NFPA President Jim Pauley complimented attendees at the 2015 Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Boston for continuing to stand their ground in support of home fire sprinklers. Noting what has been an uphill battle in many states, Pauley offered NFPA's continued support as advocates continue their efforts across North America.
"From the NFPA perspective, we're in this for the long haul," said Pauley. "Thank you for what you do, for fighting what is a difficult battle."
Exemplifying Pauley's comments, a handful of states have filed anti-sprinkler legislation this year, including Tennessee, Nevada, and Minnesota. However, Pauley was quick to point out sprinkler successes occurring across North America. Nearly half of U.S. states, he noted, have formed a sprinkler coalition while other states are showcasing cost-effective sprinkler installation.
Pauley, for example, joined NFPA to help construct and install sprinklers in two new homes in Hanover Massachusetts. "It's not about the size of the home or the size of the budget," he said. "Sprinklers can be placed in any home."
Another key ally in the push for sprinkler requirements is Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan, who also spoke at the summit reception. (Download a PDF of a Q&A with Coan on the Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition site.) He underscored the 50 fire deaths in his state in 2014 and his personal push to get the state's Board of Building Regulations and Standards to approve sprinkler requirements in new homes. "The difference [in future fire deaths] would be dramatic if we could get this over the finish line," said Coan.