AUTHOR: LisaMarie Sinatra

A mountain view

HFSC Canada Emphasizes Collaboration to Help Drive Home Fire Sprinkler Safety Education

More than 20 years ago, there were just a few U.S. and Canadian fire departments promoting the life-saving benefits of fire sprinklers in new homes. Today, the fire service is the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s (HFSC) most important partner in delivering quality grassroots awareness and education programs across North America. This year as HFSC celebrates its 25th anniversary, we’re conducting interviews with HFSC’s founding members and other leading organizations in a new video series that shares stories of the coalition’s early days, its continued work with the fire service, and the progress and success HFSC has seen since its inception.  The series is hosted by HFSC President Lorraine Carli and in our last video, she talked to Cara Gizzi, Vice President of Education & Outreach for Underwriter’s Laboratories, Inc. (UL). UL has been a long-time member of the HFSC board and provides important research that helps support the coalition’s messaging.  This week, Lorraine interviews Maya Milardovic, Associate Vice President, Government Relations, The Co-operators Group, and Sean Tracey, HFSC Canada, two key members of the HFSC Canada team, which is made up of representatives from NFPA, The Co-operators, the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association, and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. HFSC Canada is the driving force behind a well-coordinated country-wide effort to raise awareness about home fire sprinklers through public education and supporting the fire service and their community outreach. HFSC Canada also works with local stakeholders to promote home fire sprinkler developer incentives. In the video, both Maya and Sean point to the fact that no one organization can go it alone nor should people feel they are on their own in their advocacy efforts. The key, they say, is working with like-minded organizations, individuals, and the fire service, all of whom have the same desire and enthusiasm to share best practices and consistent messages and resources that can help educate communities about the life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers. Maya and Sean agree that the HFSC has been an incredible source of information and support for those who want to get involved. Now is a great time to get involved in home fire sprinkler advocacy work in Canada! Watch the full video interview to learn more about HFSC Canada and their efforts: Visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website to get information and resources to help communicate the value of sprinkler technology and the need for more home installations to save more lives. Additional information about HFSC Canada can be found at homefiresprinklercanada.ca If you missed any of the previous interviews, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.  
A firefighter at a burning home

UL Research Helps Set the Stage for Fire Safety Messaging about Home Fire Sprinklers

This year, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary and we’re doing great things to mark this huge milestone. One such effort is a video series that highlights the important work the coalition has been doing during its two-plus decades. Through interviews with some of the coalition’s founding members and leading organizations and professionals dedicated to home fire sprinkler advocacy and education, viewers have been able to learn about the many resources, tools, and information available to help them in their efforts to raise awareness about the importance of home fire sprinklers, in communities across the U.S. and Canada. The new series is hosted by HFSC President Lorraine Carli and in our last video, she talked to Jeff Feid, Loss Mitigation Administrator from State Farm Insurance, who shared his company’s enthusiastic support of HFSC and its mission. Over the years, State Farm has been instrumental in providing grant funding to the coalition to help build key educational programs including the Built for Life Fire Department stipend program that supports local fire departments with public outreach and education about home fire safety. In the latest video, Lorraine talks to Cara Gizzi, Vice President of Education & Outreach for Underwriter’s Laboratories, Inc. (UL). UL has been a long-time member of the HFSC board and provides important research that helps support the coalition’s messaging. For instance, in 2009 and 2020, the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute conducted side-by-side experiments comparing natural and synthetic furnishings in typical house fires. The findings of this experiment conclude that modern, synthetic furnishings, used in more homes now, burn faster, making house fires more deadly today compared to fires 40 years ago. Learn more about the research here. According to the research: In 2019, the death rate per 1,000 reported home fires in one-and two-family homes was 27 percent higher than the death rate in home fires overall in 1980. If you have a reported home fire, you are 15 percent more likely to die than you were 40 years ago. People have as little as two minutes to escape in a home fire today, compared to 7-10 minutes years ago. The challenge, said Cara, is that people often think they are not going to have a fire, so education is the key to helping everyone understand the risks. “Seeing is believing,” she says, “and our role is to work closely with the fire service and the community, listen to their needs and concerns, and help educate people on the research findings so they can feel more comfortable when making the best safety decisions for their families.” Learn more and tune in to hear the full interview with Lorraine and Cara. For more information, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website to get the facts about the affordability, reliability, and effective protection of home fire sprinklers to share with others. If you missed any of the previous interviews, find the full video series on HFSC’s website
A family

Education is Key to Helping Homeowners Make the Right Choices about Home Fire Sprinklers

Since the 1970s, when “America Burning: Report of the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control” was published, fire safety organizations encouraged home fire sprinkler protection as an essential fire mitigation strategy. But no one organization had the capacity to make that goal a priority. To help fill that void, the presidents of the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA), NFPA, and the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) pooled their resources together in 1996, creating the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) to focus exclusively on home fire sprinkler education.  Fast forward to 2021 and HFSC is proud to be celebrating its 25th anniversary! In honor of this key milestone, HFSC created a video series to introduce many of the organizations, professionals, and practitioners who have played an integral role in helping grow the coalition and drive fire sprinkler advocacy in communities across the country. Last week, HFSC board member and FM Global assistant vice president and fire service programs manager, Mike Spaziani, discussed FM Global’s full-scale fire test on the effectiveness of home fire sprinklers, the beneficial environmental impact of sprinklers, and the company’s partnership with HFSC in educating the public on home fire sprinklers. In the video, Spaziani points to FM Global’s environmental impact report from 2010, which can be found here. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the interview, find it in our latest blog here. This week, HFSC President, Lorraine Carli, talks to Jeff Feid, Loss Mitigation Administrator from State Farm Insurance, who explains the company’s valued history with HFSC. Over the years, State Farm has been instrumental in providing grant funding to the coalition to help build key educational programs including the Built for Life Fire Department stipend program that supports local fire departments with public outreach and education about the benefits of home fire sprinklers. Feid said State Farm’s relationship with HFSC aligns perfectly with its “Good Neighbor” beliefs, and its agents are proud to be a part of the mission to raise awareness and share knowledge and resources about this life saving device in their communities. For HFSC, going digital is an important part of its growth during the next 25 years and beyond. To that end, State Farm, said Feid, is excited to support the coalition and its efforts to broaden its reach through the development of new digital tools and resources. See the full interview with Feid and Carli: Help NFPA and HFSC celebrate its 25th anniversary this year; share the facts about the affordability, reliability, and effective protection of home fire sprinklers. For additional information, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.
NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem

Weaknesses in Global Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem Highlighted in New NFPA Policy Institute “2020 Year in Review” Report

Every day we are struck here at NFPA by the number of global news headlines we read about injuries, deaths, and property loss from fire and related hazards. And with each event, we can’t help but ask - What actions led up to the event? How could this tragedy have been averted? What changes are needed to keep similar events from happening again? Over time, questions such as these led NFPA to develop in 2018 the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem™, a framework that identifies the components that must work together to minimize risk and help prevent loss, injuries, and death from fire, life, electrical, and other hazards. We realized that if any of the eight key components of this safety system are missing or functioning poorly, calamities happen and the risk to life, property, and economic productivity increases. This month the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Policy Institute released the 2020 Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem™: Year in Review report. This latest edition examines U.S. and international events in the last year including massive wildfires, the Beirut port explosion, and another exterior cladding high-rise fire that highlight how gaps, cracks, and weaknesses in our global fire and life safety system become tragedies. Examining the events outlined in the Year in Review report gives us the opportunity to not only understand the role fire plays in today’s society but it can help communities recognize the fault lines that enabled each calamity and use the examples to help address fractures in their own fire and life safety ecosystems to create safer areas to live. With each incident, the NFPA Fire & Life Ecosystem is a key to understanding how decisions made over time can either exacerbate or control these threats to safety. Download the free 2020 Year in Review report and find related resources and information about the NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem on the NFPA Ecosystem webpage. 

