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« NFPA accepting public input for NFPA 13D standard | Main | UMass Amherst residence halls now protected by fire sprinklers »

12/05/2012

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One hundred years ago, sprinkler protection was being touted as a means to protect both life and property. Despite all the evidence that sprinkler protection is a highly effective fire safety measure and can be installed at reasonable cost, there is still opposition to the installation of sprinklers.

When reductions in code requirements permitted when sprinkler protection is provided are considered, the actual cost of sprinkler protection is just pennies per square foot.

The move to eliminate reductions in code requirements when sprinkler protection is provided is a step backward. The concept of "balanced" fire protection being promoted by the manufacturers of passive fire protection products is just a ploy aimed at increasing the sale of passive fire protection products.

The increased use of sprinkler protection not only saves the lives of civilians, but also provides protection for fire fighters. Cost reductions due to fewer fire fighter fatalities and injuries need to be taken into account when considering the actual cost of providing sprinkler protection.

It appears that the public is not ready to accept sprinkler protection in 1- and 2-family dwellings. That's OK-we need to continue to make the case. Change takes time. We've been working at this for over 100 years-just a little more patience is required. We're almost there.

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