Fire Sprinkler Initiative

A sprinkler head

NASFM is helping NFPA Spread the Word About Home Fire Sprinklers

The effectiveness of home fire sprinklers is undeniable. Sprinklers respond immediately to fires, meaning they fight a fire before firefighters even arrive. In most cases, this reduces a significant amount of property damage and can even save lives. However, from 2010-2014, home fire sprinkler systems were only found in seven percent of all home fires, according to NFPA. It is imperative to spread the word about home fire sprinklers as they truly have the power to save lives. Jon Narva, the director of external relations at the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), sat down with Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) president, Lorraine Carli, to talk more about this subject as a part of a video series created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HFSC. Educating the public about home fire sprinklers is a huge objective for NASFM. Narva emphasized this point, stating that what is necessary to get more people to install home fire sprinklers is to “focus on education, that has to remain key and continuing to develop the programs to help the marshals get the word out, not just to the firefighters or first responders in their state, but to all the stakeholders as well,” he said. NASFM is playing a huge role in promoting home fire sprinklers because of how effective they are at stopping a fire before it engulfs a home. Home fire sprinklers are “really a no-brainer,” Narva said. “NASFM’s mission is to protect human life, property, and the environment and that describes home fire sprinklers.” According to Narva, home fire sprinklers can also help reduce safety risks in any community. “Community risk reduction really takes a look at the whole picture of all the risks that are out there,” he stated. “If we can reduce the fire risk through fire sprinklers, we’re able to dedicate resources to higher risk or more recent risk areas and protect the community overall.” To help promote home fire sprinklers, NAFSM worked with HFSC to develop programs that give people incentives for installing home fire sprinklers. Listen to the full interview with Narva and Carli to learn more about why it is so important to educate the public about home fire sprinklers:   If you missed any of the previous interviews, including Carli’s most recent discussion with Kevin Quinn, the 1st vice chairman at the National Volunteer Fire Council, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.   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.
Kevin Quinn

Home Fire Sprinklers Reduce Risks for Volunteer Firefighters

There are 1.1 million firefighters nationwide, 67 percent of which are volunteers. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) represents the interests of volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. Kevin Quinn, the first vice chairman at the NVFC, sat down with Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) president, Lorraine Carli, to talk more about why home fire sprinklers are important to the volunteer firefighters as a part of a video series created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HFSC. In the video interview, Quinn emphasizes the importance of home fire sprinklers as they save numerous lives, “by knocking those fires down before they become that deadly, whether it be for residents, or for firefighters, volunteers and career alike,” he said. Quinn mentions while every home should be equipped with home fire sprinklers, they are especially important in rural areas. Of all the country’s volunteer firefighters, many are in rural areas. “Water supply is an issue for rural areas and there’s a little bit more of a response time,” Quinn said. “So, the home fire sprinklers are going to be impactful on those residential homes that have protection.” Home fire sprinklers stopping a fire before it can spread puts firefighters at much less risk and reduces injuries from fighting structure fires. However, it also prevents firefighters from inhaling carcinogens from fires, reducing their risk of cancer. Cancer in firefighters is a serious issue. According to Two studies from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, they find that: Firefighters face a nine percent increase in cancer diagnosis. Firefighters also face a 14 percent increase in cancer related deaths compared to the general US population. In the video, Quinn states that the NVFC helped put together the Lavender Ribbon Report, which is 11 of the best practices to reduce exposure and minimize any kind of additional risk put on firefighters. “Volunteers are your neighbors helping others,” Quinn said. “They give up so much and dedicate so much and we appreciate each and every one of them for what they do. But we also have to let them realize that there are other means such as home fire sprinklers that will help protect them, their communities, and their families.” Listen to the full interview with Quinn and Carli to learn more about how home fire sprinklers reduce risks for volunteer firefighters:   If you missed any of the previous interviews, including Carli’s most recent discussion with Mike O’Brian, a fire chief from the Brighton Area Fire Authority and a board member on the International Association of Fire Chiefs, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.   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.
Firefighters with SCBA

Home Fire Sprinklers Can Help Protect Firefighters Health and Safety

Home fire sprinklers are proven to be extremely effective in reducing loss of life and property from fires. However, home fire sprinklers can also help prevent cancer in firefighters. Cancer rates in fire fighters is tragically high. Two studies from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health prove this, finding that: Firefighters face a nine percent increase in cancer diagnosis. Firefighters also face a 14 percent increase in cancer related deaths compared to the general US population. By reducing the number of fires that break out, home fire sprinklers can help reduce cancer rates in firefighters. Mike O’Brian, a fire chief from the Brighton Area Fire Authority and the Fire and Life Safety Section Director at the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), sat down with Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) president, Lorraine Carli, to talk more about this subject as a part of a video series created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HFSC. O’Brian was quick to mention that fire fighter cancer is a serious issue among all fire departments. “There doesn’t seem to be a day or week that goes by that we don’t hear about some organization who either lost a firefighter from a related on the job style cancer or struggling with the battle,” O’Brian said. To help combat this, his main objective is to get as many home fire sprinklers in as many homes as possible. Every day, firefighters put their health and safety on the line and are sometimes required to battle aggressive fires. However, O’Brian notes that if home fire sprinklers are installed and stop a fire before it starts or keeps one small, firefighter’s health will be preserved as the sprinklers have eliminated or significantly reduced their exposure to carcinogens. As a fire chief, “We want to make sure, when we truly say, ‘I want my firefighters to go home at the end of the day,’ it’s beyond that current incident,” O’Brian said. “I want them to go home at the end of their career and have a great life.” Listen to the full interview with O’Brian and Carli to learn more about how home fire sprinklers can prevent fire fighter cancer: If you missed any of the previous interviews, including Carli’s most recent discussion with Amy Acton, the CEO of The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.   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.

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.  
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