October 26, 2007 (Indian Hills, Kentucky) — In an effort to increase fire safety and protect its citizens, the Indian Hills City Council approved an ordinance requiring the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems in all newly constructed homes. While the passage of residential fire sprinkler ordinances is a growing trend nationwide, Indian Hills is the first municipality in Kentuckyto pass such an ordinance.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), eight out of 10 fire deaths occur in the home. Fires in one- and two-family dwellings caused $5.7 billion in direct property loss. Fire safety experts believe fire sprinklers are the next generation in home fire safety because they save lives, reduce property loss and help cut homeowner insurance premiums.
According to the non-profit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), smoke alarms warn people when there is smoke in their home, fire sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive on the scene. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate spraying water directly on the fire. Ninety percent of fires are contained by the operation of just one sprinkler.
According to Tom Eifler, Sr., Indian Hills Mayor and Chairman of the St. Matthew’s Fire Department, the city council passed the ordinance to protect its residents and firefighters. “Although we don’t have a lot of new construction, we do have a number of old structures that are being torn down and replaced with new structures that are much larger. This ordinance sends a message that we care about the lives of our residents and firefighters,” Eifler said.
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.
Contact: Russell E. Sanders, NFPA, +1 502 894-0411