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Fred Durso, Jr.
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On a blistery cold morning in Fall River, Massachusetts, Firefighter Paul Machado and his crew were tasked with searching for a missing woman inside a two-and-a-half story home on fire. While inside the dwelling, their efforts were exacerbated by the fast-moving blaze, which knocked Machado to the ground. He attempted to seek safety by heading down to the first floor, but the fire was too intense. Since his radio had melted, calling in a "Mayday" was impossible. His only opportunity for escape was to fling himself from a window. He sustained numerous injuries and burns from the incident. He was... Continue reading
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On a blistery cold morning in Fall River, Massachusetts, Firefighter Paul Machado and his crew were tasked with searching for a missing woman inside a two-and-a-half story home on fire. While inside the dwelling, their efforts were exacerbated by the fast-moving blaze, which knocked Machado to the ground. He attempted to seek safety by heading down to the first floor, but the fire was too intense. Since his radio had melted, calling in a "Mayday" was impossible. His only opportunity for escape was to fling himself from a window. He sustained numerous injuries and burns from the incident. He was... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Two-and-a-half minutes. That's the amount of time it took a fire inside a wooden structure housing a sofa, end table, and other furnishings to reach flashover--the point when all objects in a room simultaneously hit their ignition temperature. Nothing living survives a flashover. Flames funneled out of the eight-by-eight mock living room as spectators, standing nearly 30 feet from the fire, felt the heat. The event, held at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts, to a group of more than 100 people, was too eye-catching to merely watch; many recorded it with their smartphones. The majority of spectators have a vested... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The Garden State experienced a win in its push for increased safety in homes when the state Senate recently passed a bill to sprinkler all new, one- and two-family homes. The bill heads to the governor's desk for a signature. Learn about the massive fire that prompted this bill by reading the latest edition of NFPA'S Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. Other news items include information on: the deadly trio found in today's homes NFPA's new Bringing Safety Home Grant, which gives sprinkler advocates the chance to secure $10,000 for localized advocacy efforts water supply options for home fire sprinklers Don't... Continue reading
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The Garden State experienced a win in its push for increased safety in homes when the state Senate recently passed a bill to sprinkler all new, one- and two-family homes. The bill heads to the governor's desk for a signature. Learn about the massive fire that prompted this bill by reading the latest edition of NFPA'S Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. Other news items include information on: the deadly trio found in today's homes NFPA's new Bringing Safety Home Grant, which gives sprinkler advocates the chance to secure $10,000 for localized advocacy efforts water supply options for home fire sprinklers Don't... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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NFPA has examined the demographics of fatal and non-fatal victims of home fires. The report, "Characteristics of Home Fire Victims," highlights the age, sex, race, and region of victims, giving safety advocates crucial information on important trends. Here are some key finds: From 1980 to 2011, the percentage of fatal home fire victims under five years old fell from 18 to six percent. During that same time frame, the number of fire victims over age 65 increased from 19 to 31 percent. More surprising is that 30 percent of all home fire fatalities were at least 65 years old, but... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The United Kingdom recently celebrated Fire Sprinkler Week 2015, an event that encourages sprinkler installation in various settings via information-sharing and other activities. Sprinkler myth-busting was a vital component of this event. While the event this year focused its messaging on the necessity of sprinklering educational and business establishments, home fire sprinklers got its fair share of attention. The devices, which have the approval of many in the U.K. fire service, made recent headlines after the English town of Oswestry decided to enact a pilot program that would install them in a two-bedroom bungalow. The head of a local fire... Continue reading
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The United Kingdom recently celebrated Fire Sprinkler Week 2015, an event that encourages sprinkler installation in various settings via information-sharing and other activities. Sprinkler myth-busting was a vital component of this event. While the event this year focused its messaging on the necessity of sprinklering educational and business establishments, home fire sprinklers got its fair share of attention. The devices, which have the approval of many in the U.K. fire service, made recent headlines after the English town of Oswestry decided to enact a pilot program that would install them in a two-bedroom bungalow. The head of a local fire... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Looking to spread the word on the importance of home fire sprinklers in your community or state, but lack the necessary funds to create something spectacular? Now's your chance to secure up to $10,000 through the Fire Sprinkler Initiative's Bringing Safety Home Grant Program, which will assist as many as 10 selected U.S. state sprinkler coalitions and other safety advocates throughout the United States and Canada by furthering activities that showcase the importance of fire sprinklers. Momentum around sprinkler advocacy continues to build as more and more residents and policy makers understand the value of installing these devices in new... Continue reading
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Looking to spread the word on the importance of home fire sprinklers in your community or state, but lack the necessary funds to create something spectacular? Now's your chance to secure up to $10,000 through the Fire Sprinkler Initiative's Bringing Safety Home Grant Program, which will assist as many as 10 selected U.S. state sprinkler coalitions and other safety advocates throughout the United States and Canada by furthering activities that showcase the importance of fire sprinklers. Momentum around sprinkler advocacy continues to build as more and more residents and policy makers understand the value of installing these devices in new... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Having witnessed 60 fire deaths over a span of 27 years, Assistant Fire Chief Danny Beeler fought back tears while urging a Tennessee Senate Commerce Committee to consider these losses. "I've seen too many bodies," Beeler, a member of the Tennessee Fire Sprinkler Coalition, told the committee, according to a story by the Knoxville News Sentinel. "Please don't take an action that will put (people) ... in greater danger." This "action" Beeler refers to is the passage of legislation that would prohibit the requirement of fire sprinkler systems for townhouses by any local or statewide adopted building codes. The law... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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California's path to a statewide sprinkler requirement was as long and windy as the Yellow Brick Road. Prior to the mandate taking effect in 2011, local communities, one-by-one, decided to embrace mandatory installations, the first city being San Clemente in 1979. Getting all stakeholders on board to expand the requirement statewide might have seemed like a feat for Oz, but fortunately State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover knew how to make it happen. Despite the successes in California, Hoover is quick to point out that the statewide adoption "was only the beginning." NFPA Journal had a recent conversation with Hoover on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Two recent Illinois house fires, which occurred in the same town during the same week, had starkly different outcomes. The fires occurred in Park Ridge, an affluent community of 40,000 residents in a compact, eight-square-mile area that is the childhood home of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The morning of February 21, two fire sprinklers activated and rapidly extinguished a fire in a single-family home. Fire Marshal Kevin Plach reported that the sprinklers, designed in accordance with NFPA 13D, Installation of Fire Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, did its job of not only preventing flashover but also... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Certain New Jersey legislators made sure the memory of a massive fire in Edgewater that displaced 1,000 residents wouldn't be forgotten. They've kept their word. Following the fire that made national headlines, Assemblyman John Wisniewski was hoping to brighten the spotlight placed on his state by reintroducing the New Home Fire Safety Act. The bill calls for the sprinklering of all new, one- and two-family homes. The Assembly approved the bill in February, and it recently passed the state's Senate with a 22-13 vote, per the Burlington County Times. Read more about this important development by visiting the Fire Sprinkler... Continue reading
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Certain New Jersey legislators made sure the memory of a massive fire in Edgewater that displaced 1,000 residents wouldn't be forgotten. They've kept their word. Following the fire that made national headlines, Assemblyman John Wisniewski was hoping to brighten the spotlight placed on his state by reintroducing the New Home Fire Safety Act. The bill calls for the sprinklering of all new, one- and two-family homes. The Assembly approved the bill in February, and it recently passed the state's Senate with a 22-13 vote, per the Burlington County Times. The article adds that the new rule would take effect seven... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Knowledge is power. That seemed to be the underlying tagline during the Missouri Sprinkler Summit, an inaugural event hosted by the Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Utilizing the brain power of some of America's sprinkler experts, the event gave residents of the Show Me State compelling viewpoints on the necessity of home fire sprinklers. Creating a localized forum for sprinkler edification has its benefits; the Oregon and Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalitions co-hosted a similar event last year, and the networking opportunities there led to an interesting sprinkler success story in Washington. Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition Chair Rick Ennis discusses firefighter safety... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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In 2014, South Carolina had the fifth highest number of fire deaths per capita in the nation, according to a recent TV report. Moreover, there have been 300 fire deaths in the state since 2007. Outraged by these figures, fire safety advocates in South Carolina aren't taking these statistics lying down. The South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Coalition recently positioned itself in front of TV cameras to promote a proven cure to their state's fire problem. First, they organized a live burn/sprinkler demonstration earlier this month, which got the attention of both the public and TV media. The demonstrations "are meant... Continue reading
