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Larry Iseminger, Jr.


Maryland's sprinkler successes

Larry Iseminger, Jr., with the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office discusses Maryland's sprinkler requirements with attendees at NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in Durham, North Carolina.

Maryland's safety advocates has taken a strong stance in support of sprinkler requirements over the years. Highlighting the fruits of this push at NFPA's Home Fire Sprinkler Summit in North Carolina was Larry Iseminger, Jr., chief fire protection engineer with the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. Residential sprinkler requirements are on the books in all of Maryland's counties.

Statewide fire deaths in Maryland hit an all-time low of 53 in 2012, compared to 94 in 2007. Sprinkler requirements have been a major factor in this reduction, noted Iseminger. In Prince George's County alone, which has required sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes since 1992, there are more than 60,000 sprinklered homes. In the past 22 years, there have been 400 fires in sprinklered homes, but not a single fire death in these homes. Moreover, local sprinkler ordinances were in place in Maryland prior to state and national sprinkler codes mandating sprinkler installation.

Additionally, per an ordinance that went into effect in 2012, a local jurisdication may adopt local amendments to building standards only if the local amendments do not weaken sprinkler provisions for townhomes and one- and two-family dwellings, said Iseminger.

Download Iseminger's summit presentation.