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Fred Durso, Jr.
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Here's a success story out of Minnesota: come 2015, all new homes of a certain size must include sprinkler systems. Learn how this requirement came to be by reading the August 2014 edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. The latest edition also includes information on: the new "Advocacy Tools" section on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website a college thesis that shoots down arguments by residential sprinkler opponents a compelling op-ed by a burn survivor, who questions the logic behind sprinkler pushbacks If you haven't done so already, sign up for the free, monthly newsletter today. You'll receive the latest... Continue reading
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Here's a success story out of Minnesota: come 2015, all new homes of a certain size must include sprinkler systems. Learn how this requirement came to be by reading the August 2014 edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. The latest edition also includes information on: the new "Advocacy Tools" section on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website a college thesis that shoots down arguments by residential sprinkler opponents a compelling op-ed by a burn survivor, who questions the logic behind sprinkler pushbacks If you haven't done so already, sign up for the free, monthly newsletter today. You'll receive the latest... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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In 1999, Robert Gorvett, fire chief for the Village of Hoffman Estates in Illinois, proposed a residential fire sprinkler ordinance. Hoffman Estates was to be the largest municipality in Illinois at the time to require fire sprinklers in homes. It... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Today's Responder
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In 1999, Robert Gorvett, fire chief for the Village of Hoffman Estates in Illinois, proposed a residential fire sprinkler ordinance. Hoffman Estates was to be the largest municipality in Illinois at the time to require fire sprinklers in homes. It was no ordinary effort due to the village’s vast acreage for new subdivisions--a true Midwest “cornfield” community that would set a precedent for many of the 90-plus Illinois municipalities that now have residential fire sprinkler ordinances. Although Chief Gorvett had the backing of his fire marshal, Hank Clemmensen, there was much external opposition. Original attempts to enact an ordinance garnered... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
Hi Max--thank you for your question. Here's your answer, from Matt: "NFPA 13 does not currently permit the wholesale omission of sprinklers in attics and vestibules. This is largely due to the fact that NFPA 13 contemplates both life safety and property protection, whereas NFPA 13D and 13R are written as life safety standards only. The systems designed to these standards provide a significant level of property protection, however it is not the stated goal of the standard. It should be noted that NFPA 13 does allow for the omission of sprinklers in certain concealed spaces, however it is largely dependent up the construction materials used to form the concealed space, contents of the space, and level of access to building occupants. See NFPA 13 section 8.15.2.1 for more information on permissible sprinkler omissions in concealed spaces."
Thanks for the reply, Tom. While a sprinkler system might have had little impact on the outcome of this particular explosion, I was trying to underscore the frequency of home fires, not only in Texas but across the U.S., and how in most cases, sprinklers can reduce the risk of fire death and injury in these incidents.
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Home fire tragedies in Texas have made some unfortunate headlines this month. First, there was a story of a houseful of young boys who frantically escaped a burning home. One of the boys, a nine year old from Fort Worth, died in the fire despite valiant efforts by local firefighters. One neighbor told the Star-Telegram that "it's one thing to watch a fire on television, but it's another to watch your neighbors trying to save kids in a fire. That's why I'm shaking so much." More recently, a mother and her five children were all burned in their home following... Continue reading
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Home fire tragedies in Texas have made some unfortunate headlines this month. First, there was a story of a houseful of young boys who frantically escaped a burning home. One of the boys, a nine year old from Fort Worth, died in the fire despite valiant efforts by local firefighters. One neighbor told the Star-Telegram that "it's one thing to watch a fire on television, but it's another to watch your neighbors trying to save kids in a fire. That's why I'm shaking so much." More recently, a mother and her five children were all burned in their home following... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Six special-needs residents of Kingsport, Tennessee, will be receiving the utmost level of protection in their homes. The Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority is in the process of sprinklering two, 2,200-square-foot houses for six residents. Anticipated for completion in October, the sprinklered homes will either completely douse a fire or give these residents enough time to seek safety. Learn more about these new homes by visiting the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog. Continue reading
Six special-needs residents of Kingsport, Tennessee, will be receiving the utmost level of protection in their homes. The Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority is in the process of sprinklering two, 2,200-square-foot houses for six residents. Anticipated for completion in October, the sprinklered homes will either completely douse a fire or give these residents enough time to seek safety. This isn't the first time this Tennessee town has embraced home fire sprinklers. The Skyland Falls Condominiums in Kingsport are fully equipped with these systems. "We haven't had any fires in that community, but if we do, we know sprinklers will take... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Sprinkler Supporters: Tom Thornberg (left) and Tom Clark with the International Association of Fire Fighters NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team is exhibiting at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) this week for the purposes of informing elected officials on... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at Today's Responder
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Sprinkler Supporters: Tom Thornberg (left) and Tom Clark with the International Association of Fire Fighters NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative team is exhibiting at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) this week for the purposes of informing elected officials on the many benefits of home fire sprinklers. Since NCSL is taking place in Minnesota, where state lawmakers recently published a new mandate requiring sprinklers in new homes larger than 4,500 square feet, we decided to chat with fire service officials also at the conference to get their take on the new requirement. Standing near a fire truck rolled onto the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Advocating for home fire sprinklers just got a tad easier. The new "Advocacy Tools" section on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site is now the go-to place for free materials and resources that help make an effective case for home fire sprinklers. This section is where you'll find an array of shareable videos (including NFPA's Faces of Fire), case studies, and fact sheets (some of them are now downloadable) that underscore fire at its worst and sprinklers at their best. Also worth noting in this section is the new "Advocacy Materials" page. Download a template that will help you craft a... Continue reading
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Advocating for home fire sprinklers just got a tad easier. The new "Advocacy Tools" section on the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site is now the go-to place for free materials and resources that help make an effective case for home fire sprinklers. This section is where you'll find an array of shareable videos (including NFPA's Faces of Fire), case studies, and fact sheets (some of them are now downloadable) that underscore fire at its worst and sprinklers at their best. Also worth noting in this section is the new "Advocacy Materials" page. Download a template that will help you craft a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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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 Aug 18, 2014 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 Aug 14, 2014 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 Aug 13, 2014 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