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

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LisaMarie Sinatra
Communications Manager, Public Affairs Office

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