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Fire sprinkler

“Residential fire sprinklers are a good, preventive measure,” said Bridgeview (Illinois) Fire Chief Michael Daly in a recent article in SuburbanChicagoland. Chief Daly was reacting to the good news that the Bridgeview village board took steps at their June meeting to ensure continued safety for its residents by unanimously approving amending the sprinkler ordinance requiring home fire sprinklers in new construction and manufactured housing, as well as homes with new additions and major rehab work. The ordinance realigns the village code language with the International Fire Code, 15 years after Bridgeview originally passed its zero square foot ordinance requiring sprinklers in all new construction, commercial, and residential.

 

“We have seen an absolute difference when a fire breaks out in a building that has sprinklers versus a building that doesn’t have a sprinkler system,” Chief Daly was quoted as saying in the article. A sprinkler, he said, acts within a matter of seconds; a room can go to flashover in less than three minutes, pointing to today’s modern home furnishings, popular open spaces, and unprotected lightweight construction, which can all contribute to an increased rate at which home fires burn, causing a significant reduction in the time occupants now have to safely escape.

 

Two states, California and Maryland, and the District of Columbia require sprinklers in all new construction homes. Illinois itself has more than 110 communities that have adopted home fire sprinkler ordinances in accordance with NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes. Long Grove was the first village in Illinois to pass a home fire sprinkler ordinance in April 1988. The village was also one of the first with a sprinkler save in a home. Three days before Thanksgiving 2001, a fire started in a child’s bedroom filled with stuffed animals. Two sprinklers activated, controlling the fire, allowing the homeowner and children to safely evacuate. The homeowner admitted that she would not have chosen to have sprinklers installed in her home if she had the option, but was grateful they were required and her home was protected.

 

“With their fire sprinkler requirements, communities such as Bridgeview and Long Grove have long been at the forefront of fire safety for their residents, business owners, and firefighters alike,” stated Erik Hoffer, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), who works with the fire service and life safety officials in the state to provide resources and underscore the necessity of sprinkler requirements. Hoffer added there are a few municipalities currently working to upgrade their codes to include the requirement for home fire sprinklers.

 

Additional information and available resources can be found on NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative webpage. Home fire sprinkler educational resources are available at the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition webpage.

 

The Browers

On May 25, 2008, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (VA) responded to a single-family house fire in a residential development. Keith Brower, who was the fire marshal at the time, heard the mayday call that would change his life. As firefighters entered the structure, a fireball erupted. The fire quickly went to flashover, spreading rapidly through the open construction plan from the first-floor origin up into the second floor, trapping four firefighters.

 

“The fire actually burned through our firefighters’ hose line, severing it,” Brower said. Although the firefighters were rescued and all survived, one firefighter was burned severely enough to force retirement.

 

Within hours of the fire, Brower was part of an investigative team that was assembled to perform an After Action Report (AAR) to review the details of the fire and the actions of responders. The AAR produced more than 50 recommendations that were in progress or largely implemented during Chief Brower’s tenure as fire chief, which began in 2010. Among those were achieving staffing levels according to NFPA 1710 and pursuing building and fire prevention code changes at the state level.

 

For Chief Brower, who retired in 2018 and now makes his home in Beaufort, SC, this fire and its impact has endured as an emblem of today’s persistent home fire problem. “Early in my career, we had several minutes before a house fire flashed over,” he said. “But now a home fire becomes deadly in only two minutes or less.” 

 

According to NFPA, today’s modern home furnishings, popular open spaces and unprotected lightweight construction contribute to an increased rate at which home fires burn, causing this significant reduction in the time occupants now have to safely escape.

 

“The danger isn’t only to occupants when homes aren’t sprinklered; responders are at grave risk from suppression injuries as well as increased health risks from exposure,” Chief Brower adds. “That’s one of the reasons we made the decision to retrofit our house with fire sprinklers. I wanted peace of mind for my family as well as for firefighters, should they ever have to respond to a fire at our home.”

 

The Browers began their retrofit project in 2019. The company they worked with assessed the single-story home and determined a NFPA 13D system was feasible. Although the home is on public water, the Browers opted to supply their system with a water tank and pump. The plans were reviewed and approved by the local building code office. The local inspector witnessed the pressure test and issued final approval.

 

“It feels good to be protected,” Chief Brower said. “Retrofitting is certainly not the easiest way to install home fire sprinklers, but our house shows that it can be done.” Determined to illustrate this fact, Chief Brower posted regular updates on the retrofit on social media. “The feedback I’ve had from others in the fire service is extremely positive. I hope our experience will be an inspiration for others.”

 

Brower will tell the story of retrofitting his home with fire sprinklers on episode 4 of The NFPA Podcast, "Dispelling Home Fire Sprinkler Myths," which comes out on July 28."

 

Learn more about Chief Brower's experience by visiting NFPA's Faces of Fire campaign to hear his interview.

 

Interested in retrofitting your home? HFSC offers free information and resources on home fire sprinkler retrofitting. 

 

For more on home fire sprinklers, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative webpage.

 

Photo Caption: Chief W. Keith Brower, Jr. (Retired) is a contributor to the NFPA Faces of Fire campaign and an instructor with the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He represents the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation on the Vision 20/20 Steering Committee. He and his wife, Cheryl, live in a sprinklered home in Beaufort, SC. 

As the world continues to deal with the ongoing demands of COVID-19, and with the fire service at its front lines, NFPA and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) needed to reconsider what Home Fire Sprinkler Week would look like in light of public educational events being nearly impossible to hold.

 

The result was Home Fire Sprinkler Week Virtual, an online campaign that provided digital resources, information, and tools for participants in place of in-person activities. During the week of May 17-23, people were able to share daily themes and suggested video and educational content with their audiences on their website and social platforms.home fire sprinkler week

 

As part of the virtual event, NFPA and HFSC partnered with Firehouse Magazine to present a Facebook Live event that featured a handful of guest speakers and showcased a live burn demonstration. The event drew roughly 9,000 viewers! Throughout the week-long event, nearly 3,000 visitors took advantage of the resources on the HFSC website, and more than 25,000 people viewed the information on the HFSC’s Facebook page.

 

The intent of this year’s virtual event was to garner as much if not more attention than we have the last couple of years with Home Fire Sprinkler Week. And we did just that. Thousands of followers shared their support and used our resources to increase awareness of the problem of home fires and to build interest in life-saving home fire sprinklers.

 

If you were one of the many people who participated in this year’s virtual event, thank you! If you weren’t able to join us, you can still find all of the information, including the Facebook Live event video, on the HFSC website.

 

For additional information about home fire sprinklers, please visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website.

 

During the National Fire Sprinkler Association Virtual Annual Seminar and Business & Leadership Conference in April 2020, NFPA President and CEO, Jim Pauley spoke about the role fire sprinkler advocacy plays in the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, and how supporters can ensure the Ecosystem around home fire safety remains intact

Based on questions he has received from NFSA members, President Pauley addressed such things as the roles and responsibilities of sprinkler advocates, the impact educators have on safety, and how we can all work together to find solutions to the fire problem. Watch his presentation below:

NFPA provides additional information, too, about the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem and free tools available for download, including:

  • The new 2019 Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem: Year in Review report
  • A link to the “Ecosystem Watch” page in NFPA Journal
  • An animated video, “About the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem”
  • A Fire & Life Safety PowerPoint deck for presentations
  • A Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem fact sheet

Please find find all of these resources and more by visiting the Ecosystem webpage at www.nfpa.org/ecosystem.

For the video and information related to fire sprinklers, visit www.firesprinklerinitiative.org.

Due to the unforeseen challenges the world continues to face with COVID-19, NFPA and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) have cancelled live events during Home Fire Sprinkler Week week (May 17 – 23) in favor of a North America wide virtual effort to show the value of home fire sprinklers.

 

Our intent with this new virtual approach is to garner as much, if not more attention as we have the last couple of years with Home Fire Sprinkler Week virtual. The virtual event provides a great opportunity for the fire service to bring together their voices and spread the word about the life saving benefits of home fire sprinklers.

 

To take part in the campaign, start by visiting the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website where you can:

 

  • Use the theme and suggested content for Monday through Friday during campaign week.
  • Choose a video or graphic or both each day.
  • Post the information on your website, Facebook, Twitter, or on all of your social media platforms

 

The theme for today, Thursday, May 21, is “Fire Sprinklers are Smart and Green,” which serves as a reminder that fire sprinklers are the perfect smart home protection. Today’s featured video and graphic show you how. Download the assets  below and share with your audiences with the message:

Want a really smart home? Home fire sprinklers are genius. #AskForHomeFireSprinklers ... OR

 

home fire sprinkler week

... find the assets on the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition webpage to share with your audience.

 

Please join us in sharing valuable, life-saving information during Home Fire Sprinkler Week. For additional information, please visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

 

 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.

Due to the unforeseen challenges the world continues to face with COVID-19, NFPA and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) have cancelled live events during Home Fire Sprinkler Week week (May 17 – 23) in favor of a North America wide virtual effort to show the value of home fire sprinklers.

 

Our intent with this new virtual approach is to garner as much, if not more, attention as we have the last couple of years with Home Fire Sprinkler Week virtual. The virtual event provides a great opportunity for the fire service to bring together their voices and spread the word about the life saving benefits of home fire sprinklers. To take part in the campaign, start by visiting the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website where you can:

 

  • Find a daily theme and suggested content for Monday through Friday during campaign week
  • Choose the suggested video and graphic (or both) related to the theme for each day
  • Post the information on your website, Facebook, Twitter, or on all of your social media platforms

 

The theme for today, Monday, May 18, is “Fire is Fast.” The theme helps to inform people about how quickly a fire can escalate without fire sprinklers. Today’s featured video and graphic include a timeline that shows the amount of time it takes a fire to spread from initial ignition to full flashover in a home. You can share the assets below with the related messaging: See how fast a home fire becomes deadly. #AskForHomeFireSprinklers or ...

 

 

home fire sprinkler week

 

... find the video and related graphic on the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition webpage, to share with your audience.

 

Please join us in sharing valuable, life-saving information during Home Fire Sprinkler Week. For additional information, please visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative.

 

 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.

At this time, the world continues to be significantly impacted by COVID-19 and we no longer believe it is possible to host and conduct the NFPA Conference and Expo in June. NFPA is a safety organization and we would not hold an event where the well-being of staff, attendees, and business partners could be compromised in any way.

 

(See Jim Pauley’s full statement on the cancellation of the 2020 NFPA Conference & Expo in the video above.)

 

There are some activities that occur at the event, in particular the Association’s Annual Meeting and the election of directors to the Board, as well as the codes and standards technical meeting that NFPA will handle in a remote manner. More information on these activities will be forthcoming and will be posted on the website.

 

You can find additional information about the cancellation, by visiting our conference website.

 

Our annual conference is a very important event for us, as it is important for all of you who participate. While we are disappointed we will not be meeting in person this year, we do look forward to celebrating the 125th anniversary of NFPA as an association with you at the 2021 NFPA Conference & Expo, which will be held the week of June 21, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

Stay safe during this unprecedented time. Thank you for the work you all do.

home fire sprinkler week

As the world continues to deal with the ongoing demands of COVID-19, NFPA and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) have cancelled live events that week in favor of a North America wide virtual effort to show the value of home fire sprinklers from May 17-23.

 

Initiated three years ago, Home Fire Sprinkler Week aims to unite the fire service around a full week of sprinkler education. The goal is to increase awareness of the problem of home fires and build interest in life-saving home fire sprinklers.

 

The first two years we conducted national media events and fire departments in more than 30 states and Canadian Provinces participated. Most conducted live events as the centerpiece of their local campaign, especially public side-by-side demonstrations showing how fast a home fire grows and how quickly a fire sprinkler controls it.

 

But life is very different today with the fire service at the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. And most states have been on lockdown for weeks now, making public educational events impossible. Our intent is to garner as much if not more attention as we have the last couple of years with Home Fire Sprinkler Week virtual.

 

We are also partnering with Firehouse Magazine to present a Facebook live event featuring U.S. Fire Administrator Chief Keith Bryant, IAFC President Chief Gary Ludwig,and NFPA President Jim Pauley. So mark your calendars for May 20 at 11a.m. ET. Join and share our Facebook Live event with your followers.

 

To simplify this transition to virtual, we created digital resources designed to educate and inspire through your website traffic and social media. This is an opportunity to educate with appropriate social distance. Across the U.S. and Canada, the fire service will bring together their digital voices and safely spread the word about the life saving benefits of home fire sprinklers.

 

The campaign is simple. Start at the HFSC website. Then:

 

  • Use the theme and suggested content for Monday through Friday during campaign week
  • Choose a video or graphic or both each day
  • Post the information on your website, Facebook, Twitter, or on all of your social media platforms

 

Based on news coverage and information from various areas, we’ve found that quarantine has led directly to more home cooking fires. That’s not a surprise but it’s a troubling trend and underscores the need to increase the number of new homes with sprinklers.  Our homes are where we are supposed to feel safe, including being safe from fire.

 

Home fire sprinklers are simply the best bet to protect civilians and responders from fire. Let’s flood the Internet with facts about home fire sprinklers the week of May 17 – 23.

 

In addition to the HFSC website, you can visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative for more information.

NFPA’s  Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) are pleased to announce that Chase Browning from the Medford Fire Department, is the recipient of the 2019 Bringing Safety Home Award.

 

The award recognizes fire service members and other safety advocates who use HFSC and NFPA home fire sprinkler educational materials and resources to educate local officials as part of an effort to upgrade or pass new home fire sprinkler legislation.Chase Browning

 

Browning, the Chair of the Oregon Fire Sprinkler Coalition, has been a champion for the lifesaving benefits of sprinklers for many years. He was influential in participating in HFSC’s Fire Sprinkler Developer Incentives program, working alongside several builders and developers. He has participated in the code adoption process with Oregon’s Building Codes Division (BCD), making certain that the BCD does not amend NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes. While working in the HFSC pilot process for the incentives campaign, Browning continues to education builders/developers on the financial benefits of the incentives and hopes to see more voluntary use of sprinklers.

 

As part of his many advocacy efforts, Browning was instrumental in building two fire sprinkler burn trailers, one from a $10,000 Bringing Safety Home grant, and one in conjunction with the Ashland Fire Department through a FEMA grant. He promotes the use of these trailers in Oregon, conducting or being a part of many side-by-side demonstrations. The trailers continue to be deployed throughout the state.

 

With Browning’s support, the Oregon Fire Sprinkler Coalition has developed 11 educational presentations, which are posted on the Coalition website, and used to promote home fire sprinklers throughout the state. He has developed personal relationships with and delivered advocacy programs to water purveyors, sprinkler contractors, home builders, developers, fire services, building officials, city managers, and many others. Browning has also started developing a home fire sprinklers best practices guide with plans to share it with others across the country.

 

Through Browning’s tireless efforts, the Coalition ensures that every year Oregon actively participates in Home Fire Sprinkler Week, and that the activities of the Coalition are occurring in most areas of the state. He also teaches technical sprinkler classes across the country on behalf of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.

 

As the Bringing Safety Home Award recipient, Browning was awarded a $1000 grant to further fire sprinkler advocacy and educational efforts in his community.

 

Deputy Fire Marshal Browning is an excellent example of the many local champions working to reduce loss from home fires by acting locally to increase the number of new homes built with sprinklers. NFPA and HFSC are extremely pleased to present this award to such an active life safety advocate.

 

More information about fire sprinkler advocacy can be found on NFPA’s website, and at www.homefiresprinkler.org.

 

 

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 website.

Delaware Fire Sprinkler Coalition

 

“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.

 

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.

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