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Fred Durso
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The Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition knows exactly how to keep home fire sprinklers on the public's radar. In 2015, they hosted a series of burn demonstrations that demonstrated the power of fire and its nemesis--home fire sprinklers. Captured by local media, one event in particular was also witnessed by local politicians and water purveyors who tend to have misconceptions on sprinkler performance and operation. The coalition continues to prioritize these eye-catching events since they have the power to attract key influencers. In April, the coalition and the National Fire Sprinkler Association's Connecticut Chapter hosted another side-by-side burn demonstration for state... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Seven months after the Estero Fire Rescue District passed a life-saving ordinance to sprinkler its town's new homes, it has decided to repeal it. As reported on this blog, two homebuilding associations in Florida filed a lawsuit challenging the ordinance, claiming it will create "imminent harm" to their business. The fire district passed the ordinance in October 2015 following an economic impact study countering this claim. However, a potential legal battle with the associations led to the fire district's commissioners unanimously repealing the ordinance in April, states the Naples Daily News. Dick Schweers, the fire commission's chair, told the paper... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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David Peterson is deeply concerned about the effects of firefighter staffing shortages in Wisconsin, where he hails, and across North America. "As a retired fire chief, I can attest that I lost sleep stressed by constant worry about whether enough responders would arrive at the station to respond when calls for help came," Peterson stated in a commentary that appeared in the GazetteExtra. "As possible incentives, I looked into retirement accounts and reductions of property taxes for people who enlisted. It was still difficult to appeal to anyone." His solution to this problem is threefold: increasing fire education, bolstering emergency... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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In a state where home fires have killed more than 200 people and resulted in more than $830 million over the last decade, safety advocates there have their focus on a safer future. This week at NFPA's headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition hosted a meeting to discuss a series of legislative bills that could bolster fire sprinkler use in new homes. One bill in particular would give local municipalities the option to require sprinklers in its homes. Making its way out of Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, the bill is co-sponsored by state Rep. Ruth... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A recent summit hosted by the Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition introduced attendees to something of an anomaly--a builder who fully supports home fire sprinklers. Admitting that some of his peers and local homebuilding associations take a different stance, Randy Propst, owner of Loran Construction, has seen the realities of fire sprinkler installation in new homes. He recently spoke with NFPA about his experience with this safety feature and why he's perplexed by the opposition's anti-sprinkler stance. NFPA: Why have you started sprinklering your new homes? I started building homes through a program by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban... Continue reading
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A recent summit hosted by the Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition introduced attendees to something of an anomaly--a builder who fully supports home fire sprinklers. Admitting that some of his peers and local homebuilding associations take a different stance, Randy Propst, owner of Loran Construction, has seen the realities of fire sprinkler installation in new homes. He recently spoke with NFPA about his experience with this safety feature and why he's perplexed by the opposition's anti-sprinkler stance. NFPA: Why have you started sprinklering your new homes? I started building homes through a program by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
George—thank you for the reply. NFPA 13R is not intended for single-family homes, since it covers the design and installation of automatic sprinklers in residential occupancies up to and including four stories in height in buildings not exceeding 60 ft. in height above grade plane. NFPA 13D is for One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes. NFPA 13D permits the use of steel, copper, CPVC, and Crosslinked Polyethylene (PEX) Tubing. NFPA 13D makes a point to keep installation costs affordable and easy to maintain by the homeowner. 13D does not require the use of NFPA 25 for inspections done by the homeowner. In fact, the occupants of a home with sprinklers should understand that maintaining them is mostly about common sense. Keeping the control valve open, not hanging items from the sprinklers, and making sure that the sprinklers do not get painted or obstructed are the most important items. It is also important to know the function of the main control valve and where the control valve is located. If you have any additional questions about sprinkler’s operation in accordance with 13D, please email us at FireSprinklerInitiative@nfpa.org.
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Two homebuilding organizations have taken their displeasure for a new safety requirement to court. In the latest issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative, read how these groups are aiming to quash a town's new ordinance to sprinkler new, one- and two-family homes. You'll also find information on: the growing concern of lightweight construction materials used widely in new homes how a burn survivor turns sprinkler supporter coped with losing his fiancée after her death in The Station nightclub fire how education can turn homebuilders into sprinkler supporters Please subscribe today to the Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter to receive these monthly,... Continue reading
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Two homebuilding organizations have taken their displeasure for a new safety requirement to court. In the latest issue of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative, read how these groups are aiming to quash a town's new ordinance to sprinkler new, one- and two-family homes. You'll also find information on: the growing concern of lightweight construction materials used widely in new homes how a burn survivor turns sprinkler supporter coped with losing his fiancée after her death in The Station nightclub fire how education can turn homebuilders into sprinkler supporters Please subscribe today to the Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter to receive these monthly,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Washington State residents are celebrating a victory this month after the Camas City Council approved an ordinance to sprinkler the town's new, one- and two-family homes. The Camas-Washougal Post-Record reports that this town is the first in Southwest Washington to pass such an ordinance. The town also joins a half-dozen others in Washington with a sprinkler requirement. (For a listing of these towns, visit the Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition's webpage.) Sprinkler opponents in Camas submitted testimony during a public hearing claiming sprinkler installations can exceed $10,000 per home. Safety advocates, however, provided actual costs; Ron Schumacher, fire marshal of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
Last year, NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative released a quiz gauging the public's perception on home fire sprinklers and sprinkler requirements. Taken more than 2,000 times, the quiz has been a popular tool in getting fire sprinklers on the public's radar while offering them a dose of education. For those quiz takers out there--you're in luck. We have refreshed it with a series of new questions. Take a minute and test your knowledge. Submit your score to us by replying to the comments section, and please help us share this fun tool by clicking on the social media buttons below. If... Continue reading
Last year, NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative released a quiz gauging the public's perception on home fire sprinklers and sprinkler requirements. Taken more than 2,000 times, the quiz has been a popular tool in getting fire sprinklers on the public's radar while offering them a dose of education. For those quiz takers out there--you're in luck. We have refreshed it with a series of new questions. Take a minute and test your knowledge. Submit your score to us by replying to the comments section, and please help us share this fun tool by clicking on the social media buttons below. If... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A live burn/fire sprinkler demonstration took place during a recent sprinkler summit hosted by the Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition Local, educational summits initiated by a number of state sprinkler coalitions have been placing a regional spin on the national, home fire problem. Local fire service members, building officials, and even homebuilders are brought to the same table to learn about home fire losses in their state or region and the life-saving impact of fire sprinklers. Hosted by the Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition, the most recent sprinkler summit is an example of how parties typically on competing sides of the sprinkler... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative has extensively covered the concerns of modern, homebuilding materials and home furnishings under fire. For instance: we've created a widely popular PowerPoint presentation underscoring research on how rapidly today's homes burn and how home fire sprinklers give residents the extra time needed to seek safety we've worked with NFPA experts to underscore these fire dangers in a recent article that appeared in a builder magazine we've interviewed fire service members directly impacted by fires involving lightweight construction Now, we want to hear from you. The topic of lightweight construction is now featured on Xchange, NFPA's new... Continue reading
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NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative has extensively covered the concerns of modern, homebuilding materials and home furnishings under fire. For instance: we've created a widely popular PowerPoint presentation underscoring research on how rapidly today's homes burn and how home fire sprinklers give residents the extra time needed to seek safety we've worked with NFPA experts to underscore these fire dangers in a recent article that appeared in a builder magazine we've interviewed fire service members directly impacted by fires involving lightweight construction Now, we want to hear from you. The topic of lightweight construction is now featured on Xchange, NFPA's new... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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NFPA staff joined the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) at this year's International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. During the show's expo, HFSC enticed industry experts to its booth by offering free, face-to-face discussions on home fire sprinklers. Matt Klaus, NFPA's principal fire protection engineer, tackled this group's misconceptions head-on, which he wrote about in the recent issue of NFPA Journal. "Some homebuilders we talked to, despite never having gone through the process, were adamant that sprinklers would cost as much as $10 per square foot for new construction," Klaus writes in his "In Compliance" column. While NFPA places the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Image courtesy of Kittisak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net The city of Estero, Florida, celebrated a victory in October 2015, when its fire district unanimously passed an ordinance to sprinkler new, one- and two-family homes. The celebration, however, was short-lived. One month later, two builder groups--the Lee County Industry Association and the Florida Home Builders Association--filed a lawsuit against the new requirement. While the complaint wasn't formally served at that time, implementation of the ordinance was delayed until July, reports The News-Press, a Floridian publication. With the suit from the builders properly filed this month, the groups claim "imminent harm" to their business... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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It's no surprise that news outlets are drawn to fire's destructiveness; the drama, eye-catching images, and heroic rescues make for good TV and page-turning journalism. Just as captivating but seldom getting the credit they deserve are home fire sprinklers. In some cases, reporters will focus on the minimal water damage from a fire sprinkler activation without mentioning lives and property saved. Giving a well-deserved tip of a hat to these devices, we offer you a series of recent activations brought to the attention of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative. Kudos to these media outlets for sharing these sprinkler successes with the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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In his previous post, NFPA blogger Rob Feeney discussed the nightmares and realities he experienced following the Station Nightclub fire in 2003. Grappling with the death of his fiancée, Donna, and his own injuries from the fire, Feeney underscores a burn survivor's long and arduous road to recovery: While in the hospital, I had many visitors—in particular, Donna’s family and the priest that was going to marry Donna and me. Since Donna left behind two daughters (8 and 11 years old), I wanted to tell them how sorry I was and that it should have been me that was buried,... Continue reading
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In his previous post, NFPA blogger Rob Feeney discussed the nightmares and realities he experienced following the Station Nightclub fire in 2003. Grappling with the death of his fiancée, Donna, and his own injuries from the fire, Feeney underscores a burn survivor's long and arduous road to recovery: While in the hospital, I had many visitors—in particular, Donna’s family and the priest that was going to marry Donna and me. Since Donna left behind two daughters (8 and 11 years old), I wanted to tell them how sorry I was and that it should have been me that was buried,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Jose Colin, co-chair of the California Fire Sprinkler Coalition When it comes to securing a requirement for home fire sprinklers, California has long been described as a state to be modeled. Getting all stakeholders to the table was a pivotal effort that led the California Building Standards Commission to approve a requirement to sprinkler new homes there starting in 2011. As recently reported in The New York Times, the requirement does not appear to have quashed home construction, a myth perpetuated by sprinkler opponents. Five years since the requirement went into effect, the California Fire Sprinkler Coalition still convenes on... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Gripping my Red Cross vest and a large cup of java, I sluggishly entered the Beech Street Senior Center in Belmont, Massachusetts. My friend's please-get-rid-of-all-my-vodka party the night prior had apparently impacted my slumber. However, this Saturday morning meeting was well worth the 6 a.m. wake-up call. Filling the center's lounge area were another two Red Cross volunteers, a half-dozen members of the Belmont Fire Department, and members of the town's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Our mission was twofold: install a series of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in more than 30 homes while also leaving them with key... Continue reading
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Image courtesy of koratmember at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Following the defeat of an anti-sprinkler bill in Maryland, legislators are now proposing legislation to offset costs associated with installing home fire sprinklers. Typically at odds with each other on the issue of fire sprinklers, the Maryland fire service and a local building industry association support the bill, according to the Delmarva Daily Times. The legislation would create a tax credit of up to $2,000 for homeowners installing sprinklers, divvied out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Credits would be capped at $1 million annually, states the paper. Continuing its campaign in support of home... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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An live burn/sprinkler demonstration in Connecticut was made possible by NFPA's 2015 Bringing Safety Home Grant NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative recently announced the winners of its Bringing Safety Home Grant, given to 15 recipients across North America. The funding assists state sprinkler coalitions and other safety advocates with up to $10,000 apiece to support activities that showcase the importance of home fire sprinklers. Following a successful launch in 2015, the Bringing Safety Home Grant is once again assisting sprinkler advocates with their grassroots efforts this year. Recipients will use the grant to initiate an extensive campaign promoting home fire sprinklers... Continue reading
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A law passed in Delaware last year requires builders of one- and two-family homes to offer cost estimates for fire sprinklers to potential buyers. Moreover, the law also requires buyers to receive free, educational material on these devices to help them make an informed decision on whether or not to install these devices. As a means to convince all buyers that sprinklers are a smart decision, the Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office recently produced a free pamphlet to fulfill the state's new requirement. Produced with assistance from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, the pamphlet highlights state-specific installation costs, information on... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative