NFPA and HFSC team up to advance home fire sprinkler awareness
QUINCY, Mass., – Fire departments and public safety advocates across North America will unite May 16-22 to participate in a digital campaign and conduct community outreach activities to increase awareness about how dangerous home fires can be and the benefits of home fire sprinklers. Home Fire Sprinkler Week is co-hosted by the Fire Sprinkler Initiative project of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the HFSC.
Whether urban or rural, large or small, fire departments in every community share one problem in common: the tragedy of home fire injuries, deaths and property destruction. According to NFPA, more than three-quarters of all civilian fire deaths are caused by home fires.
This universal challenge is due to the fact that today’s home fires become deadly in as little as two minutes. Our homes are filled with synthetic furnishings that burn hotter and faster than natural materials and they produce toxic smoke. Unprotected home fires are fast and deadly – to residents as well as responding firefighters.
When installed, home fire sprinklers overcome this vulnerability and protect residents and responders. They work automatically, controlling or extinguishing a fire in seconds. Their fast action makes it possible for residents to escape to safety and reduces the chance for structural collapse. Home fire sprinklers uniquely prevent injuries and deaths, and they protect the structure making it safer for responding firefighters.
Yet this lifesaving technology remains underutilized. While a million homes will be built in 2021, the prevalent myths, legislative barriers and lack of public awareness in most states will result in only a tiny fraction being protected with installed fire sprinklers.
“That’s unacceptable,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Outreach and Advocacy and president of the HFSC. “We know that home fires are needlessly killing thousands of people every year. We know that new homes can easily and inexpensively be protected with sprinkler technology that’s been proven over more than a century. We safety advocates know; but clearly local stakeholders, the homebuilding community and homebuyers don’t know. So we are setting aside a week to try to reset this lack of public knowledge in the interest in better public safety.”
A wide range of digital content will post daily on the Home Fire Sprinkler Week Website to encourage the spread of facts and educational resources through local news and social media messaging and other online platforms. These will include dramatic home fire sprinkler videos, colorful graphics, stories and interviews, and other awareness tools to help tell the story of home fire sprinkler protection.
The week coincides with HFSC’s 25th anniversary. In 1996 HFSC was founded to provide a singular focus on home fire sprinkler education. What began as a small group working with local and state fire service has grown into a national, independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit continuing its original mission.
“The data has been clear for decades that installing home fire sprinklers will dramatically reduce home fire deaths for residents and responding firefighters,” Carli said. “As a result, all national building codes require sprinklers in new construction. What that means is that every new home that is built without fire sprinklers today is substandard. The public deserves better than that. It’s our hope that the shared messaging during Home Fire Sprinkler Week will tip the scales toward a safer future for new developments, communities and all for decades to come.”
For free resources and media information visit Home Fire Sprinkler Week Media Resources.
About Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition:
The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) was formed in 1996 in response to the tremendous need to inform the public about the life-saving value of home fire sprinkler protection. HFSC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and the leading resource for independent, noncommercial information about residential fire sprinklers. HFSC offers educational material with details about installed home fire sprinkler systems, how they work, why they provide affordable protection and answers to common myths and misconceptions about their operation. These materials are available upon request.