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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
ORLAND PARK, Ill., Oct. 4, 2012 --/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 www.firesprinklerassocnewsletters.org/?p=2383. For future demonstrations, visit www.homelifesafety.com/events.html.
For photography of side-by-side demonstrations and fire sprinkler demonstration trailers, visit http://ppacom.com/pr/nifsab-fire-sprinkler-demos.html
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, visitwww.firesprinklerassoc.org.
SOURCE Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/04/4883025/during-national-fire-prevention.html#storylink=cpy
Posted by firesprinklers at 7:44 PM
Friday, August 31, 2012
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
Posted by firesprinklers at 2:25 PM