March 9, 2015 – Three national fire service organizations are joining together to applaud the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition for its proactive leadership dedicated to saving lives. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, and Common Voices always stand in support of state efforts that take action to include fire sprinklers in the construction of new homes.
The Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition has been instrumental with the introduction of Bill No. 6777, which would require residential fire sprinkler systems in new homes. This legislation, if passed, is a significant advancement toward reducing property damage and preventing injuries and deaths to citizens and firefighters.
“Our organizations work jointly on a daily basis to promote all types of life-saving initiatives,” says Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF. “We also work with burn and family survivor advocacy organizations like Common Voices and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors because they truly do understand the devastating effects of fire occurrence in America. Together, working with the legislative entities throughout the United States, we hope to prevent families from similar tragic losses that have been experienced by members of these organizations,” he said.
In the large majority of fires that start inside a home, it takes the operation of only one sprinkler for extinguishment, preventing toxic smoke and heat from hurting or killing the residents. Fire sprinklers also keep our nation’s firefighters out of harm’s way.
In addition, the water from a fire sprinkler system will cause significantly less damage than a firefighter’s hose. When a fire starts, only the closest sprinkler is activated, using approximately 13 gallons of water per minute compared to more than 10 times that amount from a fire hose. Installing fire sprinklers is a simple measure that can further protect homes and cherished possessions.
“We look forward to the day when jurisdictions nationwide adopt the national model building codes which include fire sprinklers. We congratulate the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition for taking this vital step forward with this proposed legislation to enhance public safety within Connecticut,” says Siarnicki.
“I am so proud of the respective organizations who have worked to make this a reality in Connecticut. Lives will be saved as a result of their efforts and leadership,” adds Vickie Pritchett, facilitator for Common Voices. “Coalitions for life safety are important as we work to make sure citizens and firefighters are protected.”
The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) statistics confirm the life-saving aspects of home fire sprinklers; for instance, a person’s risk of dying from a house fire decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present. Yet, despite the effectiveness of these systems in reducing fire-initiated tragedies, sprinkler opponents nationwide continue to aggressively combat the necessity of these systems.
“The technology to prevent fire deaths and injuries exists,” states Pam Elliott, a burn survivor advocate. “We need to stand united in the message that fire sprinklers save the lives of both citizens and firefighters.”
Sharing direct messages like Elliott’s to promote residential fire sprinklers is at the heart of sprinkler advocacy organizations and NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, which offers tools to promote local and statewide sprinkler requirements in new, one- and two-family homes.
For information on home fire sprinklers and how they work, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition at www.homefiresprinkler.org.
For information on the importance of home fire sprinklers and free advocacy tools, templates, and materials, visit NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative website at www.firesprinklerinitiative.org.
About Common Voices: Common Voices (www.fireadvocates.org) is an advocates’ coalition of members who all have been directly affected by fire. By bringing their voices together, they hope to educate others regarding fire and its devastating impact.
About the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation: The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (www.firehero.org) honors and remembers America’s fallen fire heroes and provides resources to assist their survivors in rebuilding their lives and work within the fire service community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries.
About The Phoenix Society: Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors (www.phoenix-society.org) is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering anyone affected by a burn injury through peer support, education, and advocacy.