Fire Sprinkler Initiative

New Survey: Millennial Homebuyers Say Fire Safety and Fire Sprinklers are Key Factors When Buying a New Home

In October of 2020, Opinium surveyed more than 2,000 US adults of all ages about new-home preferences and fire safety. The results proved interesting, confirming what many of us believe: millennials have different buying priorities compared to older generations. According to the survey, 100 percent of renters said they have plans to purchase a home in the next three years. About 80 percent (8 out of 10 surveyed) said they would prefer to buy a home with fire sprinklers after learning how they work, while 72 percent recognized that fire sprinklers add value to a home. With more than a million homes built annually and millennials making up the largest share of homebuyers, now is the time for developers, builders, and local officials to see there is strong interest in home fire sprinklers. To this end, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) has developed a presentation to support local fire service home fire sprinkler education. Fire service members are encouraged to share this information with the building community, especially when AHJs are discussing trade ups as incentives. Developers who build with fire sprinklers can reduce construction costs, increase profitability, and make their homes more appealing to today’s homebuyers. With more than 70 million millennials entering the housing market today, developers must compete by anticipating and meeting their demands. Download the presentation today and share it with the stakeholders in your community. Learn more about the HFSC by visiting the website at homefiresprinkler.org.
Sprinkler heads

Sustainable Home Improvement Magazine Article Emphasizes Value of Home Fire Sprinklers

House fires today are becoming increasingly dangerous and deadly, highlighting the necessity of home fire sprinkler units. According to an NFPA “Fire Loss in the United States During 2019” report, there were about 1.3 million fires requiring a response from a fire department. These fires led to approximately 8,800 injuries and 3,700 deaths. According to research, if someone reports a home fire, they are 15 percent more likely to die than they were 40 years ago. Today, fires burn faster and kill quicker in large part because “the contents of modern homes (such as furnishings) can burn faster and more intensely,” Richard Bukowski, a senior engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was quoted as saying in Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) fact sheet. Fire sprinklers have been proven effective at controlling fires and would halt the growth of these statistics if they were widely used in homes. In a recent article from Rise, a leading online authority in sustainable home improvement, Sheri Koones wrote about why fire sprinklers are so effective. “When there is a fire in the house, a sprinkler can respond almost immediately, reducing the amount of damage caused by the fire and potentially saving the lives of the residents,” she said. This is extremely important as she noted later in the article that “it usually takes the fire department between five and 10 minutes to arrive at the home.” HFSC states that fire flashover takes place within the first three to five minutes of the fire based on national averages. Fire sprinkler systems can control a fire even before firefighters arrive on the scene. According to the graph below from NFPA,  the death rates from fires in homes with a sprinkler system is significantly lower than those without. However, from 2010-2014, fire sprinkler systems were only found in seven percent of all home fires, according to NFPA. Even though fire sprinkler systems have been proven extremely effective, people still have many misconceptions about them. In her article, Koones lists some of the most common ones and disproves them: Smoke will activate fire sprinklers. Koones is quick to show that this is false, writing that “the sprinklers are activated by heat, not smoke.”  When there is a fire, all the sprinklers in the house are activated. “Only the sprinkler closest to the fire is activated by the heat,” Koones says. “This localized activation confines the water to just the area where the fire is raging.” The sprinklers may not look aesthetically pleasing. “Home fire sprinklers are far less conspicuous compared to older commercial sprinklers. You can install pendants or concealed sprinklers on the ceiling or a wall. Concealed sprinklers have a plate. Some can be panted by the sprinkler manufacturer to match the room’s colors,” Koones states. To read the full article, visit buildwithrise.com. Also, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website to get information and resources to help you in your efforts to communicate the value of sprinkler technology and the need for more home installations to save more lives.
Dr. Joe, burn survivor

Phoenix Society Brings Burn Survivor Voice Forward to Advocate for Fire Prevention and the Life-Saving Benefits of Fire Sprinklers

Today, fires in one- and two-family homes are more dangerous than ever, and the latest statistics prove just how frightening the situation is: 1 fatality in a U.S. home fire every 3:10 hours 65 percent of fire deaths are in home fires 8,800 civilian injuries $6.4 billion in direct property damage 67 percent of firefighter injuries are the result of fighting structure fires Firefighters are 11 times more likely to be injured fighting structure fires (than any other call they respond to) Add it all up and the picture becomes clear: home fire sprinklers can and must play a key role in saving lives and reducing property loss. But it takes more than just statistics to move people to action. Behind all the data and numbers are real people whose lives have been forever changed because of a tragedy due to fire. It’s these stories that bring into view the full impact of what fire can do to an individual, his/her family and friends, and a community. Joining Lorraine Carli this week in an interview for the HFSC 25th anniversary video series to discuss the emotional and human side to the fire story is Amy Acton, CEO of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, whose organization is committed to the sprinkler issue. “The best treatment of a burn injury is preventing it in the first place,” says Amy, herself an advocate for fire sprinklers. “When the Phoenix Society first got involved in prevention work it made sense to bring the survivor voice forward. While data gives us the “why,” it’s the survivors and the loved ones of people who have suffered or perished in a fire who bring that “why” home in a deeper and more emotional way. We want people to understand these injuries are devastating not only physically and emotionally, but financially, too.” The Phoenix Society works with first responders and members of the fire service, researchers, burn care professionals, burn survivors and their families, all of whom are committed to empowering the burn community by sharing their experiences and stories with us. Amy and Lorraine both agree that burn survivors have been instrumental in advocating for the need for home fire sprinklers to prevent home fire tragedies from happening to others. “Burn survivors learn early on about perseverance,” Amy continues. “I think we bring a lot of perseverance to this effort. Survivors feel a sense of purpose from their experience; they’re committed to working on prevention with others. Together we can move the needle forward on change.” Listen to this engaging interview with Amy and Lorraine to learn more the Phoenix Society, its work with burn survivors, and their support of HFSC:  In the past few years, the Phoenix Society and NFPA have collaborated on many important initiatives that speak to the personal side of fire. Learn more about them: Faces of Fire campaign, which features stories of people impacted by fire and demonstrates the need for home fire sprinklers. Faces of Fire/electrical campaign, which shares stories of people impacted by electrical incidents and demonstrates the need for continued education and awareness about electrical hazards both on the job and at home. The Survivors, a multi-part podcast series that takes an extensive look at a Wyoming family who experienced the unthinkable when a home fire killed two of their children. Please join NFPA, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and the Phoenix Society in advancing this important life safety message. Free materials about the benefits of home fire sprinklers are available to download and use> for outreach efforts. Visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website for more If you missed any of the previous interviews, find the full 25th anniversary video series on HFSC’s website.  
A firefighter going into a burning building

Championing Firefighter Health and Safety Through the Support of Home Fire Sprinklers

Consider this: firefighters are 11 times more likely to be injured fighting structure fires than any other incident they respond to. With this statistic in mind, it stands to reason that the quicker we extinguish fires, the less firefighters will suffer from cancer-causing contamination and potential injury while on the job. Home fire sprinklers mean less risk exposure for firefighters and fire investigators. It’s one of the many reasons why today the fire service is one of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s(HFSC) most ardent supporters in delivering sprinkler education programs and information to communities across North America.  To help explain the evolution of the fire service’s work with HFSC, Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) joins HFSC president Lorraine Carli in an interview, the latest in a video series created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HFSC. “(When it comes to) residential fire sprinklers, (we know) it holds the fire in check and makes a difference to ensure everyone is out of the structure, so when the fire department arrives, they can focus on an accountability of all the residents, which makes a big difference for the incident commander, the decisions they’ll make, and how they’re going to attack that fire. These systems make a world of difference,” Ron says in the interview. Ron also highlights key NFFF programs like the “Everyone Goes Home” program, which strives to prevent firefighter line-of-duty deaths and injuries, and its connection to the efforts of HFSC. He also highlights the “16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives” and points specifically to initiative #15, which addresses the importance of code enforcement and fire sprinklers. Listen to the full interview with Ron and Lorraine to learn more about the NFFF, its campaigns, and work with HFSC:   A special HFSC website page provides the fire service with lots of great tools and information to help communities understand the benefits of home fire sprinklers. And all materials are free to download and use! >Visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website today for these resources. If you missed any of the previous interviews, including Lorraine’s most recent discussion with Maya Milardovic and Sean Tracey of HFSC Canada, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.  
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.
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