The following commentary was written by Joshua Carson, fire marshal for the Elko Fire Department in Nevada:
With progressive campaign slogans like “Make America Great Again," “Reigniting the Promise in America," “America Needs a Champion,” “A New American Century,” and “A Political Revolution is Coming”, one can expect an exciting presidential race.
The 2016 election brings ideas of hope and positive change within our individual lives, our country, and the world as a whole. It also brings hope that our new Commander in Chief will provide guidance and institute change on home fire sprinklers.
There are many topics that are debated on a national scale during a presidential campaign. Veteran support, military, immigration, terrorism, healthcare, economy--all of which are worthy and necessary topics of debate. Where do home fire sprinklers fit in?
According to statistics from NFPA and the Insurance Information Institute, property and lives lost from fire in the U.S. continue to be a major problem. NFPA tells us that fire departments responded to more than 367,000 home fires in 2014, resulting in:
- more than 2,700 civilian fire deaths, or 84 percent of all fire deaths in the U.S.
- close to 12,000 civilian fire injuries, or 75 percent of all civilian fire injuries
- nearly $7 billion in direct property damage
Of the top 10 most catastrophic multiple fire deaths that occurred in 2014, three of the 10 occurred in single-family homes. To put these numbers into perspective, the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 was the most catastrophic multiple-death fire in U.S. history, accounting for close to 3,000 deaths.