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In 2014, South Carolina had the fifth highest number of fire deaths per capita in the nation, according to a recent TV report. Moreover, there have been 300 fire deaths in the state since 2007. Outraged by these figures, fire safety advocates in South Carolina aren't taking these statistics lying down. The South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Coalition recently positioned itself in front of TV cameras to promote a proven cure to their state's fire problem. First, they organized a live burn/sprinkler demonstration earlier this month, which got the attention of both the public and TV media. The demonstrations "are meant... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Writer Sheri Koones did her homework when researching the impact of home fire sprinklers. Nearly everything you ever wanted to know about these devices is captured in her recent story that appeared on AOL's Real Estate blog. While not bogging down the reader with too many details, Koones highlights key points that should be shared with potential home buyers, code-making officials, and politicians. She cites: Key NFPA data on home fires and sprinkler effectiveness Water wasted to douse a house fire with fire hoses vs. water saved by sprinklers Free resources by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition The cost-effectiveness of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Old Man Winter kept his firm grip on New England last week by dipping temperatures into the single digits during a legislative breakfast hosted by the Western Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Piercing the bitter chill, albeit briefly, was a fiery display that did what it was intended to do: get the attention of key politicians. Within minutes, the side-by-side burn demonstration--one structure equipped with sprinklers, one without--showcased to an array of state and local legislators that fire shows no mercy. (The temperature in the unsprinklered structure rapidly reached 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.) What they also saw firsthand was... Continue reading
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Old Man Winter kept his firm grip on New England last week by dipping temperatures into the single digits during a legislative breakfast hosted by the Western Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Piercing the bitter chill, albeit briefly, was a fiery display that did what it was intended to do: get the attention of key politicians. Within minutes, the side-by-side burn demonstration--one structure equipped with sprinklers, one without--showcased to an array of state and local legislators that fire shows no mercy. (The temperature in the unsprinklered structure rapidly reached 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.) What they also saw firsthand was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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While underscoring the benefits of home fire sprinklers, chances are you have been asked which water source is best for these systems. Tackling this question head-on, NFPA Journal picked the brain of Matt Klaus, NFPA's principal fire protection engineer and staff liaison for its sprinkler standards, including NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes. What was Klaus' pick? It turns out each option--municipal water supplies, tank/pump arrangement, and well water--has its pros and cons. He advises designers and homeowners to consider weighing each option and decide which arrangement is best for them. Regarding... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A requirement to sprinkler new homes in La Vergne, Tennessee, took effect last year. Since then, the town appointed a new mayor, Dennis Waldron, who recently voiced his opposition to the requirement. According to a news story by a local ABC affiliate, Waldron cites freezing and flooding concerns, which NFPA has countered, while stating that this law will stunt housing growth in his community. The NFPA report, "Comparative Analysis of Housing Cost and Supply Impacts of Sprinkler Ordinances at the Community Level", proves that sprinkler requirements do not have detrimental effects on housing supply and costs. This month, a new... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The outcome to a recent fire would have been vastly different had the residence been devoid of sprinklers, says Fire Chief Bill Higgs with the Sechelt Fire Department in British Columbia. His deduces that his department and three others would have responded to the blaze, with suppression efforts probably taking up half the day. Then there's the painstaking fire investigation, demolition, and rebuilding that might last months, maybe more. More traumatizing would have been any deaths or injuries at the scene. Here's what actually occurred: sprinklers immediately activated following a grease fire in the kitchen. Upon the Sechelt Fire Department's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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For this blog post, we're going back to a time when boy bands ruled the radio and the Macarena was the quickest way to get the masses to the dance floor. Dust off those CDs and envelope yourself in flannel, because you're about to take a one-way trip to the 1990s! You're probably wondering what pop music from this decade has to do with advocating for home fire sprinklers. Quite a lot, actually. Many of us sprinkler advocates have to give presentations at code council hearings, town meetings, and public events explaining why home fire sprinklers are lifesavers. (No, not... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative