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Fred Durso, Jr.
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Late last month, Rick Davis, mayor of Caruthersville, Missouri, died of apparent smoke inhalation from a fire in his home. A news report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch states he was on the job for only a few months before his death. (He also served a term several years ago, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.) Davis is the third official to die in office in recent years, per the article. The tragic nature of his death--coupled with the fact that he was the 31st fire victim in Missouri this year--prompted an opinion piece by Chris Gaut, regional manager for... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Pam Elliott, before and after a house fire that burned her when she was five years old (Photos: courtesy of Common Voices) To curb the more than 200 annual deaths of children killed in car backup incidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be requiring all light vehicles to have "rear view visibility systems," according to a recent USA Today article. What had prompted the mandatory installation of these cameras, states the story, was "outcry" from consumer groups and families impacted by these tragedies. While lauding the new requirement, burn survivor Pam Elliott is frustrated by the slow process... Continue reading
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Pam Elliott, before and after a house fire that burned her when she was five years old (Photos: courtesy of Common Voices) To curb the more than 200 annual deaths of children killed in car backup incidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be requiring all light vehicles to have "rear view visibility systems," according to a recent USA Today article. What had prompted the mandatory installation of these cameras, states the story, was "outcry" from consumer groups and families impacted by these tragedies. While lauding the new requirement, burn survivor Pam Elliott is frustrated by the slow process... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Physical disabilities can delay or thwart a person's chances of safely escaping a burning building. New data on just how many fatal fire incidences have impacted this population provides yet another reason why home fire sprinklers are necessary systems in new homes. NFPA's recently released report, "Physical Disability as a Factor in Home Fire Deaths," estimates that physical disabilities were a contributing factor in about 15 percent of U.S. home fire deaths each year from 2007-2011. When physical disability was a factor, 60 percent of victims were at least 65 years old. Equally astounding is that 85 percent of victims... Continue reading
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Physical disabilities can delay or thwart a person's chances of safely escaping a burning building. New data on just how many fatal fire incidences have impacted this population provides yet another reason why home fire sprinklers are necessary systems in new homes. NFPA's recently released report, "Physical Disability as a Factor in Home Fire Deaths," estimates that physical disabilities were a contributing factor in about 15 percent of U.S. home fire deaths each year from 2007-2011. When physical disability was a factor, 60 percent of victims were at least 65 years old. Equally astounding is that 85 percent of victims... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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One of the common concerns for homeowners that have a sprinkler system in compliance with NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, is the potential for frozen pipes. The Residential Sprinkler Systems Technical Committee, which is responsible for the development of NFPA 13D, has provided allowances to omit sprinklers in the parts of a home that are most susceptible to freeze protection concerns. This includes attic spaces, garages, and vestibules. These spaces are commonly left unheated to help keep costs down for the homeowner, and are therefore exposed to lower ambient temperatures. The... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The Laramie, Wyoming, Fire Department recently arranged an effective sprinkler tutorial for the city's mayor and city council. The goal of the live burn demonstration in July was twofold: further the legislators' knowledge on home fire sprinklers and convince this group to look into developer incentives for sprinkler installation. According to the Wyoming State Fire Marshal's Office, the event was a successful one, and the city council agreed to pursue this project. Side-by-side demonstration taking place in your state? Please forward any photos from the event to NFPA and we'll do our best to get the event highlighted on this... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Not a member of the LinkedIn Fire Sprinkler Initiative sub group? Now is the time to join. There's a healthy discussion taking place in response to a recent blog post about a National Fire Sprinkler Week. The United Kingdom held one this year, which prompted a Canadian fire chief to propose the idea of mirroring something similar in North America. See what other sprinkler advocates are saying about this possibility, and add your thoughts to the discussion. Join the group today! Continue reading
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Not a member of the LinkedIn Fire Sprinkler Initiative sub group? Now is the time to join. There's a healthy discussion taking place in response to a recent blog post about a National Fire Sprinkler Week. The United Kingdom held one this year, which prompted a Canadian fire chief to propose the idea of mirroring something similar in North America. See what other sprinkler advocates are saying about this possibility, and add your thoughts to the discussion. Join the group today! Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation requiring prospective tenants to be informed of whether or not a home has a fire sprinkler system. Per the new law, all new leases need to provide, in bold-face type, the dwelling's system or lack thereof. The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC), which recently passed a resolution calling for the full adoption of the International Residential Building Code, commended the governor's action. "This information is especially important as students return to college campuses for the fall semester," says NYSAFC executive director Jerry Deluca. "Parents can sleep a little... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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In 1988, Chief Dave Grupp of the Long Grove, Illinois, Fire Protection District proposed the controversial idea of a home fire sprinkler ordinance to the Long Grove Village Board. His focus was on the safety of the residents, other occupants,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Today's Responder
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In 1988, Chief Dave Grupp of the Long Grove, Illinois, Fire Protection District proposed the controversial idea of a home fire sprinkler ordinance to the Long Grove Village Board. His focus was on the safety of the residents, other occupants, and emergency responders. In a past interview, Chief Grupp said he did not know there weren't any communities in Illinois that required home fire sprinklers. “At that time there wasn’t even a smoke detector requirement,” he said. “I just thought the home fire sprinkler ordinance was the right thing to do.” Long Grove did not have a municipal water supply... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Julius Halas, left, discusses building plans with other fire service officials inside his new sprinklered home. (Photo courtesy of NFSA) Forget the granite countertops or picture-perfect fireplace. Julius Halas, director of the Florida State Fire Marshal's Office, recently highlighted a feature in his new home that he says is far more important. With other fire officials in tow, he gave a tour of his Florida home still under construction while pointing to concealed sprinkler heads and offering frank comments on why these systems are a necessity in new dwellings. "In my career, I have seen too many deaths and injuries... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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In an editorial for Firefighting in Canada magazine, Kevin Foster, fire chief with the Midland Fire Department, proposes something uniquely enticing to ramp up sprinkler education: let's host a National Fire Sprinkler Week. The U.K. held something similar this year that mirrored NFPA's Fire Prevention Week. "A National Fire Sprinkler Week may represent the single biggest opportunity for fire sprinkler education," stated Foster. "A coordinated national campaign may be the best approach to educating the country as a whole on the benefits of fire sprinklers; it would reach a broad audience, provide common messaging and resources through promotional materials, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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I recently came across a sprinkler-related report that's quite the page-turner. Written by Kent State University student Christiana Stegman and highlighted by the U.S. Fire Administration in one of its recent news roundups, the thesis underscores efforts by sprinkler opponents in Pennsylvania to nix sprinkler requirements for new homes that would have taken effect in 2011. Persuaded by convincing lobbyists, the state's lawmakers repealed the sprinkler requirement that year. Learn how the author counters home fire sprinkler myths with facts by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog. Continue reading
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I recently came across a sprinkler-related report that's quite the page-turner. Written by Kent State University student Christiana Stegman and highlighted by the U.S. Fire Administration in one of its recent news roundups, the thesis underscores efforts by sprinkler opponents in Pennsylvania to nix sprinkler requirements for new homes that would have taken effect in 2011. Persuaded by convincing lobbyists, the state's lawmakers repealed the sprinkler requirement that year. Stegman effectively outlines--and counters--the "number of arguments against the policy of requiring sprinkler systems in newly constructed one- and two-family dwellings" in her thesis, "The Impact of Residential Automatic Sprinkler Systems:... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A fire large enough to destroy an Idaho home and threaten surrounding houses prompted a battalion chief to stress the importance of home fire sprinklers. According to a story in the Idaho Press-Tribune, the recent fire occurred while the homeowner was visiting a neighbor and the homeowner's daughter was sleeping inside the structure. Luckily, another neighbor noticed the fire and awoke the woman. As the smoke alarms sounded, both escaped the blaze safely. The house, however, was a complete loss. "Our biggest success was keeping the fire off the neighbor's house," Battalion Chief Tim Scott told the newspaper. "Getting hose... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Find out why one newspaper is calling home fire sprinklers "the next big trend coming down the pike" in the July edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. The latest edition also includes information on: joining or starting a state sprinkler state coalition with assistance from NFPA a house fire that killed seven people, including three children, that has reignited the push for sprinkler requirements a new survey confirming that homeowners truly prefer a sprinklered home Stay up to date on the latest sprinkler news across North America by subscribing to this free newsletter. You'll receive monthly editions directly to... Continue reading
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Find out why one newspaper is calling home fire sprinklers "the next big trend coming down the pike" in the July edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. The latest edition also includes information on: joining or starting a state sprinkler state coalition with assistance from NFPA a house fire that killed seven people, including three children, that has reignited the push for sprinkler requirements a new survey confirming that homeowners truly prefer a sprinklered home Stay up to date on the latest sprinkler news across North America by subscribing to this free newsletter. You'll receive monthly editions directly to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Seventeen minutes. That's the amount of time it took for a recent fire, initiated by a malfunctioning dishwasher, to turn a Wyoming home from livable to uninhabitable. Firefighters from the Casper Fire Department, acting as tour guides, ushered interested parties through the building; children gasped upon viewing the destruction, while the firemen probed the parties about their knowledge of escape planning and smoke alarms. The open house was also an opportunity to educate the public on how home fire sprinklers, had these devices been installed, could have led to a different outcome. Find out more by visiting the Fire Sprinkler... Continue reading
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Seventeen minutes. That's the amount of time it took for a recent fire, initiated by a malfunctioning dishwasher, to turn a Wyoming home from livable to uninhabitable. Firefighters from the Casper Fire Department, acting as tour guides, ushered interested parties through the building; children gasped upon viewing the destruction, while the firemen probed the parties about their knowledge of escape planning and smoke alarms. The open house was also an opportunity to educate the public on how home fire sprinklers, had these devices been installed, could have led to a different outcome. "A residential sprinkler will put out a fire... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The NFPA report, "U.S. Experience With Fire Sprinklers,” notes that these systems “operated in 91 percent of all reported structure fires large enough to activate sprinklers.” However, if a fire sprinkler controls or puts out a fire, it’s often a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at Today's Responder
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The NFPA report, "U.S. Experience With Fire Sprinklers,” notes that these systems “operated in 91 percent of all reported structure fires large enough to activate sprinklers.” However, if a fire sprinkler controls or puts out a fire, it’s often a story that does not make headlines. The general public and municipal officials never really hear about successful fire sprinkler activations. Unfortunately, that means that when it is time to review code considerations that require fire sprinklers, many times the initiative fails because the public and local decision makers typically do not know the value or impact that fire sprinklers have... Continue reading
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The NFPA report, "U.S. Experience With Fire Sprinklers,” notes that these systems “operated in 91 percent of all reported structure fires large enough to activate sprinklers.” However, if a fire sprinkler controls or puts out a fire, it’s often a story that does not make headlines. The general public and municipal officials never really hear about successful fire sprinkler activations. Unfortunately, that means that when it is time to review code considerations that require fire sprinklers, many times the initiative fails because the public and local decision makers typically do not know the value or impact that fire sprinklers have... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A retiring fire chief from the Canadian city of Calgary offered a word of warning before leaving his post: the city's suburban growth rate will impact the fire department's ability to do its job. The Calgary Herald reported that while the city has raced to build enough fire departments to service "new fringe communities," those costs keep rising. "Growth, and especially non-contiguous growth--growth that doesn't touch up against existing services--is very expensive to provide services to," Chief Bruce Burrell told the paper. What may help to ease this burden is home fire sprinklers. A source quoted in the story states... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative