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Fred Durso, Jr.
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Pam Elliott doesn't recall the flames or smoke from the house fire that enveloped her 55 years ago. She does remember a Good Samaritan who quickly entered her home and whisked her to safety. The damage was done, however; Elliott received burns on 50 percent of her body. She was only five years old. These injuries haven't slowed down this North Carolina firecracker. She's had a successful career as a burn nurse, and makes a passionate plea for home fire sprinklers whenever she can. (Elliott was one of the speakers at NFPA's recent Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit.) "I'm here to... Continue reading
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Pam Elliott doesn't recall the flames or smoke from the house fire that enveloped her 55 years ago. She does remember a Good Samaritan who quickly entered her home and whisked her to safety. The damage was done, however; Elliott received burns on 50 percent of her body. She was only five years old. These injuries haven't slowed down this North Carolina firecracker. She's had a successful career as a burn nurse, and makes a passionate plea for home fire sprinklers whenever she can. (Elliott was one of the speakers at NFPA's recent Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit.) "I'm here to... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Earlier this month, the death of an 88-year-old man brought Alabama's fire death total to 83, surpassing last year's total of 81. Per a recent news story, the state ranks fourth in deadly fires this year, with the majority of the incidents occurring at home. "We're not having fatalities in commercial buildings," Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk told AL.com. "It's a crying shame that [fire deaths] are above last year." These fatalities are in line with national trends outlined in NFPA's "Fire Loss in the U.S. During 2013" report; older adults are dying in these fires, which are predominantly... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Jack Swanson proudly displays his " Fire Sprinklers Save Lives" sticker inside his company office in Casper, Wyoming. But the insurance agent with Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company wasn't always a full-time sprinkler supporter. In fact, when his client Justin Smith, chair of the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition, initially asked him to join the group that's focused on home fire sprinkler education, he begrudgingly agreed to attend the first meeting. "When he first asked me to come, I told him I was pretty busy," Swanson says with a laugh. "But I went and since then I’ve gotten on... Continue reading
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Jack Swanson proudly displays his " Fire Sprinklers Save Lives" sticker inside his company office in Casper, Wyoming. But the insurance agent with Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company wasn't always a full-time sprinkler supporter. In fact, when his client Justin Smith, chair of the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition, initially asked him to join the group that's focused on home fire sprinkler education, he begrudgingly agreed to attend the first meeting. "When he first asked me to come, I told him I was pretty busy," Swanson says with a laugh. "But I went and since then I’ve gotten on... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Bill McNaughton and family The community of Clarendon Hills, Illinois, has been requiring home fire sprinklers since 2000. Since then, custom homebuilder Bill McNaughton has equipped new homes in this town with sprinklers, and is understanding that installation costs aren't as exorbitant as sprinkler opponents make them out to be. "The installation cost is not significant when factored into a mortgage, and the system results in reduced insurance premiums as well," says McNaughton, who is so supportive of sprinklers that he decided to sprinkler his family's home, per a news story crafted by the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A rising tide of support for home fire sprinklers is making its way across North America. Shore to shore, from California to New Jersey, advocates are gathering on a grassroots level and forming coalitions that are initiating change. Various stakeholders--fire service members, burn survivors, and water purveyors, to name a few--know they can be more effective if they coalesce with other like-minded sprinkler supporters to counter sprinkler opposition--and myths--that's also prominant throughout the U.S. and Canada. NFPA's two regional sprinkler specialists, who are assisting and cultivating these coalitions, have witnessed the fruits of this labor. In the following video, Jeffery... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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“I have responded to hundreds of fatal fires in my state, and it’s hard to rationalize how decisions [on mandatory home fire sprinkler installations] can be based strictly on cost while not recognizing the effect fire has on our society,” says Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, who has headed the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services since its creation in 1995. For years, Coan has been a tireless force in the push for statewide sprinkler requirements. His department has a seat on the state's Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS), which adopts building regulations and administers provisions of the... Continue reading
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“I have responded to hundreds of fatal fires in my state, and it’s hard to rationalize how decisions [on mandatory home fire sprinkler installations] can be based strictly on cost while not recognizing the effect fire has on our society,” says Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, who has headed the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services since its creation in 1995. For years, Coan has been a tireless force in the push for statewide sprinkler requirements. His department has a seat on the state's Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS), which adopts building regulations and administers provisions of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Last month, the town of Kingsport, Tennessee, unveiled a home crafted specifically for disabled residents and gave the community an up-close look at sprinkler protection at its best. The one-story, three-bedroom dwelling is one of two sprinklered homes developed by the Greater Kingsport Alliance for Development, the nonprofit arm of the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, per a news story by the Times News. The new homes are a safer alternative for the three residents that will reside there, said Linda Henry, division director for Frontier Health, a behavioral and mental health services provider, which assists the women. The homes,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Illinois sprinkler advocates at work It’s been 10 years since the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation published its 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives as part of its Everyone Goes Home Program. Following these initiatives, the U.S. Fire Administration set a national goal of reducing line-of-duty firefighter deaths by 50 percent within the decade. The 16 initiatives have been a vital rallying call to unite the fire service. Every preventable death is a success, but we have more work to do. There were 104 on-duty firefighter deaths reported in the U.S. in 2004, according to NFPA. Over the next nine years, the... Continue reading
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Illinois sprinkler advocates at work It’s been 10 years since the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation published its 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives as part of its Everyone Goes Home Program. Following these initiatives, the U.S. Fire Administration set a national... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at Today's Responder
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Illinois sprinkler advocates at work It’s been 10 years since the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation published its 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives as part of its Everyone Goes Home Program. Following these initiatives, the U.S. Fire Administration set a national goal of reducing line-of-duty firefighter deaths by 50 percent within the decade. The 16 initiatives have been a vital rallying call to unite the fire service. Every preventable death is a success, but we have more work to do. There were 104 on-duty firefighter deaths reported in the U.S. in 2004, according to NFPA. Over the next nine years, the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Per a new law, all new homes in Minnesota larger than 4,500 square feet must include sprinklers. Upon learning that sprinklers reduce the risk of dying in home fires by 80 percent, the town of Edina has initiated an online discussion to gauge whether all of its new homes should be sprinklered. According to the city's website, Edina isn't looking to alter local law at this time. The online forum is to merely obtain feedback on home fire sprinklers, which will be sent to Edina's city council. The online forum is broken up into three topics: Required For All, Cost/Benefit,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Following the deaths of a 10 year old and her father from a house fire, Washington State sprinkler advocates convinced the surviving homeowner to rebuild with sprinklers. What they didn't expect was that the homeowner was initially dissuaded to install sprinklers by a key group. Get the details by reading NFPA's latest Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. The November edition also includes information on: NFPA's recent sprinkler summit, which has energized advocates across North America a spike in home fire deaths in 2013 initiating meaningful dialogue with homebuilders Stay abreast of sprinkler news by signing up for the free newsletter, delivered... Continue reading
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Following the deaths of a 10 year old and her father from a house fire, Washington State sprinkler advocates convinced the surviving homeowner to rebuild with sprinklers. What they didn't expect was that the homeowner was initially dissuaded to install sprinklers by a key group. Get the details by reading NFPA's latest Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. The November edition also includes information on: NFPA's recent sprinkler summit, which has energized advocates across North America a spike in home fire deaths in 2013 initiating meaningful dialogue with homebuilders Stay abreast of sprinkler news by signing up for the free newsletter, delivered... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
A fire quickly contained by home fire sprinklers inside a Maryland home in November resulted in only minimal damage and no injuries. The Delmarva Daily Times reports that upon entering his home, the occupant heard the smoke alarms and saw the sprinkler activation. Investigators concluded that an electrical failure in an HVAC system caused the fire, which ignited the living room wall and nearby combustibles. One sprinkler head (in most cases, only one head activates during house fires) kept the fire tenable. The Salisbury Fire Department quickly finished the job. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office also noted that sprinklers... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Tom Lia is one busy man. He's a constant presence at the number of live burn/sprinkler demonstrations taking place monthly in Illinois. He knows how to work the media to promote home fire sprinklers. He's assisted other safety advocates in conducting sprinkler-specific open houses. LIa is an educational powerhouse, and knows education will lead Illinois to a safer future. His efforts are already paying off; close to 100 Illinois communities have adopted sprinkler requirements. A humble Lia, however, deflects any credit for these successes. “It’s due to the dedication and motivation of the fire and building officials who believe in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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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 Nov 26, 2014 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 Nov 25, 2014 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 Nov 24, 2014 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 Nov 21, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative