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March 2012 newsletter


This is an archived edition of NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative newsletter. Since publication, some links may have broken or take you to different content. Read the latest issue and subscribe today . It's free, and once a month, you'll receive the latest news about NFPA's efforts to require fire sprinklers in all new homes.

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March 2012
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HUD committee debates sprinklers in manufactured homes
Residential sprinklers in new manufactured homes were a hot topic at a meeting of a Department of Housing and Urban Development advisory committee. While an across–the–board mandate for sprinklers was not supported, the committee agreed that if a sprinkler system were to be installed in a manufactured home, its design criteria should be based on NFPA 13D requirements. If HUD accepts the committee's recommendation, it would mark the first time that federal standards address sprinklers in any form.

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"Faces of Fire" – a firefighter's mother makes the case for home fire sprinklers
Jeffrey Vaden Chavis, a 22–year–old firefighter in South Carolina, died from burn injuries that he suffered in the line of duty while battling a home fire in 2001. "It is definitely a parent's worst nightmare to receive a call saying your child has been hurt," says his mother, Linda Chavis. "My first thought was no, he's a fireman. He helps people, he can't be hurt."
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Board defeats sprinkler proposal in Massachusetts
Fire chiefs from across the state are expressing outrage and disappointment following a vote by the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards to defeat a proposal that would have amended the building code to allow for home fire sprinklers. "Not only are they ignoring the minimum level of safety established by model codes, they are putting our firefighters unnecessarily in harm's way," says Paul Zbikowski, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts.
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Anti-sprinkler legislation update
An anti–sprinkler bill in Colorado was defeated by a Senate committee, and a bill in Tennessee has been amended, but legislation moves forward in Hawaii, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Read the latest news about anti-sprinkler legislation in the United States, and download the resources you need to convince local governments to mandate fire sprinklers in all new one– and two–family homes.
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NFPA seeks enforcers on its Technical Committees
One of the greatest strengths of the NFPA standards–development process is the effort to ensure broad participation. While NFPA Technical Committees are always balanced to protect against any single interest dominating the process, we also work hard to attract enforcers to serve on those committees. Learn about a new program that provides funding for committee participation for certain public sector officials who have been designated as "enforcers".
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Double fatality in new home
A 38–year–old woman and her 2–year old goddaughter were killed in a duplex fire last weekend in New York. The home, built in 2010, had working smoke alarms but no fire sprinklers. Responding fire units arrived at the house just three minutes after getting the call and found the two victims near the kitchen. Smoke alarms do an excellent job in providing early warning of a fire. Fire sprinklers can control or put out the fire, giving occupants extra time to escape.
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Sprinkler system saves 11 lives in Georgia
On February 10, a single sprinkler extinguished a fire in a townhouse where 11 people, including six children, were sleeping. The sprinkler, coupled with working smoke alarms, is credited with giving residents additional time to escape. NFPA statistics show that most fatal home fires happen between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am – underscoring the need for the ever-watchful eye of a home fire sprinkler system.
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New report studies fire flow water consumption
A new Fire Protection Research Foundation report analyzes the fire protection water demand for various building types, including residential dwellings. It concludes that the amount of water used during a fire in a sprinklered building is less than that of an unsprinklered building. In addition, in most cases, the amount of water required per year in a sprinklered building for commissioning, inspection, testing, and maintenance of systems is less than that of an unsprinklered building.
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About the Fire Sprinkler Initiative NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative(R) Bringing Safety Home is a nationwide effort to increase the use of home fire sprinklers through the adoption of sprinkler requirements in new construction. Our web site provides resources for the fire service and other advocates who want to demonstrate the need for home fire sprinklers.  National Fire Protection Association. One Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA  02169-7471.