprinklers is simple -- sprinklers save lives. Here are some key facts and research reports that emphatically make that point.Additional information can be found through the Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present.

Bucks County PA -- There were 90 fire deaths in unsprinklered one- and two-family homes in Bucks County from1988-2010 (88%of all County fire deaths during that time frame), with no fire deaths occurring in sprinklered homes. Five fire incidents in sprinklered homes have been documented as saving at least five lives.

Prince Georges County MD -- From1992-2007, there were 101 fire deaths and 328 civilian injuries in single-family or townhouse fires that were not protected with fire sprinkler systems. No fire deaths occurred in sprinklered structure fires during the period studied, and there were six civilian injuries.

Scottsdale AZ --In the 15 years of the mandate, there were 598 home fires. Of the 598 home fires, 49 were in single-family homes with fire sprinkler systems. There were no deaths in sprinklered homes;13 people died in homes without sprinklers. The lives of 13 people who would have likely died without sprinklers, were saved.

Lorraine Carli

Alabam In a move that can only be described as sadly ironic, the Home Builders Association of Alabama received the Association Excellence Award at the annual awards program at the National Executive Officers Council Seminar last week. The National Executive Officers Council is part of the National Association of Home Builders. According to their website, the award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of state and local Home Builder Association programs. The Alabama project was the successful effort to pass a statewide building code omitting the provision for home fire sprinklers.

This is troubling for two reasons. First, all model building codes now include the provision for home fire sprinklers in new one and two family homes. Choosing to adopt a code that is less than the minimum level of safety equates to allowing substandard construction. Second, and more disconcerting, is the fact that the state of Alabama has the fourth highest fire death rate amongst the 50 states. The national fire death rate in 2007 was 10.9 deaths per million population. In Alabama it was 22.3.

The risk of dying in a home fire decreases by 80% when home fire sprinklers are present. The effort in Alabama to ignore this proven life safety technology is irresponsible, to reward it, outrageous.

Lorraine Carli

lorrainecarli

Tale of two fires

Posted by lorrainecarli Employee Mar 30, 2011

Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation joined the chorus of those pointing out the irony of what is happening right now in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- people dying in home fires while at the same time the House voting to remove the provision to require fire sprinklers in new homes. The provision, which would went into effect January 1, 2011, follows all model codes in requiring home fire sprinklers in new one and two family homes but is now being threatened by HB 377, a bill that will come before the Senate in the next couple of weeks.

Writing in the Centre Daily in State College PA, Siarnicki compares the fire in Perry County where seven children dies in a home fire with a fire in a home in Montgomery County, MD that occurred the same day. In the Maryland home, a fire that began in the laundry room was contained by a residential sprinkler. No one was hurt and there was very little damage.

NFPA also weighed in this week in Pennsylvania with an ad that echoes Ron's sentiments.

NFPAheadlines_(3.28)

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: