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Fred Durso, Jr.
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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 8 hours ago 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 yesterday 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 yesterday 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 2 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Jim and Leslie McDonald were enjoying a recent Tuesday afternoon when Leslie suddenly heard a loud bang. "I thought Jim had just put something up against the wall," Leslie told the Prescott, Arizona, Fire and Medical Department. In actuality, it was the couple's neighbor banging on their door, screaming that their house was on fire. Leslie ran outside (Jim had been in the backyard) and saw smoke and flames shooting from their garage, which housed an SUV, classic car, motorcycle, radio-controlled airplanes, and other items. Read what happened next by visiting NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog. Continue reading
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Jim and Leslie McDonald were enjoying a recent Tuesday afternoon when Leslie suddenly heard a loud bang. "I thought Jim had just put something up against the wall," Leslie told the Prescott, Arizona, Fire and Medical Department. In actuality, it was the couple's neighbor banging on their door, screaming that their house was on fire. Leslie ran outside (Jim had been in the backyard) and saw smoke and flames shooting from their garage, which housed an SUV, classic car, motorcycle, radio-controlled airplanes, and other items. As she ran to get her garden hose, Leslie watched as the smoke transformed from... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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"Can I use a water mist system instead of automatic sprinklers?" That was a common question posed during the development of the 2013 edition of NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes. The NFPA 13D Residential Sprinkler Systems Technical Committee concluded that the answer lies somewhere other than this document. The NFPA 13D committee does not have the scope to write requirements for water mist systems; they provide design and installation criteria for automatic sprinklers in residential settings. If an applicable building code requires sprinkler system installation in accordance with NFPA 13D, it... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Fire is fire, whether you live in the U.S. or...Antarctica? Some 200 Colorado residents currently live on the wintry continent, which can mask the reality that fire there is a real and dangerous threat. What better way to showcase the power of fire and automatic sprinklers to soon-to-be Antarcticans than with a live burn demonstration? Members of the Colorado Fire Sprinkler Coalition were on hand to assist with such an event at Lockheed Martin's Centennial, Colorado, facility. Since Lockheed hires at least 1,000 people a year to work in Antarctica, the goal of the demonstration was to school employee's on... Continue reading
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Fire is fire, whether you live in the U.S. or...Antarctica? Some 200 Colorado residents currently live on the wintry continent, which can mask the reality that fire there is a real and dangerous threat. What better way to showcase the power of fire and automatic sprinklers to soon-to-be Antarcticans than with a live burn demonstration? Members of the Colorado Fire Sprinkler Coalition were on hand to assist with such an event at Lockheed Martin's Centennial, Colorado, facility. Since Lockheed hires at least 1,000 people a year to work in Antarctica, the goal of the demonstration was to school employee's on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Hands-free doorknobs that open doors. Electrical outlets that pop out of walls with a light touch. Home fire sprinklers that are barely noticeable to the naked eye. Innovation was on display for the thousands of developers, architects, contractors, and manufacturers attending the recent Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in San Francisco. Covering the event was the San Jose Mercury News, which called residential sprinklers "another big trend coming down the pike." For more information on this event, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog. Continue reading
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Hands-free doorknobs that open doors. Electrical outlets that pop out of walls with a light touch. Home fire sprinklers that are barely noticeable to the naked eye. Innovation was on display for the thousands of developers, architects, contractors, and manufacturers attending the recent Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in San Francisco. Covering the event was the San Jose Mercury News, which called residential sprinklers "another big trend coming down the pike." While California has required sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes since 2011, the look and reliability of sprinkler heads will make them a viable option for more and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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The 2013 recipient of the "Bringing Safety Home" award was Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Minick from the North Charleston (SC) Fire Department. Presenting the award are NFPA's Lorraine Carli and HFSC's Peg Paul. Do you know a stellar fire chief... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at Today's Responder
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The 2013 recipient of the "Bringing Safety Home" award was Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Minick from the North Charleston (SC) Fire Department. Presenting the award are NFPA's Lorraine Carli and HFSC's Peg Paul. Do you know a stellar fire chief that has advocated for home fire sprinkler installation? Here's your chance to honor him or her via a special recognition. NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition have teamed up with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) for the Bringing Safety Home Award, which recognizes fire chiefs who have worked to increase the installation of home... Continue reading
