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44 Posts authored by: lorrainecarli Employee

bringing safety home award

 

Amid this COVID-19 pandemic, we are learning to adjust to the many changes in our daily lives and schedules as we work from home and perhaps in slightly different capacities. Yet even during these uncertain times, we know that continuing your efforts to enhance safety is extremely important to you.


That is why NFPA and the 
Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) are extending the deadline for nominations for the Bringing Safety Home Award. The award recognizes outstanding efforts by a safety advocate who diligently promotes the importance of home fire sprinklers.

 

We are now accepting applications through Friday, April 3.

 

The Award honors members of the fire service and other fire sprinkler advocates in North America who use HFSC educational materials, NFPA data, and NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources to educate decision-makers on home fire sprinklers. Efforts are aimed at educating the public and policymakers to increase the use of home fire sprinklers in new homes. The award winner will receive a $1,000 grant to further fire sprinkler advocacy and educational efforts in his/her area.

 

As we chart our course through these difficult times, let’s continue to work together to help honor our favorite home fire safety leaders. Download the application form then send it to firesprinklerinitiative@nfpa.org. Or visit the HFSC webpage where you can find the form along with additional resources and links to information about the award.

 

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.

 

residential home fire sprinklers

In a recent interview the Washington DC CBS affiliate WUSA9, Loudoun County Fire Chief Keith Johnson nailed how Virginia residents can be safer from fire – install home fire sprinklers in new homes.

 

The story pointed out that Maryland and the District of Columbia both require all new homes to have home fire sprinklers, an effort that dramatically reduces the loss from fire. NFPA statistics say that if you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present.

 

According to the piece, Virginia removed the building code provision for home fire sprinklers that is included in model codes on which the Virginia one is based.

 

The reporter asked Chief Johnson if people were safer living in Maryland or D.C. and he is quoted as saying, “I would say they're safer in homes that have residential sprinkles, absolutely.” Further saying that it’s a scary thought to not have sprinklers in your home.

 

Recent statistics from Maryland help make the case. According to the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal, there were 66 Marylanders who died due to fire, compared to 71 in 2018. There were 471 incidents where a smoke alarm alerted the occupants where there were five fatalities, and 27 injuries to civilians and 164 incidents where residential sprinklers activated resulting in no deaths or injuries.

 

While smoke alarms are an essential fire safety component, home fire sprinklers provide an added level. Chief Johnson made a great analogy to the reporter about the progression from seat belts to seat belts and airbags in cars. He said, “It's kind of like seat belts in cars, smoke alarms back in the 70s in homes. We want that same protection for residential sprinklers because we know we can save lives. Property loss goes down by an average of 71 percent in homes that have protection by automatic sprinklers.”

 

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.

home fire sprinkler week

 

The vast majority of fire deaths in North America happen at home. It’s imperative we bring attention to this problem--and its solution.

 

From May 17 – 23, 2020, the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition-Canada will celebrate Home Fire Sprinkler Week and encourage other home fire sprinkler advocated to join in with local activities at any time during the week.

 

Participating in Home Fire Sprinkler Week will send a powerful message to your local decision makers, residents, and even the media that fire sprinklers in new homes should be embraced. Here are some great ways to help you get started:

 

  1. Join forces: If your state or province has a fire sprinkler coalition, check with them to see if you
    can support their efforts. To find the locations, visit the fire sprinkler coalition page on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.
  2. Pick a project: There are a number of great projects you can choose to take part in. Check out the list of potential activities.
  3. Make it public: Download and customize a proclamation for use by one of your community’s officials.

 

There's still plenty of time to plan an event or lend your support to an event in the works. Visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Week webpage for more information. 

In its latest resolution action, the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) National Advisory Council unanimously approved one in support of Home Fire Sprinklers. The resolution was offered by the American Fire Sprinkler Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (FLSS), National Association of State Fire Marshals, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, National Fire Protection Association, National Fire Sprinkler Association, and National Volunteer Fire Council, and is officially named, A Resolution Encouraging Stronger Federal Support for Home Fire Sprinkler Education and Advocacy, Including within Fire Service Community Risk Reduction Efforts.

 

The resolution touted the consistent facts used by national advocates on why home fire sprinklers are a key to reducing today’s home fire problem. The stark reality is that home fires are deadlier today as a result of unprotected lightweight construction material, open floor plans, and abundant synthetic furnishings, which make homes burn faster, becoming deadly in two minutes or less. Over 90 percent of all civilian structure fire deaths are in homes, and home fires cause $6.7 billion in direct property damage each year. Residential structure fires accounted for nearly 70 percent of firefighter injuries (70 percent of firefighter deaths were operating at structure fires - nearly 60 percent at one- and two- family homes).

 

Leveraging this information, the resolution calls for more federal support and policies to counter the negativity and misinformation associated with home fire sprinklers used by opponents who have spent more than $500 million to thwart efforts to increase the number of new homes that include fire sprinklers, which would dramatically reduce loss from home fires. In particular, the resolution supports funding and policies aimed at: supporting fire service strategies to enhance community risk reduction with home fire sprinkler education and advocacy; raising public awareness of the dangers of home fires to both civilians and responders; underscoring the unique protective benefits of installed fire sprinklers for homes and entire communities; building awareness of the role of home fire sprinklers in further protecting responders from home-fire exposure hazards, such as cancer and other diseases; and supporting proven, outcome-driven strategies to educate about home fire sprinklers.

 

More information on sprinklers can be found at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (MCOPA) urged release from committee and passage of

HB 2027 – An Act relative to enhanced fire protection in new one and two family dwellings citing its ability to save the lives of the public, firefighters, and police officers.

 

HB 2027 is a local option bill and would allow communities the ability to adopt home fire sprinklers for new one- and two-family homes. The Massachusetts Building Code does not include a provision for fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes.

 

It is our professional opinion that home fire sprinklers can change the outcome of future fires and protect not only the resident and firefighters but our members in Police Services.” Chief Jeff Farnsworth

 

The MCOPA Executive Board and the leadership of the MA Fire Sprinkler Coalition had recently met and MCOPA President Chief Jeff Farnsworth felt the coalition had done an excellent job of dispelling myths and educating the board of the life-saving benefits of sprinklers. Chief Farnsworth wrote to Senator Michael Moore and Representative Harold Naughton on behalf of members of the police service. He wrote, “Many times, our Police Officers arrive on the scene of active structure fire situations. Our members do not receive the advanced training that Firefighters receive but they are the indeed the first responders to many of these incidents. The responding Officers are forced into action based on the oath that they take to protect the public and place themselves in harm’s way to save lives.”

 

Chief Farnsworth offered a strong view of the bill and the value of sprinklers by adding, “It is our professional opinion that home fire sprinklers can change the outcome of future fires and protect not only the resident and firefighters but our members in Police Services.”

 

The bill has been filed numerous times in Massachusetts but has been stalled in committee. There are at least 18 states across the country that allow local adoption of sprinkler requirement. Both California and Maryland require all new homes to have sprinklers.

 

Action is pending before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.

 

 

New Paltz, New York, a small town in the southeastern part of the state with about 14,000 people, took a giant step forward to better protect their community from fire last month by requiring fire sprinklers in all new residential construction.

 

Mayor Tim Rogers was quoted in the Daily Freeman as saying, “The belief is that if there are sprinklers in homes ... then people will have a better chance of surviving [fires].” He further stated, “It’s a pretty straightforward law, where any new [residential] construction, regardless of the size ... has to put the sprinklers in,” Rogers said. “The studies show that’s incredibly important for property and safety and saving lives. It makes common sense when you have a volunteer fire department, too.”

 

The community clearly understands the changing dynamics of fire today and the fact that new homes, often built with unprotected lightweight construction and filled with lots of synthetic materials burn hotter and faster than older homes. According to fire safety experts, you can have as little as two minutes to escape a home fire compared to eight to ten minutes ago in previous decades.

 

NFPA, as part of its Fire Sprinkler Initiative, has developed a number of resources to help communities successfully make the case for home fire sprinklers.

 

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. 

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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.


 


 


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