HFSC Video Series: Founding Coalition Member NFSA Explains Need to Continue Education about the Value of Home Fire Sprinklers

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and to help celebrate, HFSC developed a weekly video series featuring interviews with industry professionals and practitioners who share stories of their commitment to advocating for home fire sprinklers in communities across the country. Last week, HFSC President Lorraine Carli explained the history and evolution of the coalition, its dedication to the life-saving technology of home sprinklers and commitment to grassroots fire safety education, and HFSC’s emphasis on digital and online resources to further the important messages of the coalition. If you missed the video, you can find it on our NFPA Today blog. This week, HFSC introduces Shane Ray, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) and NFSA Executive Officer, Vickie Pritchett. In their interview with Lorraine Carli, Ray and Pritchett explain NFSA’s role as a founding member of HFSC, its partnership with the American Fire Sprinkler Association and NFPA, and their continued efforts to educate local officials, the fire service and first responders, home builders, developers, realtors, and consumers about the value of sprinklers. Check out their interview below: This year, help us celebrate HFSC’s 25th anniversary by sharing the facts about the affordability, reliability, and effective protection of home fire sprinklers. For additional information, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.

Summer Months Highlight Need to Apply Electrical Safety Practices in Marinas and on Boats

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, marinas and boatyards are ramping up for the busy boating season as people prepare to head out on the water. NFPA reminds everyone about potential electrical hazards that exist onboard boats and in waters surrounding boats, marinas, floating buildings, and launch ramps, and the need to put safety measures in place to reduce risk. During the summer, news headlines highlight incidents related to electric shock drowning (ESD). Most people have never heard about nor are they aware of ESD and the electrical dangers posed in water environments, and each year people are injured or killed from these hazards. Electric shock drowning occurs when faulty wiring sends electric current into the water that can pass through the body and cause paralysis. When this happens, a person can no longer swim and ultimately drowns.  When it comes to marinas, both saltwater and freshwater, corrosive environments can be very tough on electrical equipment. Many marinas often lack ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), devices that automatically shut off electrical power when they detect a leakage. Compounding the problem is that there are no consistent rules about recurring safety inspections. There are things, however, that boaters, marina and boatyard operators can do to ensure safety: Tips for boat owners Avoid entering the water when launching or loading a boat. Docks or boats can leak electricity into the water causing water electrification. Pay attention to signage that warns about these risks. Each year, and after a major storm that may affect the boat, have the boat's electrical system inspected by a qualified marine electrician to be sure it meets the required codes of your area, including the American Boat & Yacht Council. Make the necessary repairs if recommended. Check with the marina owner who can also tell you if the marina's electrical system has recently been inspected to meet the required codes of your area, including the National Electrical Code® (NEC). Have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) installed on the boat; use only portable GFCIs or shore power cords (including “Y” adapters) that are Marine Listed when using electricity near water. Test GFCIs monthly. Resources for marina and boatyard operators Cliff Norton of Bellingham Marine Utilities and a member of Code Making Panel 7, talked to NFPA about the workIn a related interview, Keith Lofland of IAEI, and chair of Code Making Panel 7, explained electric shock drowning to us and how the NEC addresses marina safety including the requirement related to ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). A recent “Marina Risk Reduction” report includes an assessment and associated action plan to prevent, mitigate and/or eliminate the harmful effects of ESD in the vicinity of marinas, boatyards, and floating buildings. You can also get the highlights in a short video. Find the interviews, a list of codes and standards that apply to boats and marinas and their related electrical safety issues, and more related information on our webpage. Follow the action steps, use these resources and join NFPA this holiday weekend and throughout the summer in promoting electrical safety on the water. Learn more at nfpa.org/watersafety.
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