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April 2012 FSI newsletter


This is an archived edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. Since publication, some links may have broken or take you to different content. Read the latest issue and subscribe today . It's free, and once a month, you'll receive the latest news about NFPA's efforts to require fire sprinklers in all new homes.

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April 2012
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Fire chief receives call that his house is on fire
Chief Brian Black of Anderson County (SC) Fire Department was on duty when a call came in to inform him that his house was on fire. His wife and four children were able to escape, but their house was destroyed and they lost everything they owned. As he explains in NFPA's newest "Faces of Fire" video, Chief Black recognizes how close he came to losing his family and decided to install fire sprinklers when he rebuilt the home.

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NFPA in the sprinkler fight "for the long haul"
Speaking at the recent Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in Chicago, President Jim Shannon promised NFPA would continue to lead the fight to require the installation of sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. "We knew right from the start that we were going to run into opposition, especially from homebuilders," he said. "We are not discouraged because the logic of our efforts will ultimately prevail."
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Burn survivor Princella Lee Bridges: "Wake up, America!"
Princella Lee Bridges, a former operating room nurse, was burned on 49% of her body in a home fire. "America, we've got to wake up," she said in her keynote presentation at NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit. "When I learned how long sprinklers have been available, it made me mad. This is 2012 and there is no reason we need to continue building substandard homes. To build new homes without sprinklers and to allow someone to live there is unethical."
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"Installing sprinklers is part of being a responsible builder"
Murray Pound, a Canadian homebuilder, says he became a fire sprinkler advocate when he realized that he could do more to protect the lives of his customers. All of the homes he builds include fire sprinklers, even though they are not mandatory. Speaking at NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit, Mr. Pound says customers seek him out. "It's filled out that whole package of being a responsible builder," he says. Watch new videos of Murray Pound.
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Case study: adopting a residential fire sprinkler ordinance
The adoption of a fire sprinkler ordinance for residential occupancies can be a long and difficult process. Speaking at NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit, Fire Marshal Jeff LaFlam of the Northshore (WA) Fire Department presented a step-by-step guide - including education and tips on how to defeat expected barriers - that helped lead to the successful passage of a sprinkler ordinance in Kenmore, WA.
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More from the Home Fire Sprinkler Summit
Read more from the summit, including remarks from Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover of California, where sprinklers have been required in new homes since 2011, and Fire Marshal Stephen Coan of Massachusetts, where advocates are re-grouping after a board omitted sprinkler regulations from the state building code. Also see an update from South Carolina, where sprinkler regulations will go into effect in 2014.
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Report: U.S. Experience with Sprinklers
A new NFPA report includes statistics on how often sprinklers are reported in fires and their estimated impact in reducing the average loss of life and property. The report cites a survey that shows that in 2009, 4.6% of occupied homes (including multi-unit) had sprinklers, up from 3.9% in 2007, and 18.5% of occupied home built in the previous four years had sprinklers.
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Maryland says "no" to substandard construction
With the passage of HB366, sponsored by Delegate James Malone, MD legislators have taken the lead prohibiting a local jurisdiction, with a specified exception, from adopting local amendments to the Maryland Building Performance Standards if they would weaken fire and sprinkler systems provisions. The bill has gone to Governor Martin O'Malley for his signature.
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Home fire sprinklers to be included at the VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®
The environmental impact of home fire sprinklers is being shown at the new Green Builder® Media's VISION House® exhibit in INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort, which opens on Earth Day, April 22. A 2010 study shows that greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98% when automatic fire sprinklers are installed.
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About the Fire Sprinkler �D;�A;Initiative NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative(R) Bringing Safety Home is a �D;�A;nationwide effort to increase the use of home fire sprinklers through �D;�A;the adoption of sprinkler requirements in new construction. Our web site �D;�A;provides resources for the fire service and other advocates who want to �D;�A;demonstrate the need for home fire sprinklers.  National Fire Protection �D;�A;Association. One Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA  02169-7471.