NFPA announces sprinkler campaign

Nov. 1, 2008
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Quincy, Mass. - The National Fire Protection Association announced it will coordinate a campaign to increase the number of homes protected by sprinklers. This is the second fire safety campaign NFPA has undertaken recently.

“NFPA has long been an ardent supporter of home fire sprinklers for good reasons,” said James M. Shannon, president of NFPA. “Home fire sprinklers are proven technologies that save lives. Beginning with the 2006 editions, NFPA model codes include provisions requiring home fire sprinklers in one- and two- family dwellings. NFPA also served as a founding member of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, an organization devoted to public education around residential sprinklers. Over the last 18 months, NFPA conducted a series of focus groups to solicit input from the fire service on issues requiring a strong coordinated effort to reduce the number of home fire fatalities and injuries. The sentiment of the groups was overwhelmingly in favor of a major initiative for home fire sprinklers.”

While properly installed automatic fire sprinkler systems have been used for more than a century to protect commercial, industrial, and public buildings, NFPA's campaign will push for the use of these devices in the home, where 80% of all fire deaths occur. According to NFPA research, sprinklers, together with smoke alarms, cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 82%.

“We need a campaign like this to spur the adoption of sprinkler mandates locally,” said Maryland Fire Marshal William E. Barnard. “That is essential to ensuring that this advancement in safety will start saving lives as soon as possible. We are proud that over half the municipalities in Maryland have adopted sprinkler ordinances or are covered by county-wide requirements for all newly-constructed residential occupancies. I encourage all members of the fire service to take the materials made available through this campaign to their local governments and reiterate how important this is to the safety of our citizens.”

The sprinkler campaign will focus on:

  • Encouraging jurisdictions to put in place home fire sprinkler requirements by adopting local ordinances or model codes including NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code; NFPA 101, Life Safety Code; NFPA 5000, Building Construction & Safety Code; and the International Code Council International Residential Code.

  • Providing materials and resources to support the adoption of sprinkler requirements in communities all across the country.

  • Creating an online community for those interested in furthering the use of home fire sprinklers.

“Our past activities have laid significant groundwork from which to move this effort forward now,” said Shannon. “The recent ICC vote to include a sprinkler requirement in the IRC is another important step and hopefully will provide additional momentum.”

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