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The 2013 recipient of the "Bringing Safety Home" award was Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Minick from the North Charleston (SC) Fire Department. Presenting the award are NFPA's Lorraine Carli and HFSC's Peg Paul. Do you know a stellar fire chief that has advocated for home fire sprinkler installation? Here's your chance to honor him or her via a special recognition. NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition have teamed up with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) for the Bringing Safety Home Award, which recognizes fire chiefs who have worked to increase the installation of home... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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An idyllic lakefront community was startled from slumber recently when an early-morning house fire occurred as the home's occupant was out for a stroll. The fire began before 8 a.m. on June 23 as the resident's teenaged daughter was sleeping inside the waterfront home, which is located in the French Creek Harbour area of British Columbia. Fortunately, a smoke alarm awoke the teen, and she escaped the house without harm. Furthermore, the home's sprinkler system helped douse the fire, which was initiated by a faulty water heater, according to a report by the Oceanside Star. Made evident by this incident,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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An Illinois county recently updated its building code but decided not to mandate the sprinkler provision for new one- and two-family homes. A month later, tragedy struck. Learn what happened in the latest edition of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. This issue also includes stories on: an award-winning radio series underscoring the home fire sprinkler debate and perils of lightweight construction the newly formed Texas Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and a Texas-sized turnout at a recent sprinkler event How to showcase sprinklers to your community at little or no cost If you haven't done so already, subscribe to the free, monthly... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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I am pleased to introduce Matt Klaus, columnist for NFPA Journal and one of the newest contributors to this blog. As NFPA's principal fire protection engineer and staff liaison for NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, Klaus has extensive knowledge of the standard and will regularly discuss technical aspects of home fire sprinklers that will hopefully initiative some online discussions. (Click on the "comment" button below to offer your feedback or suggestions for future topics.) Here is his inaugural post. Check this blog often for additional insights from Matt. One of the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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A plaque commemorates the 15 people who lost their lives from the Elliott Chambers Rooming House fire in 1984. (Photo: Elliott Chambers Memorial Foundation Facebook page) Usually a time for celebrating, the July 4th holiday began with a tragedy 30 years ago. Around 4 a.m. that morning in 1984, a fire started at the Elliott Chambers Rooming House in Beverly, Mass., and spread up the stairway to living quarters on the second and third floor. Escape was nearly impossible as people were trapped in their rooms. (Back then, rooming houses were known as "death traps" due to the high number... Continue reading
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A plaque commemorates the 15 people who lost their lives from the Elliott Chambers Rooming House fire in 1984. (Photo: Elliott Chambers Memorial Foundation Facebook page) Usually a time for celebrating, the July 4th holiday began with a tragedy 30 years ago. Around 4 a.m. that morning in 1984, a fire started at the Elliott Chambers Rooming House in Beverly, Mass., and spread up the stairway to living quarters on the second and third floor. Escape was nearly impossible as people were trapped in their rooms. (Back then, rooming houses were known as "death traps" due to the high number... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Hail to the Garden State. According to a legislative roundup on NorthJersey.com, the New Jersey Assembly has passed a bill that would require residential sprinklers in one- and two family homes. A similar measure was supported by the full Legislature during its previous session, but it received a last-minute veto from the governor. Showing its sprinkler support is the township of Little Falls; its city council passed a resolution that supports the sprinkler requirement. "We lose 50 to 60 residents in New Jersey annually in residential home fires, and by my standards, that's too many," Rich Sylvia, member of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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Tom Lia with the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board showcases an NFPA 13D simulator to the public. Elected officials and the general public receive such a regular dose of misinformation from associations with anti-sprinkler agendas that the myths have obtained a threshold of acceptance. We can counter this information via the power of social media and using something more hands-on: an NFPA 13D simulator that can be showcased at fire department entryways or permit offices. Fifteen Illinois fire departments and community college fire science programs have taken this proactive step to educate their visitors by setting up simulated corner... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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"Today's homes are safer than ever and don't need sprinkler systems." "One sprinkler head goes off, they all go off. Sprinklers will flood your home." "Sprinkler systems add unnecessary costs that deter would-be homeowners from making a sale." Apparently, educational efforts are helping the public distinguish fact from these popular sprinkler myths. Case in point: a new survey released this week by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition confirms that nearly 75 percent of U.S. homeowners are more likely to buy a sprinklered home versus one without. Moreover, nearly 80 percent of survey participants said sprinklers provide the ultimate protection for... Continue reading
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The New Jersey Assembly is scheduled to vote this week on the New Home Fire Safety Act, which would require fire suppression systems in new one- and two-family homes. Last year, a similar bill requiring the sprinklering of new one- and two-family homes was passed by the Legislature, but it was vetoed by the governor. Extensive research confirms that sprinklers are cost-effective systems that can reduce fire deaths by 80 percent. If you reside in the Garden State, please contact your local legislator and tell them you support this bill. Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative
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"Today's homes are safer than ever and don't need sprinkler systems." "One sprinkler head goes off, they all go off. Sprinklers will flood your home." "Sprinkler systems add unnecessary costs that deter would-be homeowners from making a sale." Apparently, educational efforts are helping the public distinguish fact from these popular sprinkler myths. Case in point: a new survey released this week by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition confirms that nearly 75 percent of U.S. homeowners are more likely to buy a sprinklered home versus one without. Moreover, nearly 80 percent of survey participants said sprinklers provide the ultimate protection for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2014 at NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative