Keith Flood

During state building code update, Connecticut safety advocates urge code committee to adopt home fire sprinkler requirement

Keith Flood, chair of the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition, discusses home fire sprinklers and a crucial state building code update with a local reporter.

The perpetual myth from fire sprinkler opponents that "nobody is dying from fire in new homes" was proven wrong in the worst way last year. A six-year-old girl from Plainfield, Connecticut, died from a fire in a new home her family moved into only months before the incident. Local fire officials have confirmed that the home had at least one working smoke alarm. 

Looking to finally end these tragedies, members of the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition are urging a state building code committee to finally adopt the model building code requirement to sprinkler new homes. The Codes Amendment Subcommittee of the Connecticut Codes & Standards Committee met this week to discuss the adoption, focusing heavily on a 55-page report developed by the coalition. The report addresses 13 topics pertaining to home fire sprinklers--among them, installation cost and water protection concerns--that the subcommittee wanted addressed. "We want to make sure people get out of their homes safely, live in their homes safely, able to live safely,” Coalition Chair Keith Flood told a reporter attending the subcommittee meeting. The news story also highlighted Connecticut residents Michelle Allyn and her two teenage daughters, who lost their home from fire and rebuilt with fire sprinklers. The family was featured in NFPA's Faces of Fire campaign last year. 

In a prepared statement to the media, the coalition applauded the subcommittee for considering the sprinkler requirement: "Updating Connecticut's codes to comply with national model safety codes, and requiring sprinklers in new, one- and two-family homes, will protect families throughout the state and cost less than other fire safety measures." 

The subcommittee will vote on August 9 whether or not to recommend the inclusion of a fire sprinkler requirement to the state's larger Codes & Standards Committee. Please check this blog often for updates to this story.

Please watch NFPA's video featuring the night Michelle Allyn and her daughters lost their home to fire and how it altered their lives: 

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