NFPA Journal - March/April 2013 - (Page 36)

>>outreach nfpa’s public education division LORRAINE CARLI Getting There W F irst graf. I was a kid, travelhen ing with my family on some kind of road trip, I often asked, “Are we there yet?” The answer was usually, “Not yet.” The Body same question can be asked about the acceptable number of fire deaths in the United States. And the answer should be the same, as well. In the late 1970s, about 6,000 people died in home fires each year. Today, that number is around 2,600. The number of people injured in thE FaCEs OF FiRE stories are varied, but the message is not: home fire sprinklers save lives. home fires has been cut from about 21,000 to 12,000 a year, with codes and standards, public education, this is a call-out. and the widespread use of smoke alarms all combining to reduce that number. In 2012, a number of major cities, including New York City and Philadelphia, announced some of the lowest numbers for fire fatalities since they began keeping records. While we have made great strides against fire, however, there is more that can be done. NFPA launched the “Fire Sprinkler Initiative: Bringing Safety Home” project in 2009. Armed with compelling statistics and research reports that show sprinklers are an effective, inexpensive way to reduce the losses associated with fire, we stepped up our efforts to push for home fire sprinklers as a requirement in all new one- and two-family homes. The facts are clear. Sprinklers reduce civilian fire deaths by 83 per- 36 NFPA JOURNAL JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 MARCH/APRIL 2013 cent and reduce direct property damage per fire by 69 percent. Recent research also shows that sprinklers reduce civilian fire injury medical costs by 53 percent and are responsible for an estimated 65 percent reduction in fireground injuries for firefighters. Sprinklers cost about $1.61 per sprinklered square foot in new construction. While the numbers are key to making our argument, there is also ORIGINAL “FACES” Chief W. Keith Brower, Jr. of Virginia, top, and Princella Lee Bridges of South Carolina were two another critical compoof the first people featured in Faces of Fire stories. nent to this effort—the stories of individuals who have been affected by fire. Every home fire has an impact on Brower, Jr., of Loudoun County, real people. They are the first respondVirginia. A home fire trapped ers and occupants who die in those four of Brower’s firefighters, serihomes, and their families and friends ously injuring one. Most recently, whose lives are forever changed. They Sam Davis of Cape Coral, Florida, are the burn survivors who must go stepped forward to tell his story. on. They are the community members He is a successful builder who whose neighborhoods are altered. includes home fire sprinklers in They are the building officials and every new home he builds—not water purveyors who deal with the because he has to, but because he rebuilding process in the wake of knows that if even one life is saved tragedy. They are the builders who from a fire it will be worth it. The recognize that sprinklers could have stories vary, but the message does saved much of what was lost. They are not: Home fire sprinklers save lives all the Faces of Fire. and reduce property loss. In 2010, NFPA added Faces of Fire NFPA is looking for more Faces to the Fire Sprinkler Initiative. Many of Fire. If you know of one, conof those people have been featured tact us at firesprinklerinitiative@ in stories and ads in NFPA Journal. We’re making progress, One of the first to be profiled was but we aren’t there yet. Princella Lee Bridges of South Carolina, who was severely burned in a lorraine carli is vice president of nfpa’s communications division. home fire. Another is Chief W. Keith Photographs: NFPA A fire safety progress check, and a call for new Faces of Fire

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - March/April 2013

NFPA Journal - March/April 2013
First Word
In a Flash
Heads Up
Structural Ops
In Compliance
Electrical Safety
Wildfire Watch
Cover Story: Storage Occupancies
Fifty Years of Smoke Detection
Industrial Occupancies
Chicago 2013
Fire Analysis + Research
Section Spotlight
What’s Hot
Looking Back

NFPA Journal - March/April 2013