By Tom Clark
The Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition is in the final preparation of the upcoming summit in which we will provide home fire sprinkler information to the attendees. The Coalition has put together an all day program which will educate the participants on the importance of a home fire protection system, the nationwide trends for home fire sprinklers and the legal ramifications of ignoring the national residential model codes. All ending in a scheduled side by side burn demonstration on the effective capabilities of a home fire sprinkler system. Although the Wisconsin legislators are proud of the laws enacted in 1986 prohibiting any municipality from enacting an ordinance to require home fire sprinklers in their community, the Coalition is continually moving forward with education on the importance and life saving benefits of a home fire sprinkler system. Vendor booths were staffed at two recent home builder shows, one in Milwaukee and the other in Madison, Wisconsin. Both shows received very positive outcomes from the people stopping by and from the Metropolitan Builders Association who requested that their booth be fire sprinklered next year as an educational prop. Big win for the Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition and we plan on expanding our education to the state.
Life safety was recently under attack in Wisconsin with proposed legislation on code roll backs of fire sprinkler protection in multi-family residences and the National Electrical Code advances in AFCI and GFCI requirements. The fire service, fire sprinkler industry and other life safety advocates were successful in stopping the legislation which would have changed the existing requirement to fire sprinkler three or more units in multi-family to only protect twenty-one or more units. This is would have been a huge step backwards in protection of families. It is still less clear where the electrical issue is at this point but we continue to monitor the progress and support the National Electrical Code.