An early-morning fire on December 19 ripped through a partial residence in Bristol, Connecticut, killing two people. Fire safety advocates across the state have joined forces to highlight the frequency of these tragedies and a device that can significantly reduce home fire deaths.
Launched this year, the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition includes local fire service officials, NFPA, the National Fire Sprinkler Association, and others that are championing for increased education and installation of home fire sprinklers in new, one- and two-family dwellings. The coalition’s formation is in response to the state’s alarming number of home fires; there were more than 8,600 reported residential fires collectively in 2011 and 2012.
Additional statistics on fire deaths provide a grimmer picture. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the number of 2014, media-reported residential fire deaths in Connecticut exceeded similar fire deaths in 2013 by more than 50 percent.
The coalition is advocating for the inclusion of these sprinkler requirements in the state building code and is furthering education on sprinkler installation and cost-effectiveness via public outreach efforts. “The coalition is showcasing a growing movement in Connecticut in support of home fire sprinklers,” says Keith Flood, coalition chair and fire marshal with the West Haven Fire Department. “Too often we are seeing devastating tragedies that could have been easily been prevented had sprinklers been installed in homes.”
Watch the following video of Flood narrating a live burn demonstration during the coalition's launch event: