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Fire Sprinklers in new homes

Co-operators presses for more fire sprinklers in new homes, offers new premium discounts | Canadian Underwriter

Monday, October 8, 2012

National Fire Prevention Week Begins

National Fire Prevention Week Begins

Annual Public Safety Day in Bloomfield is next Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. as town kicks off fire prevention poster contest
"Have two ways out" is the theme of this year'sNational Fire Prevention Week, a campaign for fire safety which got underway Sunday.Created and sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the goal of National Fire Prevention Week is to educate families on what causes home fires, how to prevent them, and what to do in an emergency situation.
NFPA has been the official sponsor of this campaign since 1922, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
"Fire sprinklers play a key role in protecting people and firefighters from the tragedies that fire can cause," said Russell Fleming, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, in a press release. "To date, there has never been a multiple loss-of-life in a home that has a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system. I urge the public to learn more about how they can prevent and protect themselves and their families from the dangers of fire."
NFSA provides the following fire safety tips for families:
  • Make an escape plan
  • Install smoke detectors in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and check the batteries often
  • Install fire sprinklers throughout your house
  • Once you’re out, stay out! Do not re-enter a burning building
  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year
And these tips for kids:
  1. Never touch matches, candles or lighters. Make sure you tell an adult immediately if you see matches or a lighter in a room.
  2. Don’t cook alone.
  3. Remind your parents to turn pot handles toward the center of the stove.
  4. Never stick anything in an electric socket.
  5. Never hang anything on a lamp, heater, or radiator.
  6. Always let an adult know if there is any kind of smoke or fire in your house.
  7. If there is a fire, get out fast.
  8. Once you are out of the house, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  9. In case of fire, develop an escape plan with your parents. Plan for two possible escape routes out of your house. Practice your escape plan with your parents several times a year.
  10. Stay low to the floor when escaping a fire, as smoke rises and makes it difficult to see.
For more information on National Fire Prevention Week, which ends Oct. 13, in your area,
Officials with Bloomfield's Fire Prevention Bureau will visit elementary schools this week to discuss fire prevention with students. Students will get a smoke detector and "Sparky the Fire Dog" tee shirt.
All fifth-grade students will participate in the annual town-wide fire prevention poster contest. First-place winners from each school will receive a $25 gift card and the grand-prize winner will get a $100 gift card, courtesy of the Bloomfield FMBA. The town-wide poster winner will have his or her posters printed and distributed to all schools during Fire Prevention Week next year.
The town will also hold its annual Public Safety Day next Tuesday at town hall from 7-9 p.m. with appearances by Sparky the Fire Dog, McGruff the Police Dog, Pluggie the Robotic Fire Hydrant. The Bloomfield Fire Department Safety and the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler demo trailers will be on hand with more information on fire safety.
Related Topics: Bloomfield Fire DepartmentFire PreventionFire Safety, and National Fire Safety Week

Friday, October 5, 2012

During National Fire Prevention Week, Live Fire Sprinkler Demonstrations Boost Educational Focus for Many Illinois Fire Departments

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 - 3:55 pm
/PRNewswire/ -- From October 7-13, fire departments across Illinois and the nation will host open houses and fire safety events as part of their national Fire Prevention Week (FPW) activities.Education and prevention are essential because nine out of every 10 structure fire deaths occur in the home. That's according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association, the official sponsor of FPW. Last year, the U.S. fire service responded to 370,000 home structure fires, which caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage. Unfortunately, Illinois itself is on pace to reach over 100 fire deaths by the end of this year.
Fire departments throughout Illinois work yearlong to prevent fire injuries and deaths by educating the public about all aspects of fire safety, including prevention; the need for workingsmoke alarms and escape planning and practice; and the power of early fire suppression. During this year's FPW activities, many northern Illinois fire departments have plans to highlight the life- and property-saving benefits of residential fire sprinkler systems, which automatically flow water on a fire while it is still small.
This year alone, seven jurisdictions in Illinois added residential fire sprinkler ordinances for one- and two-family homes, bringing the total number of Illinois jurisdictions with ordinances to 79. With a large number of ordinances, education is key in helping homeowners understand how fire sprinklers work in their own homes or their future homes. Fire departments are increasingly using two effective methods to inform the public about home fire dangers and dispel common myths about fire sprinklers. These simulate home fires and the distinct differences between sprinklered and unsprinklered homes.
One method uses the demonstration trailers from the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association and Northern Illinois Fire Inspectors Association, both of which are outfitted with a smoke detector and fire sprinkler. Viewers are able to watch through windows as a fire is set in a trashcan. As smoke builds, the smoke detector signals; and as flames generate heat, the quick-response residential fire sprinkler activates, flowing water and quickly controlling the fire.
An even more dramatic method is the side-by-side fire and sprinkler demonstration. This employs two similarly constructed and furnished rooms that each contain a smoke detector, however, only one of the rooms has a fire sprinkler installed. As fires are set in both rooms and smoke builds, thesmoke detectors will signal. As the fires grow, the heat from the flames in the sprinklered room activates the fire sprinkler. Audiences see first-hand how fast the fires grow and how quickly and effectively the fire sprinkler responds, before much damage can occur. Meanwhile, the fire in the unsprinklered room continues to grow, melting the smoke detector so that it becomes inaudible and quickly reaching flashover, the point at which everything in the room ignites in flames. The comparison is memorable as well as educational.
"There is no better way to see how fire sprinklers work than through a live fire sprinkler demonstration that shows the rapid movement and destruction of fire versus the quick response of fire sprinklers," says Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. Lia is assisting with over 40 side-by-side demonstrations in Illinois this year, which will lead him to over 400 total demonstrations. "For those who understand the value of residential fire sprinklers, these demonstrations give people a whole new perspective and appreciation for the life and property protection that fire sprinklers provide for homes."
For a complete listing of organizations conducting live fire sprinkler demonstrations in northern Illinois during FPW, visit For future demonstrations, visit
For photography of side-by-side demonstrations and fire sprinkler demonstration trailers, visit
About the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) NIFSAB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting progressive legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and governmental policy makers by demonstrating the proven performance of fire sprinklers in saving both lives and property. For more info,
SOURCE Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Harwood Heights considers residential fire sprinklers

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Harwood Heights — Requiring residential sprinkler systems is under consideration in Harwood Heights.
Trustees have yet to decide whether to adopt 2009 international building codes or amend the section pertaining to residential fire suppression/sprinkler systems.
As written, the code requires such systems in new home construction.
Up for debate in Harwood Heights is whether the village should require the system as part of remodeling projects.
Options being discussed include mandating the system if the remodeling project covers more that 25 percent of the home’s area, to only if the project increased the square-footage of the existing building, to opting out all together due to concerns over government intrusion into private property matters.
Norridge approved the code in March without amendments, said Brian Gaseor, building commissioner.
The village had some new residential construction projects going on at the time, but because the paperwork was already submitted, the builders did not have to comply with the new regulations, he explained.
Since then, the village has had one inquiry about fire suppression systems, Gaseor added.
“We haven’t heard back,” he said, “but I can’t say for sure if that (requirement) had anything to do with it.
“It could just be the economy.”
The Norwood Park Fire Department, which serves Norridge, Harwood Heights and unincorporated Norwood Park, is working with the communities, Fire Lt. Dan Johnson said.
The 2009 recommendations by the International Code Council consolidate building standards.
“It makes everything equal,” Johnson said. “We used to have pages and pages of amendments to the code.”
By adopting the 2009 codes, villages can decrease the amount of amendments designers and builders have to follow, he explained.
“And part of 2009 code is mandatory residential sprinklers,” he added.
The International Code Council is a nonprofit organization that developed the nationwide standards through input from its various trade groups.
Peg Paul, communication manager with the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, said many homeowners are confused about how the system works.
“Many people think sprinklers are a separate system,” she said. “They just attach to the water main coming into house.”
The main supplies water to the system through pipes that run from the basement to the ceiling on the first floor, Paul said.
For second-floor rooms, sprinklers are often installed in sidewalls to protect against heat in the summer and cold in the winter, due to a lack of attic insulation.
The biggest obstacle the coalition faces is correcting the assumption that if one sprinkler goes off, they all do.
“That’s not the case,” Paul explained. “A sprinkler will activate only once it senses enough heat.
“It will either put out the fire or keep it small. It’s like having a firefighter in your house 24 hours a day.”
Johnson said the Norwood Park Fire Department “very much” supports residential sprinklers.
“They serve a purpose,” he said. “They keep a fire at bay, and they lessen the amount of smoke and water damage.”
Gaseor estimated a fire suppression system could add $10,000-$15,000 to the cost of construction.
Johnson acknowledged the increased cost.
“But what’s the cost of a new home?” he noted

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fire sprinklers put out hotel fire

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Fire sprinklers put out a Saturday night stove fire at a long-term hotel before fire crews arrived.
At 8:08 p.m., neighbors reported smoke coming out from under the door of Room 345 at Extended Stay America, a long-term hotel for traveling professionals at 300 N.E. 115th Ave. in Cascade Park, said Capt. Dave James with the Vancouver Fire Department.
Vancouver fire arrived at the hotel a few minutes later, where residents had been evacuated. Crews found smoke throughout the third floor. There was water, smoke and fire damage to the room, as well as water damage to the room below it.
James said the sprinkler system was able to contain the fire until the fire department got there. This is the second fire put out by a sprinkler system in the past week.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

LETTER: New Homes Need Fire Sprinklers

The writer contends that the flammability of materials used in new construction make fire sprinklers a necessity.

To the Editor,
The United States is on the brink of a fire crisis. New lightweight construction methods and materials are making it harder and more dangerous for firefighters to safely extinguish blazes and for occupants to escape safely.
It’s estimated that most homes built within the past 20 years contain these dangerous lightweight materials, which are designed to carry a greater load with less material by using prefabricated components. While these lightweight construction materials are touted as being more cost-effective and environmentally friendly, they also allow fires to spread much more rapidly, significantly reducing the time occupants have to escape a fire, and the time firefighters have to safely extinguish the blaze. In Carmel, New York tragedy struck this spring when a fire claimed four lives, spreading so quickly that the entire structure fully collapsed within 10 minutes. Firefighters attributed the quick collapse to the home’s lightweight construction materials.
Materials used in today’s home furnishings are also contributing to the accelerated pace of home fires. Newer plastic fillings in sofas, chairs, and mattresses burn much faster than older fillings like cotton, reducing the time it takes for a room to heat to 1,100 degrees and reach flashover -- the temperature point at which the heat in an area is high enough to ignite all flammable materials simultaneously. The tragic 2007 Charleston, S.C. furniture warehouse fire that took the lives of nine firefighters is a strong indication of just how dangerous these materials can be in a home during a fire.
While many states have rejected the International Code Council’s requirement for all new one- and two-family homes to include fire sprinklers, the fact remains that fire sprinkler systems would offset the danger created by lightweight construction methods and today’s synthetic furnishings, providing greater protection to building occupants and emergency first-responders.
Currently, California and Maryland are the only states that require fire sprinklers in new homes. I urge you to educate yourself on the current mandate in your own city and state and learn how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from the ravages of fire.
Properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers control and typically extinguish a fire before the fire department even arrives on the scene. More importantly, the presence of fire sprinklers mitigates the risk to individuals affected by the blaze, including firefighters who battle the fire.
Fire sprinklers are the only proactive form of fire protection, providing firefighters the time they need to do their jobs effectively and as safely as possible while helping to avoid potential injuries and devastating tragedies.
How prepared would you be if fire struck where you live? Fire sprinklers save lives and property.
Russell Fleming
President, National Fire Sprinkler Association
Patterson, NY
Related Topics: Fire SprinklersNew ConstructionOpinion, and flammability