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Jim Shannon

 

NFPA president affirms commitment to home fire sprinklers

NFPA President James Shannon

"Don't lose heat in this campaign," said NFPA President James Shannon to nearly 70 attendees at NFPA's 2014 Bringing Safety Home Summit in Denver, Colorado. "NFPA will be in this for the long haul. This is a fight worth fighting."

During the event's opening reception, Shannon affirmed NFPA's commitment in supporting sprinkler advocacy efforts across North America. If communities and sprinkler coalitions across the U.S. continue their efforts, says Shannon, there will likely be a day when all 50 states have sprinkler mandates on the books. "This will be a grassroots effort," he says. "If we can get a toehold ... if we can demonstrate that the homebuilders aren't going to go out of business, that sprinkler installations can be done economically, then we'll get all 50 states on board. Between California and Maryland and other communities that have adopted sprinkler requirements, we're going to develop a great database on how this can be done."

While the U.S. has made strides in reducing the number of its fire deaths, Shannon says it's important not to lose sight of the nearly 2,400 civilian fire deaths that occur each year. "It's important to reflect on progress that has been made," he says, "but my fear is that we've reduced the problem to the point where people don't care anymore. Well, we care."