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2012 Home Fire Sprinkler Summit


NFPA hosts home fire sprinkler summit in Chicago

Home Fire Sprinkler Summit

Speaking before a crowd comprising fire service representatives and other safety advocates from nearly every state, NFPA President Jim Shannon promised that NFPA would continue to lead the fight to require the installation of fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes.

NFPA President Jim Shannon speaks at the Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in Chicago, April 2012 
"We are in this for the long haul"
- NFPA President Jim Shannon

Mr. Shannon was the featured speaker at the April 2, 2012, kick-off dinner for a one-day home fire sprinkler summit in Chicago. The event brought together sprinkler advocates for networking and the sharing of lessons learned and best practices. Attendees went home equipped with the information and resources they need to help make the case for sprinkler requirements.

Currently, three states (California, Maryland, and South Carolina) and scores of communities across the United States have adopted requirements for automatic fire sprinkler systems in new one- and two- family dwellings. And Mr. Shannon admits the effort has been an uphill battle. Read Mr. Shannon's remarks.

Conference highlights

  • Princella Lee Bridges of Greenville, South Carolina, a former operating room nurse, was burned on 49% of her body in a home fire. In an her inspiring opening address, Princella says America needs to wake up around the issue of home fire sprinklers.
  • For years, Canadian homebuilder Murray Pound rejected home fire sprinklers based on notions of exorbitant cost and installation hassles. Now he’s an outspoken sprinkler advocate on a mission to dispel the myths.
  • State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover discussed the home fire sprinkler issue in California, where the state's Building Standards Commission adopted the International Residential Code, including its requirements for sprinklers in new one- and two- family dwellings.
  • State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan provided an overview of the battle for home fire sprinklers in Massachusetts. He said that with the adoption of the International Residential Code, “we all thought that the battle for sprinklers was won”.
  • Jeff LaFlam, Fire Marshal for the Northshore Fire Department in Washington, spoke about the process of adopting a residential fire sprinkler ordinance.
  • Terry Bookey of Kenai, Alaska, outlines a new city ordinance that provides a homeowner tax credit for the installation of residential sprinkler systems.
  • Chief Bruce Kline of the Lady's Island Saint Helena's Fire District in South Carolina spoke at about the status of requirements for home sprinklers in South Carolina, which will become effective in 2014. 
  • Attendees at NFPA's home fire sprinkler summit in Chicago got an opportunity to break into regional groups to strategize and share experiences about their efforts to require sprinklers for new homes in their communities and states.