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Fred Durso, Jr.
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Image courtesy of koratmember at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Let's start with the bad news: The Tullahoma News reports that a local county commission in Tennessee recently voted to opt out of a home fire sprinkler requirement in the International Residential Code. Lobbying efforts by the South Central Builders Association of Tennessee, noted a realtor quoted in the story, successfully convinced the commission that sprinklers are "a big expense." Now the good news: challenging such sprinkler myths, County Commissioner Tim Stubblefield, a longtime Tullahoma firefighter, was the sole vote among 20 commissioners against opting out of the requirement. "[Homebuilders] complain that it costs... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Matt Klaus, NFPA's principal fire protection engineer, set the record straight about NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, during NFPA's recent Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Boston. Myths and misconceptions, he said, abound about sprinkler performance and installation cost. Regarding the latter, the standard's committee makes it a point to consistently make sprinklers installed in accordance with NFPA 13D as affordable as possible. "We don't want to price people out of these systems," said Klaus. Moreover, sprinklers should be a necessary component of new homes, which are mainly built with lightweight materials... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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NFSA's Bruce Lecair (left) and Lubrizol's Dave Kokosenski at Smokey's Cabin Best known for his role in preventing wildfires, Smokey Bear is bringing his message of fire safety closer to home. Assisting the U.S. Forest Service's beloved mascot with this effort is the California Fire Sprinkler Coalition. A favorite among... Continue reading
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NFSA's Bruce Lecair (left) and Lubrizol's Dave Kokosenski at Smokey's Cabin Best known for his role in preventing wildfires, Smokey Bear is bringing his message of fire safety closer to home. Assisting the U.S. Forest Service's beloved mascot with this effort is the California Fire Sprinkler Coalition. A favorite among attendees at the California State Fair in Sacramento (this year's event takes place July 10-26), Camp Smokey is an interactive exhibit showcasing a number of fire-safety principles. Since sprinklers are a requirement in all of California's new, one- and two-family homes and townhomes, the coalition thought fair goers would also... Continue reading
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NFSA's Bruce Lecair (left) and Lubrizol's Dave Kokosenski at Smokey's Cabin Best known for his role in preventing wildfires, Smokey Bear is bringing his message of fire safety closer to home. Assisting the U.S. Forest Service's beloved mascot with this effort is the California Fire Sprinkler Coalition. A favorite among attendees at the California State Fair in Sacramento (this year's event takes place July 10-26), Camp Smokey is an interactive exhibit showcasing a number of fire-safety principles. Since sprinklers are a requirement in all of California's new, one- and two-family homes and townhomes, the coalition thought fair goers would also... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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NFPA President Jim Pauley complimented attendees at the 2015 Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Boston for continuing to stand their ground in support of home fire sprinklers. Noting what has been an uphill battle in many states, Pauley offered NFPA's continued support as advocates continue their efforts across North America. "From the NFPA perspective, we're in this for the long haul," said Pauley. "Thank you for what you do, for fighting what is a difficult battle." Exemplifying Pauley's comments, a handful of states have filed anti-sprinkler legislation this year, including Tennessee, Nevada, and Minnesota. However, Pauley was quick to point... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Let's all take a lesson from the good people of Montgomery County, Maryland. Public officials there have made safety a priority--so much so that they've officially deemed May Building Safety Month. This year's theme is "Resilient Communities Start With Building Codes." This proclamation aims to raise awareness on a variety of topics, including resilient construction and fire prevention. "Often it is not until after a disaster that residents are made aware of the importance of building codes," said Diane Schwartz Jones, director of the county's Department of Permitting Services, in an article that appeared on a government and public real... Continue reading
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Let's all take a lesson from the good people of Montgomery County, Maryland. Public officials there have made safety a priority--so much so that they've officially deemed May Building Safety Month. This year's theme is "Resilient Communities Start With Building Codes." This proclamation aims to raise awareness on a variety of topics, including resilient construction and fire prevention. "Often it is not until after a disaster that residents are made aware of the importance of building codes," said Diane Schwartz Jones, director of the county's Department of Permitting Services, in an article that appeared on a government and public real... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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You might understand the necessity of sprinklers in new homes, but what's a sure-fire way of getting sprinklers on the radar of others? One word: infographics. An eye-catching mixture of text and imagery, infographics have been a staple on social media sites in recent years due to their easily sharable format. Understanding the effectiveness of these informational tools, NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative has created a series of infographics offering quick-hit tidbits on today's sprinkler myths and the effectiveness of these devices. Our goal is for you to easily share these important points with your local public, decision makers, and others.... Continue reading
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You might understand the necessity of sprinklers in new homes, but what's a sure-fire way of getting sprinklers on the radar of others? One word: infographics. An eye-catching mixture of text and imagery, infographics have been a staple on social media sites in recent years due to their easily sharable format. Understanding the effectiveness of these informational tools, NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative has created a series of infographics offering quick-hit tidbits on today's sprinkler myths and the effectiveness of these devices. Our goal is for you to easily share these important points with your local public, decision makers, and others.... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association recently announced that a public service announcement featuring a 22-year-old burn survivor championing for home fire sprinklers has received the accolade "Best PSA for Large Market Radio." Created by the National Fire Sprinkler Association's Wisconsin Chapter, the PSA features Jeff Jordan, one of the newest members of Common Voices, an advocate's coalition determined to create a fire-safe America. (Jordan has also participated in activities with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.) Jordan was only six weeks old when he was burned in a house fire resulting from his brothers playing with a lighter. Sustaining third- and... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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It took the Baldwinsville, New York, Fire Department only three minutes to arrive at the scene of a recent home fire. The fire had already intensified to the point that a veteran firefighter couldn't make entry. He waited for the engine company's arrival. Inside the home was two-year-old Nora Lamirande, who was napping in an upstairs bedroom while her mother and brother were outside enjoying the spring weather. The brother headed to a neighbor's home as the mother followed, only to return to see the structure in flames. Something left on the stove was the apparent catalyst, per a report... Continue reading
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It took the Baldwinsville, New York, Fire Department only three minutes to arrive at the scene of a recent home fire. The fire had already intensified to the point that a veteran firefighter couldn't make entry. He waited for the engine company's arrival. Inside the home was two-year-old Nora Lamirande, who was napping in an upstairs bedroom while her mother and brother were outside enjoying the spring weather. The brother headed to a neighbor's home as the mother followed, only to return to see the structure in flames. Something left on the stove was the apparent catalyst, per a report... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Media reports are filtering in from Missouri, where fire safety advocates aren't keeping quiet about the home fire problem there and need for a solution. In one news report, which ranked Missouri as the eighth deadliest state for fire deaths, a local fire chief utilized TV cameras to discuss the rapid response of sprinklers. More surprisingly, the same segment included homebuilder Randy Propst, who made the decision to install sprinklers in one of his new homes housing disabled adults. "There are places you choose to cut costs, but from a standpoint of safety, that's not the place you try to... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered a blow to safety advocates on May 7 by "conditionally vetoing" a bill that would have sprinklered new, one- and two-family homes. Christie vetoed a similar bill last legislative session following its passage in the state Assembly and Senate, but this time has requested a closer look at the benefits of sprinklering the state's new townhomes. Citing residents' "struggles" to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, Christie also noted in his veto message that the bill would "further burden New Jerseyans" by "increasing the upfront cost of every new freestanding home by thousands of dollars." Christie... Continue reading
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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered a blow to safety advocates on May 7 by "conditionally vetoing" a bill that would have sprinklered new, one- and two-family homes. Christie vetoed a similar bill last legislative session following its passage in the state Assembly and Senate, but this time has requested a closer look at the benefits of sprinklering the state's new townhomes. Citing residents' "struggles" to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, Christie also noted in his veto message that the bill would "further burden New Jerseyans" by "increasing the upfront cost of every new freestanding home by thousands of dollars." Christie... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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There's a popular myth circulating across North America that today's homebuilding materials offer adequate protection for occupants during a fire. Tell that to Jack Grant, president of the Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association, who recently gave some pointed comments about the popular--and cost-effective--lightweight construction materials found in many of today's new homes. Recently in his state, a new, two-story home was destroyed by fire in minutes. While firefighters on the scene escaped with their lives, others haven't been as fortunate. "This type of construction will kill firefighters," Grant told a local NBC affiliate during a recent interview. Rather than nix the... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Take a virtual stroll through Homestead at Hartness, a picturesque, cottage community situated on 35 acres in Greenville, South Carolina. Complementing a city already named one of America's best by Lonely Planet is this new development, ripe with amenities including a 90-acre park, fishing ponds, and boat docks. Why Homestead is getting the attention--and praise--from sprinkler advocates is the developer's decision to sprinkler the community's 140 new homes. NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team visited the community in February to document how the local fire service and builder came to this decision, which was a win-win for all parties. A surprising... Continue reading
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Take a virtual stroll through Homestead at Hartness, a picturesque, cottage community situated on 35 acres in Greenville, South Carolina. Complementing a city already named one of America's best by Lonely Planet is this new development, ripe with amenities including a 90-acre park, fishing ponds, and boat docks. Why Homestead is getting the attention--and praise--from sprinkler advocates is the developer's decision to sprinkler the community's 140 new homes. NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team visited the community in February to document how the local fire service and builder came to this decision, which was a win-win for all parties. A surprising... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A new lawsuit is underscoring a builder's "failure" to follow a code requirement to sprinkler its new homes. According to a news release, the class-action lawsuit recently filed in Nevada's Clark County District Court alleges that three-story homes built by Ryland Homes in the Las Vegas area are "defected" since they lack home fire sprinklers, a code requirement in all model building codes guiding new home construction. The suit also contends that the unsprinklered structures compromise the health and safety of residents. "This is a classic case of a large corporation putting profits before people--in this case, blatantly disregarding the... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Sprinkler advocates, legislators, and safety specialists will be letting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie know that his support for a home fire sprinkler bill is crucial. Members of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Coalition are taking part in the New Home Fire Safety Act Advocacy and Support Day, May 5 at the New Jersey State House in Trenton. On board to speak at the event is NFPA, key members of New Jersey's fire safety organizations, and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who introduced the legislation to sprinkler new, one- and two-family homes. The bill successfully made its way through the state's Assembly... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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We at NFPA have given you yet another tool to help stay on top of important sprinkler news and new resources for your advocacy efforts. The Fire Sprinkler Initiative has officially joined Twitter! If you're on Twitter, please follow us (our handle: @NFPA_FSI), since we will be regularly tweeting out important tidbits. Add our handle to any of your sprinkler-related tweets to get our attention. Not on Twitter? Please consider joining. In today's social media-savvy society, staying in the know has never been easier. Speaking from experience, I joined about a year ago (@FredDursoJr) after taking on the role of... Continue reading
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We at NFPA have given you yet another tool to help stay on top of important sprinkler news and new resources for your advocacy efforts. The Fire Sprinkler Initiative has officially joined Twitter! If you're on Twitter, please follow us (our handle: @NFPA_FSI), since we will be regularly tweeting out important tidbits. Add our handle to any of your sprinkler-related tweets to get our attention. Not on Twitter? Please consider joining. In today's social media-savvy society, staying in the know has never been easier. Speaking from experience, I joined about a year ago (@FredDursoJr) after taking on the role of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A few months after the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry enacted a requirement to sprinkler new homes of a certain size, the Minnesota Legislature is fighting to remove it from the books. New budget bills by both the House and Senate include the "cancellation" of the provision to sprinkler new homes larger than 4,500 square feet. According to a local media report, a state representative called the requirement "onerous" while others noted it has the ability to drive up prices for buyers looking to enter the home-buying market . (In actuality, the average cost for sprinkler installation in Minnesota... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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In its recent report, "Characteristics of Home Fire Victims," NFPA analyzed key demographics to paint an alarming portrait of the people at most risk of dying in fire. Get more information on the report and the fire problem in your state by reading the latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. The issue also includes stories on: the fire deaths of seven children in a state that has not updated its building code in years a homebuilder who cost-effectively sprinklered his parent's home a sprinkler advocate who counters the popular argument that "sprinklers will price out homebuyers" Don't miss... Continue reading