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Fred Durso, Jr.
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If there's one myth fire sprinkler advocates hear ad nauseum, it's the one about fire sprinkler ordinances driving up housing costs and forcing homeowners to seek cheaper alternatives in neighboring communities or states. A recent article in The New York Times notes this notion couldn't be further from the truth. California has been requiring sprinklers in new homes since 2011, and has not seen a negative impact on housing stock or affordability. In fact, as the story states, "there's a robust demand for housing." For a state that's expected to swell to 50 million people by 2050, protecting its growing... Continue reading
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If there's one myth fire sprinkler advocates hear ad nauseum, it's the one about fire sprinkler ordinances driving up housing costs and forcing homeowners to seek cheaper alternatives in neighboring communities or states. A recent article in The New York Times notes this notion couldn't be further from the truth. California has been requiring sprinklers in new homes since 2011, and has not seen a negative impact on housing stock or affordability. In fact, as the story states, "there's a robust demand for housing." Take into consideration these figures highlighted in the story: the Sacramento region has approved more than... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Volunteer firefighters in Caroline County, Maryland, are being credited for stopping efforts to water down a fire sprinkler mandate. Maryland requires sprinklers in all of its new homes. Caroline County commissioners toyed with the idea of pursuing an amendment that would weaken the mandate, but got push back from all of its volunteer fire companies. "We are all unified [in our support of the sprinkler requirement]," Tim Gunderson, Ridgely Volunteer Fire Company President told The Star Democrat. While promoting the life-saving aspect of sprinklers, Gunderson also highlighted the affordability of installation. His research placed the average cost at about $2... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Made evident by NFPA's Faces of Fire Campaign, home fires are merciless. These events alter--even end--lives. In its wake, burn survivors experience extensive hospital visits and surgeries that can last years. A new study now places a dollar amount on these treatments, and it isn't cheap. Released earlier this year, the report "Healthcare Costs of Burn Patients From Homes Without Fire Sprinklers" analyzed more than 1,100 adult patients injured in a flame injury at home during a 17-year period and admitted to the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre's burn unit in Ontario. (During that same period, there were more than 1,550... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Phil Tammaro was only two years old when he was significantly burned in a home fire. His painstaking recovery lasted 39 years, well into his fire service career. However, he refused to let his injuries define him or limit his abilities as a firefighter. Instead, Tammaro, a member of the Billerica Fire Department in Massachusetts, used his story to exact change. He learned that as a firefighter, his voice is a powerful tool in the push for home fire sprinklers across North America. "It's important that we advocate and increase awareness of fire sprinklers and the benefits of them, not... Continue reading
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Phil Tammaro was only two years old when he was significantly burned in a home fire. His painstaking recovery lasted 39 years, well into his fire service career. However, he refused to let his injuries define him or limit his abilities as a firefighter. Instead, Tammaro, a member of the Billerica Fire Department in Massachusetts, used his story to exact change. He learned that as a firefighter, his voice is a powerful tool in the push for home fire sprinklers across North America. "It's important that we advocate and increase awareness of fire sprinklers and the benefits of them, not... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A recent fire in Connecticut could have been much worse if not for fire sprinklers. A kitchen fire at a Fairfield residence on August 23 was successfully contained by the overhead sprinklers, limiting damage to just two of the 54 apartments, according to the Fairfield Citizen. The Fairfield Fire Department's Assistant Chief Schuyler Sherwood issued the following statement in the wake of the event: "The occupants of the building were extremely lucky that this building had sprinklers and that the sprinklers kept the fire in check. The damage would have been much worse had there not been sprinklers." Thwarting greater... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Across the pond in Wales, home fire sprinklers suffer the same myths and homebuilder opposition that is prevalent in North America. Yet, a historical measure was signed into law in 2011 following a unanimous vote by the Welsh Assembly to sprinkler the country's new homes starting next year. How did that happen? Get the full story by reading the latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. You'll also find stories on: a new law demanding homebuilder action on home fire sprinklers two home fires, years apart, claiming members of the same family a fire chief discussing how his opinion... Continue reading
