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Fred Durso, Jr.
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Maryland, one of two states with statewide sprinkler requirements (California is the other), has seen a 20-percent decrease in fire fatalities in 2014 over last year. That's a decline from 55 fire deaths in 2013 to 44 this year. "Maryland's fire service is cautiously optimistic with this year's data," said State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci in a news release. "Everyone must remain vigilant in their fire prevention efforts to continue this trend. An estimated 80 percent of all structure fires in Maryland occur in what most assume to be the safest places--our homes." The state is apparently seeing successes from... Continue reading
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Maryland, one of two states with statewide sprinkler requirements (California is the other), has seen a 20-percent decrease in fire fatalities in 2014 over last year. That's a decline from 55 fire deaths in 2013 to 44 this year. "Maryland's fire service is cautiously optimistic with this year's data," said State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci in a news release. "Everyone must remain vigilant in their fire prevention efforts to continue this trend. An estimated 80 percent of all structure fires in Maryland occur in what most assume to be the safest places--our homes." The state has participated in a number... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
NFPA's research team attributes the rise in 2013 deaths to statistical variability. USFA tracks media reports of civilian fire fatalities. As of 11/26/14, they've calculated 2,105 reported civilian fire deaths. More can be found here: http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/civilian-fatalities/incident/reportMap
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During NFPA's recent Home Fire Sprinkler Summit, Massachusetts State Representative Ruth Balser gave tips on how to convince state legislators that home fire sprinklers are a crucial, life-safety component in new homes. Balser has been a vocal sprinkler supporter ever since a tragic fire in her district killed five people. Developing a close relationship with the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal, she became increasingly aware of the frequency of home fire deaths and has introduced legislation in support of sprinklers in these settings. Balser recommends that sprinkler advocates should establish relationships with their legislator and constantly press them to take a... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Boston-based readers: Have you heard the radio commercials on home fire sprinklers now playing on some of the city's local stations? The Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition has sponsored two radio announcements highlighting NFPA's statistics on home fires, the effectiveness of sprinklers, and home insurance discounts. The radio spots can be heard on 97.7 and 107.3 WAAF; 93.7 WEEI; and AM 680 WRKO. Spread the word! Whether or not you're from Beantown, you can listen to the commercials by visiting the coalition's website, which also highlights the successes of having a unified voice in support of home fire sprinklers. See if... Continue reading
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Boston-based readers: Have you heard the radio commercials on home fire sprinklers now playing on some of the city's local stations? The Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition has sponsored two radio announcements highlighting NFPA's statistics on home fires, the effectiveness of sprinklers, and home insurance discounts. The radio spots can be heard on 97.7 and 107.3 WAAF; 93.7 WEEI; and AM 680 WRKO. Spread the word! Whether or not you're from Beantown, you can listen to the commercials by visiting the coalition's website, which also highlights the successes of having a unified voice in support of home fire sprinklers. See if... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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"A lot of people have the wrong priorities; you go into a home and they have a 90-inch TV but don't have a smoke detector," said a Michigan fire official recently interviewed by a local ABC affiliate. He and others from the Detroit Fire Department worked the press during a news segment underscoring both smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers. Against the backdrop of a live burn and sprinkler demonstration, sprinkler advocates addressed the 80-percent-risk-reduction rate of fire deaths when sprinklers are present in homes. The report also tackles sprinkler installation costs, which averages out to about one percent of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Showcasing a strength-in-numbers approach to sprinkler advocacy, more than 60 safety advocates from across North America met in Durham, North Carolina, last week for NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit. The event showcased a growing movement in support of home fire sprinkler requirements and gave advocates on the front lines the materials and tactics necessary to make these requirements a reality. Visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog for the highlights and presentation synopses. Continue reading
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Showcasing a strength-in-numbers approach to sprinkler advocacy, more than 60 safety advocates from across North America met in Durham, North Carolina, last week for NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit. The event showcased a growing movement in support of home fire sprinkler requirements and gave advocates on the front lines the materials and tactics necessary to make these requirements a reality. Visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative site for the highlights, including: A pro-sprinkler legislator who has become a vocal supporter for home fire sprinklers A burn survivor who's using her voice and the media to spread the sprinkler message An NFPA... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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An Oregon fire marshal has made such a convincing case for home fire sprinklers that an Oregon mayor and city council are considering requirements in new homes. The Mail Tribune reports that the city of Medford's mayor, Gary Wheeler, received a recommendation to sprinkler all new one- and two-family homes from Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg. Noting that competition will eventually drive down sprinker installation costs (a point highlighted in NFPA's recent sprinkler cost study report), Kleinberg's recommendation seems to have gotten the attention of Wheeler, who told the paper, "You can't put a price on a child." Kleinberg also noted... Continue reading
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An Oregon fire marshal has made such a convincing case for home fire sprinklers that an Oregon mayor and city council are considering requirements in new homes. The Mail Tribune reports that the city of Medford's mayor, Gary Wheeler, received... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at Today's Responder
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An Oregon fire marshal has made such a convincing case for home fire sprinklers that an Oregon mayor and city council are considering requirements in new homes. The Mail Tribune reports that the city of Medford's mayor, Gary Wheeler, received a recommendation to sprinkler all new, one- and two-family homes from Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg. Noting that competition will eventually drive down sprinker installation costs (a point highlighted in NFPA's recent sprinkler cost study report), Kleinberg's recommendation seems to have gotten the attention of Wheeler, who told the paper, "You can't put a price on a child." Kleinberg also noted... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff LaFlam, chair of the Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition, for a feature story highlighting some of the top home fire sprinkler advocates in North America. What has made LaFlam so unique is how he invites the most vocal opponents to sprinkler requirements--homebuilders and their associations--to his coalition's table. "I make our coalition meetings very inclusive," says LaFlam in the current issue of NFPA Journal. "I'd rather have some open discussions and at least try to solve the opposition's issues. Otherwise, you have two armed camps." That's not to say LaFlam won't counter sprinkler myths... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Sprinkler advocates from across the U.S. and Canada received a motivational jolt this week during NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Durham, North Carolina. Addressing the crowd of more than 60 attendees, NFPA President Jim Pauley underscored grassroots efforts occurring in North America that spotlight the importance of home fire sprinklers and how this work is creating a wave of support for sprinkler requirements in new homes. "NFPA knows it can't be everywhere," Pauley told attendees, some of them members of the 21 state sprinkler coalitions that have formed over the years. "We know the work gets done by people... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Key advocates have developed a knack for crafting the right sprinkler messages for media outlets. Today's sound bite-heavy society, however, has made it more important to get your point across succinctly. Brad Phillips, who has developed sprinkler advocacy training for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, offers his top ten tips for creating soundbites that will capture the media's attention. (Don't forget that NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative has an array of advocacy materials to also help you promote home fire sprinklers.) Great sound bites are all around you. Listen closely during conversations with friends and colleagues. What are intended as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
One of the most tragic residential fires to hit Maine in the last few decades occurred earlier this month, when six people died from a blaze in an off-campus residence near the University of Portland. All of the victims were in their 20s, reports the Associated Press. Aware that Canada isn't immune to these tragedies, Maine's northern neighbors are using social-media-savvy college students to further education on fire and home fire sprinklers. In September, the Fredericton, New Brunswick, Fire Department took part in Dorm Burn 2014, an event that included a live burn and sprinkler demonstration on the University of... Continue reading
One of the most tragic residential fires to hit Maine in the last few decades occurred earlier this month, when six people died from a blaze in an off-campus residence near the University of Portland. All of the victims were in their 20s, reports the Associated Press. Aware that Canada isn't immune to these tragedies, Maine's northern neighbors are using social-media-savvy college students to further education on fire and home fire sprinklers. In September, the Fredericton, New Brunswick, Fire Department took part in Dorm Burn 2014, an event that included a live burn and sprinkler demonstration on the University of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Since 2005, the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NJFSAB) has actively engaged and educated both the New Jersey public and the state’s legislators about proactive fire safety through a series of live demonstrations as part of its burn trailer program. The burn trailer events allow those in attendance to see firsthand the life- and property-saving benefits of fire sprinklers in real time. In 2014, the burn trailer, which has steadily gained momentum since its inception, hit a record reach of more than 7,600 people during 36 separate events. For more information on this trailer and how it's educating a... Continue reading
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Since 2005, the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NJFSAB) has actively engaged and educated both the New Jersey public and the state’s legislators about proactive fire safety through a series of live demonstrations as part of its burn trailer program. The burn trailer events allow those in attendance to see firsthand the life- and property-saving benefits of fire sprinklers in real time. In 2014, the burn trailer, which has steadily gained momentum since its inception, hit a record reach of more than 7,600 people during 36 separate events. With over six times the number of spectators who witnessed a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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When it comes to effectively spreading the sprinkler message to a large audience, there might not be a better tool than the media. Understanding the media's reach is Roland Garcia, fire marshal of the Pearland, Texas, Fire Department who was awarded the inaugural Fire Sprinkler--Outstanding Media Reporting Award. The accolade promotes fire sprinkler successes and the media's effectiveness in highlighting sprinkler activations. Cindy Giedraitis, a regional manager with the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), presented the award to Garcia on behalf of NFSA and NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative at the Texas Fire Marshals' Conference in Austin last month. Garcia, also... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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John Grant, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts (a member of the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition) and chief of the Milton Fire Department, wrote “Mounting fire death toll underscores need for sprinklers”, an op-ed that was published in a recent edition of The Boston Globe. In light of two recent fires that took the lives of two young boys and a disabled woman, Grant reinforces the importance of mandating the installation of fire sprinklers in newly constructed homes, a requirement that’s now being challenged by some groups and individuals. Visit the NFPA Today blog for highlights from Grant's... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The outside-the-box thinkers with the Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition have developed a new challenge that looks to ramp up education on home fire sprinklers, and it's effective (and simple) enough to replicate in other states. The Residential Fire Sprinkler Education... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at Today's Responder
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The outside-the-box thinkers with the Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition have developed a new challenge that looks to ramp up education on home fire sprinklers, and it's effective (and simple) enough to replicate in other states. The Residential Fire Sprinkler Education Challenge tasks fire departments in the Evergreen State with increasing the promotion of a fire sprinkler's life-saving benefits. Get all the details by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog. Continue reading
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The outside-the-box thinkers with the Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition have developed a new challenge that looks to ramp up education on home fire sprinklers, and it's effective (and simple) enough to replicate in other states. The Residential Fire Sprinkler Education Challenge tasks fire departments in the Evergreen State with increasing the promotion of a fire sprinkler's life-saving benefits. Departments are asked to complete six tasks, including: provide fire sprinkler education to the members of their department initiate talks with and provide information to local building officials become a Built For Life fire department with the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC)... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Following the death of two children from a recent residential fire in Lawrence, Mass., a coalition supported by every major fire service organization in Massachusetts is expressing its support for fire protection measures and disappointment at attempts to roll back these requirements. Members of the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition are taking the state’s Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) to task for the release of its white paper, “The Cost and Effectiveness for Health, Safety, and Security of Fire Alarm Systems and Fire Sprinkler Systems in 3 to 6 Unit Residential Buildings.” The coalition has deemed the document deeply... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative