Fire Sprinkler Initiative

Wisconsin Firefighter/Paramedic Receives “Bringing Safety Home” Award for Longstanding Home Fire Sprinkler Advocacy

The NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) are pleased to announce they have awarded Michael Wos with the 2022 “Bringing Safety Home” Award. With this award, Wos, the executive director of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation and a fighter/paramedic with the City of Oshkosh, receives a $1,000 grant to further fire sprinkler advocacy and educational efforts throughout state. To those who know him, Wos has been a champion for the lifesaving benefits of fire sprinklers for many years. Among his advocacy work, he has included home fire sprinkler information in the Newspapers in Education program every year, reaching more than 500,000 readers, including students in 2,000 schools.  He worked with coalition partners to build a 700-square foot educational structure with installed home fire sprinklers at the Metropolitan Builders Association Home Show. Wos also has conducted live fire sprinkler demonstrations at the State Capitol and at Madison’s Brat Fest, which is attended by more than 150,000 people. Wos is currently the chair of the Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition. The Bringing Safety Home Award is great opportunity to raise awareness of home fire sprinklers for those who may not otherwise know about this life-saving technology. Each year, the award recognizes outstanding efforts by a safety advocate who diligently promotes the importance of home fire sprinklers. It honors members of the fire service and other fire sprinkler advocates in North America who use HFSC educational material, NFPA data, and Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources to educate decision-makers about the importance of home fire sprinklers. NFPA and HFSC congratulate Michael Wos on his award and for his continued commitment to making new homes safer from fire! Learn more about the benefits of home fire sprinklers and how you can become a safety advocate in your area by visiting the HFSC website.
A family

Living with Home Fire Sprinklers - It's Easy!

It’s Wednesday and today’s Home Fire Sprinkler Week theme is, It’s Easy to Live with Home Fire Sprinklers. Too often, sprinkler technology is depicted as challenging. But it’s really quite easy to live with home fire sprinklers. The trick is to communicate about how they work. One reason for the confusion is the most common myth - that all sprinklers go off at once. Practical experience debunks this of course, but fire safety educators must ensure the facts are out there. Use our messages today to help your audiences realize that only the sprinkler closest to the fire activates, controlling or putting out the fire. Home fire sprinklers need very little maintenance. Never paint sprinklers or concealing covers. Residents should take a look at their sprinklers and risers occasionally. Make sure nothing is hanging from, covering or blocking sprinklers (such as furniture).  A flow test should be done a couple times a year. The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) has a big library of free resources for residents, including information for people living in homes protected with sprinklers. As part of your community outreach, share these resources and invite people to visit our website. Any house, any community, any water supply – home fire sprinklers make communities safer for all. It really is easy to live with home fire sprinklers. Please share these messages today. Home Fire Sprinkler Week is co-hosted by HFSC and NFPA. For more information and resources related to today’s theme, visit the HFSC webpage. 
Aerial view of neighborhood
Activated sprinkler

Home Fire Sprinkler Week Kicks off with a Focus on Protection: Fire is Fast, Sprinklers are Faster

Today’s Home Fire Sprinkler Week theme is Fire is Fast, Sprinklers are Faster. A home fire can become deadly in just two minutes or less – that’s fast! Homes are filled with synthetic furnishings that burn hotter and faster than natural materials, producing highly toxic smoke. New homes are most commonly built with unprotected lightweight wood construction, and designed with large, open spaces - a deadly combination. Sprinklers are faster because they work automatically, before the fire becomes deadly. This week, we are building awareness about both these things - how fast a home fire actually is and how fast fire sprinklers are at stopping a fire. High heat from a fire activates the closest sprinkler, putting water on the fire. In the majority of home fires, only one sprinkler activates, controlling and often putting out the fire. In a recent survey of homeowners, 80 percent said they wanted home fire sprinklers once they learned how they work. Understanding these facts is key to demand and why we are raising awareness this week. Today’s messages feature the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s (HFSC) virtual reality video that was created from actual home fire flashover and fire sprinkler activation footage. This immersive experience is memorable. With user-controlled 360-degree, full-room views, viewers experience the fires in real time, as if they are actually in the room, seeing the fires and sprinkler activation from any angle. Home Fire Sprinkler Week is an excellent time to increase awareness in your community that Fire is Fast, Sprinklers Are Faster, and is co-hosted by HFSC and NFPA.  Please share these messages today. For more information on today’s theme and resources to share, visit the HFSC website.
House

Join in this May to Improve Home Fire Safety During the Fifth Annual Home Fire Sprinkler Week

You know something that too many people in your jurisdiction just don’t realize – unprotected home fires burn hotter than ever today and become deadly in just two minutes or less. That risk isn’t only to civilians; responding firefighters face dangers ranging from apparatus transport to suppression to fire ground toxic exposures. In short, home fires present a costly, dangerous challenge in every community. You can help communicate about these dangers and their remedy by joining in for Home Fire Sprinkler Week, May 15-21, 2022. The Week is co-hosted by the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative project and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC). You’ll be teaming up with our organizations as well as fire departments, other safety advocates and sprinkler industry representatives from across North America. Together, we will roll out new online digital tools and messaging to ensure the life safety benefits of installed home fire sprinklers receive the kind of public awareness they deserve.   Our organizations established this week because more than three-quarters of all civilian fire deaths occur in home fires. The vast majority of these fatal fires are preventable and their causes are largely the same as they have been for many years. That stubborn and needless challenge is being faced by the fire service in virtually every community. The free content being shared during Home Fire Sprinkler Week will help departments of any size and type achieve their community risk reduction goals through local education and outreach. Participation in this Week is more important than ever. Consumers as well as local officials and others still fall victim to the myth that new homes don’t burn. But buying in to that fallacy is jeopardizing opportunities for greater public safety. In most regions, new-home construction is brisk, with an estimated one million new-home completions anticipated this year. Without improved public awareness, outreach to local decision-makers and increased public education, only a fraction of them will be protected with the technology proven to prevent injuries and save lives. Please mark your calendar, and plan to join us this May to help fill the digital world with fire safety facts over five days. I think you’ll be pleased with the array of powerful educational tools on the dedicated Home Fire Sprinkler Week Website. Every day features a different theme along with corresponding digital content and messaging. You choose which to use, or use them all! I’ll be telling you more about these important topics each day of Home Fire Sprinkler Week. But here’s a sneak preview of what you can expect: HFSC’s exciting new virtual reality video resources, other videos, animations and graphic art, and messaging that corresponds to daily themes. All the online content is free to you and ready to go at a click. They’ve been designed for easy sharing so you can make your support of home fire sprinklers viral through your social media, email, and website. If you’re planning public outreach, the free materials on the Website will also help you promote, organize, and reinforce your event education. Whether virtual or in-person, you can customize the digital tools for your stakeholders, homebuilders, consumers, and others, and potentially reach new audiences important to your CRR work. I look forward to having you on the team!

Saving Lives and Protecting the Earth - One Home at a Time

This year’s Earth Day theme is “Invest in Our Planet.” While it might not seem like it at first glance, there is symmetry with this theme and the work of fire and life safety advocates. We often think locally; but our work to protect the public and first responders is clearly global. Through code and standard development and use, educational outreach, and safety advocacy, our work is, in fact, an investment in the planet. Without even counting the costs of attending to fire injuries and fatalities, every fire that is prevented means less smoke, polluted air and water; it means less destroyed property and fewer damaged furnishings that end up in landfills. But every unwanted fire can’t be prevented, so our work in making structures safer if fire strikes is absolutely critical. Because three-quarters of civilian fire deaths occur in homes, much of our energy rightfully goes to these structures. And with new-home construction flourishing in most states, new one- and two-family homes present a crucial opportunity for fire sprinkler installation. When building a new home, there is one investment that goes beyond any other. Installed home fire sprinklers protect the people who live in the home, responding firefighters, property and valuables, and the environment. Admittedly, fire sprinklers as a green building resource is a different way to think about a life safety system. But a green home just isn’t legitimately green without fire sprinklers. A new construction home built with sustainable materials, energy efficient features and smart devices falls short of protecting our environment if it catches fire and is not protected with installed home fire sprinklers. Unprotected homes burn fast. From building materials to the contents in them, these fires turn deadly in a heartbeat. Even recycled products and our furniture are made of synthetic products that produce toxic smoke and burn hotter and faster than natural materials. Not only can a house fire today become deadly in as little as two minutes, it produces toxins that can harm the health of responding firefighters, pollute the air and our water supply and create tons of waste. Protecting new homes with fire sprinklers is the solution. It is the best technology to protect homes and residents, and our planet. In 2010, FM Global partnered with the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) to conduct full-scale fire tests comparing the environmental impact of sprinklered and non-sprinklered home fires. Last year, FM Global reaffirmed this groundbreaking work showing that a home fire with installed sprinklers cut greenhouse gas emissions by 97.8%. Water usage to fight the fires was reduced between 50% and 91%. Fewer persistent pollutants, such as heavy metals, were found in sprinkler wastewater versus fire hose water. The high pH level and pollutant load of wastewater from the fire fought with fire hoses is an environmental concern. In its new Environmental Impact of Residential Fires Review, FM Global reviewed the fire losses in the United States for the period of 2009 through 2019. During this period, more than 1.8 billion pounds of greenhouse gases had been released into the environment due to fires in homes that were not protected with fire sprinklers. It was estimated that more than 9.5 billion gallons of water was used to extinguish these fires – contaminated water that in most cases is not captured or treated and is discharged into the soil or storm drains. For decades now, fire and life safety advocates have been calling for fire sprinkler protection in homes. FM Global’s research supports this call to action and proves that a home protected with home fire sprinklers is not just a good investment to protect residents, firefighters and our belongings; it is also a good investment in our planet. For more information and to download the report, visit the HFSC website.
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