The number of fire fatalities in Alabama this year has exceeded 2013 totals, and the state's fire officials aren't taking the news lightly. Joining others in vocalizing their frustration with these deaths is Chief Alan Martin with the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service. In a recent op-ed published in The Anniston Star, he counters comments made by a staffer from the Home Builders Association of Alabama, who labeled home fire sprinklers as "property protectors" with minimal life-saving advantages.
"The life-safety benefits of residential sprinklers are undisputed," states Martin. "While they do eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars in property loss, the primary purpose is to save lives." Home fire sprinklers installed in accordance with NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes, for example, have a 10-minute water supply requirement, giving residents ample time to safely escape a fire if one should occur.
Martin also counters the homebuilder association's cost estimate, noting that fire sprinkler contractors are placing installation costs at about $10,000 less than the association's quote. (NFPA places the national average at $1.35 per sprinklered square foot.)
Join Martin in taking a stance in support of sprinklers; craft your own op-ed. Furthermore, set the record straight about sprinklers. If you're looking to convince homebuilders that sprinklers make sense in new construction, utilize the free tools from NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative.