Thursday, February 2

Anti-Sprinkler Legislation- Because our Families & Firefighters are an Acceptable Loss?

80% of all structure fires in the US occur in 1 & 2 family dwellings.  That is also where the majority of fire deaths occur. People are not dying by the 100s in public assemblies, they are dying by 2s and 3s in their own homes.  We (the US) have one of the highest fire death rates of all industrialized countries. And our LODD rates for firefighter...well, you know. And if not here you go 

Today, home fires flash over much quicker than ever before

Synthetic Materials in Homes Turn to Toxic Gases in Fire, Families May Not Have As Much Time As Expected To Escape House

Watch this short video and see for yourself:

And Yet, the Lawmakers are passing ANTI Fire Sprinkler Legislation- PROHIBITING the adoption of building codes requiring sprinklers in NEW one-and-two family homes.

Tenn; Hawaii, and Colorado are all in the process of passing ANTI fire sprinkler legislation.
This is because the model building codes (beginning Jan of 2012) now require sprinklers in all new homes. The building codes are not effective however, until they are adopted by a jurisdiction, thus the legislation trying to block the adoption. This article " Home Fire Sprinklers will Save Lives and Won't Kill the Housing Recovery" does a good job of explaining it.

Another benefit home fire sprinklers, is they won't kill firefighters.

You will find a rich collection of resources at including videos and lesson plans supporting the Life Safety Initiatives in general, and Initiative #15 Code Enforcement and Sprinklers, in particular.

The code change was not a quick process.Here is a resolution supporting the legislation from 2008.

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Resolution
A Resolution Supporting a Change to the International Residential Code to Require Fire Sprinklers in One - and Two-Family Dwellings and Townhouses
WHEREAS The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is an organization created through Public Law by the United States Congress to honor and remember America's fallen heroes, to provide necessary resources to assist their survivors in the rebuilding of their lives, and to work within the fire service community to reduce firefighter deaths, and
WHEREAS The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has worked since 2004 to implement a national blueprint to reduce firefighter line-of-duty deaths through its "Everyone Goes Home" Program, and
WHEREAS The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation considers it unacceptable that in the 21st century, more than 3,000 people in the United States are killed and thousands more suffer burns and injuries in fires each year, with an overwhelming number of these deaths occurring in homes, and
WHEREAS The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation recognizes that many fire deaths and injuries occur in the most vulnerable populations-the young and the elderly, and
WHEREAS The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is working to have a positive and consequential impact on reducing the nation's losses due to fire, and
WHEREAS The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation recognizes that fire sprinklers represent a proven, reliable, efficient and effective method of protecting life and property in both commercial and residential occupancies, and
WHEREAS The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has incorporated within its vision that advocacy must be strengthened for the installation of home fire sprinklers, and
WHEREAS The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation supports the concept that the widespread use of residential sprinklers will improve fire occurrence outcomes for civilians and decrease firefighter injuries and deaths due to firefighting.
  1. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation supports the installation of fire sprinkler systems in all residential structures, and
  2. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation hereby encourages jurisdictions to adopt legislation that further strengthens the installation of these life saving devices, and
  3. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation advocates for firefighters nationwide to stand in support of these efforts.

Ronald J. Siarnicki
Executive Director, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
August 1, 2008

Here are the most common   myths about home fire sprinklers - busted. (Average cost in new construction is $1.61 per square ft. ).

The Fire Sprinkler Initiative has many other resources, reports and presentation materials for advocates.
What uses the most water? An fire hose or  fire sprinklers? Try putting out a fire with each one at the City of Franklin's web site.and then you can check out these interactive videos  and games.

Here are some more videos and interactive materials from the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition.  including fire and sprinkler burn demonstrations, facts about home fires and construction information.

NFPA has a variety of videos available at YouTube including their "Faces of Fire" series which tell the personal stories of people who have survived a fire.

Anne Mazzola was working in her home while her new floor received its last coat of sealant. The combustible product ignited an intense fire that was extinguished nearly as quickly as it started, thanks to her home's sprinkler system.

A former operating room nurse, Princella underwent numerous painful and time-consuming surgeries followed by frequent hospital stays following a devastating home fire. She believes it all could have been avoided had her home been equipped with fire sprinklers

My all time favorite argument for home fire sprinklers however is what Fresno FD said:

It's like having a firefighter in your home 24/7, only