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Across the pond in Wales, home fire sprinklers suffer the same myths and homebuilder opposition that is prevalent in North America. Yet, a historical measure was signed into law in 2011 following a unanimous vote by the Welsh Assembly to sprinkler the country's new homes starting next year. How did that happen? Get the full story by reading the latest edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. You'll also find stories on: a new law demanding homebuilder action on home fire sprinklers two home fires, years apart, claiming members of the same family a fire chief discussing how his opinion... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Have you heard? The fire service has started embracing a series of scientific experiments that’s producing quantifiable data to help determine how to best fight fires. This scientific approach is said to be altering fire suppression tactics used by firefighters. Fire service journals, websites, and conferences are all highlighting this fire-attack-based-on-science phenomenon. And suppression people (like me) are absorbing, debating, and applying the latest information. I support the scientific approach to studying fire dynamics and fire attack. I truly applaud the work of the good people at UL, NIST, NFPA, and other organizations for their efforts to publicize and promote... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Standing near what was once a residential complex in Edgewater, New Jersey, before fire ravaged it in January, fire officials publicly scolded state lawmakers for their inability to use the event as a means to strengthen the state's building code. Displacing hundreds of residents, the fire demonstrated a need for greater action on building safety. "This is not something that needs to be studied to death," said Glenn Corbett, member of the Bergen County Fire Chiefs Association, according to an article that appeared on NorthJersey.com. "It's pretty clear what the problem is and what the solution is. It's just that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Maryland's news outlets have been producing stories with a slanted view on home fire sprinklers, prompting the state's fire service and NFPA to take action. Maryland joins California in requiring fire sprinklers in new, one- and two-family homes. (Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other communities across the U.S. also mandate sprinklers in new homes.) Following a building code update in Maryland, the local media has been crafting what appears to be anti-sprinkler stories featuring a host of myths that downplay the benefits of a statewide, sprinkler requirement. An article published in The Star Democrat, which interviewed seemingly anti-sprinkler sources, included... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Tempers flared following a recent vote by the New York Fire Prevention and Building Code Council to adopt the 2015 International Residential Code but remove its requirement to sprinkler all new, one- and two-family homes. Instead, the council opted to continue using the current code, which requires sprinklers only in wood frame residences exceeding two stories. "You guys messed up," Jeff Wilkinson, president of the New York State Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association, told the council, according to an article in the Times Union. "You guys should be ashamed of yourselves." Also not mincing words was the New York State... Continue reading
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Tempers flared following a recent vote by the New York Fire Prevention and Building Code Council to adopt the 2015 International Residential Code but remove its requirement to sprinkler all new, one- and two-family homes. Instead, the council opted to continue using the current code, which requires sprinklers only in wood frame residences exceeding two stories. "You guys messed up," Jeff Wilkinson, president of the New York State Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association, told the council, according to an article in the Times Union. "You guys should be ashamed of yourselves." Also not mincing words was the New York State... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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In 2001, Bob Wilcox, then fire chief of the Matteson Fire Department in Illinois, was preparing to build a new home with fire sprinklers. "I wanted to protect my family,” he says. “[Sprinklers are] there 24/7 in case something happens. It's like life insurance." The installation, however, wasn’t just for his family; Wilcox was also laying the groundwork to upgrade the fire code in his rapidly growing suburban community. In March 2002, Wilcox opened his new home to the public, elected officials, building inspectors, and area fire departments to view the sprinklers before the drywall was installed. Outside the home,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Shane Ray, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association A two-year-old girl died this year from a fire in a New York home built two years ago. The event rattled safety advocates nationwide while providing a crystal-clear example of the dangers associated with not adopting current building codes. "New York hasn't updated its statewide code since 2010, and that adoption was based on 2006 codes," stated Shane Ray, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, in a commentary that appeared on Firehouse.com. "A two-year-old is dead because of the lack of staying current with codes. Fire sprinklers work, and maintaining... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Almost as eye-catching as Utah's breathtaking landscape is a wheeled beauty rolling through areas of the Beehive State. Painted fire-engine red, the sprinkler demonstration trailer is taking safety directly to the masses, one pit stop at a time. The vehicle includes two, identical compartments mimicking areas of any home. One of the compartments, however, includes fire sprinklers, which are activated by fire during public events hosted by the state's fire service organizations. Now on the go, the trailer was stuck in neutral for years. What prompted its recent debut on Utah roadways were local businesses that donated supplies for the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative are teaming up to recognize outstanding local efforts by an advocate who diligently promotes the importance of home fire sprinklers. The Bringing Safety Home Award honors members of the fire service and other sprinkler advocates who use HFSC and Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources as a key component in educating decision-makers on fire sprinklers and convincing them to support sprinkler requirements at the local, state, or province level. The award recipient will be honored at NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit, October 13-14, 2015, in Phoenix. NFPA will cover the... Continue reading
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The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative are teaming up to recognize outstanding local efforts by an advocate who diligently promotes the importance of home fire sprinklers. The Bringing Safety Home Award honors members of the fire service and other sprinkler advocates who use HFSC and Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources as a key component in educating decision-makers on fire sprinklers and convincing them to support sprinkler requirements at the local, state, or province level. The award recipient will be honored at NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit, October 13-14, 2015, in Phoenix. NFPA will cover the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Throughout his career, Fire Chief Rick Ennis has always classified himself as a "suppression guy." Bill Ennis, Sr., the father of our newest blogger, Chief Rick Ennis, passed away on July 20 at the age of 85, following a 40-year career in the fire service. Rick dedicates this post to his dad. If you read my last post, you’ll recall I offered the premise that the American fire service has traditionally been divided into two camps: prevention people and suppression people. I held that fire sprinklers have typically been a prevention issue when they really should be considered more of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Delaware Governor Jack Markell (seated) signs new sprinkler bill. He's sporting an NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative lapel pin. In front of more than 100 fire sprinkler advocates and key politicians, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed legislation on August 6 aimed at improving fire safety for homeowners. The new law requires builders of new, one- and two-family homes to give buyers a cost estimate for installing fire sprinklers and requires that homebuyers receive information from the State Fire Marshal's Office about sprinkler benefits. Upon request of the buyer, the builder would be required to install sprinklers in the home. The new... Continue reading
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Delaware Governor Jack Markell (seated) signs new sprinkler bill. He's sporting an NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative lapel pin. In front of more than 100 fire sprinkler advocates and key politicians, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed legislation on August 6 aimed at improving fire safety for homeowners. The new law requires builders of new, one- and two-family homes to give buyers a cost estimate for installing fire sprinklers and requires that homebuyers receive information from the State Fire Marshal's Office about sprinkler benefits. Upon request of the buyer, the builder would be required to install sprinklers in the home. The new... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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"We're trying to make our legislators understand that [ home fire sprinklers are] important," said Fire Marshals' Association of Missouri President Gene Robertson during a live burn/sprinkler demonstration that occurred in conjunction with last month's Missouri Association of Building and Fire Officials Conference. "We're losing too many people to fires that we shouldn't be losing." Others would soon realize the accuracy of Robertson's statement. Days later, in the same Missouri town where the sprinkler demonstration occurred, a home fire took the lives of four children ranging in age from two to five. According to a local NBC affiliate, firefighters rescued... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Across the pond in Wales (population three million), home fire sprinklers suffer the same myths and homebuilder opposition that is prevalent in North America. Yet, a historical measure was signed into law in 2011 following a unanimous vote by the Welsh Assembly to sprinkler the country's new homes starting next year. How did that happen? NFPA recently interviewed Ronnie King, former chief fire officer in Wales and secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group, which brings fire-related topics to the Parliament's attention. King discusses how the sprinkler measure was passed, how the opposition was addressed, and why... Continue reading
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Across the pond in Wales (population three million), home fire sprinklers suffer the same myths and homebuilder opposition that is prevalent in North America. Yet, a historical measure was signed into law in 2011 following a unanimous vote by the Welsh Assembly to sprinkler the country's new homes starting next year. How did that happen? NFPA recently interviewed Ronnie King, former chief fire officer in Wales and secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group, which brings fire-related topics to the Parliament's attention. King discusses how the sprinkler measure was passed, how the opposition was addressed, and why... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative