NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - 86

Fortunately, there are other ways to
introduce home fire sprinklers into new
homes. Where sprinkler codes are not
in place or are prohibited, authorities
having jurisdiction (AHJs) are successfully using incentives as an important
part of their negotiations with builders
to include sprinklers in new-home
developments. These incentives-also
referred to as trade-ups-can take many
forms, and leverage sprinkler installation as a way for builders to creatively
identify other cost-saving areas in their
development projects. This is the fastest path that AHJs and local planners
can take to build in fire protection in
new construction.
Like many of you, I've spent much
more time at home in recent weeks
than I ever thought I would, and it's
gotten me thinking about the concept
of home as shelter-and how easy
it can be for us to take the safety of
our homes for granted. As vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at
NFPA, my job is to keep a bright light
trained on the importance of fire
safety, including the critical importance of home fire sprinklers in the
NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystemâ„¢.
While many legislative avenues for
home sprinklers may be blocked at
the moment, the incentive approach
is an effective means of ensuring that

the ecosystem around home fire safety
remains healthy and intact.

HOME FIRE SPRINKLERS AND
COMMUNITY RISK REDUCTION
Last October, NFPA released its "Home
Structure Fire" report with key findings about causes and circumstances
of home structure fires from 2013
through 2017. While fires and fire
deaths have decreased significantly in
the past 40 years, the picture remains
troubling. Of all structures, homes are
where we are most vulnerable. Home
fires account for four of every five fire
deaths and three of every four fire

MORE THAN HALF
THE DEVELOPERS
SURVEYED SAID THEY
WOULD BE INTERESTED
IN INSTALLING HOME
FIRE SPRINKLERS
IF INCENTIVES WERE
OFFERED.
injuries. Seasoned firefighters will confirm what researchers have repeatedly
demonstrated: the design of modern
homes, along with the materials used
to build them and their highly combustible furnishings, result in fires that

burn much faster today than they used
to, shrinking the time to escape to as
little as two minutes. If you have a
fire in your home today, you are more
likely to die from it than you were in
1980.
In addition to faster flashover and
collapse, modern home fires produce
far more toxic smoke than in years
past. The risk to civilians is compounded by the significant hazards
faced by firefighters in home fires,
which include death, injury, and higher
rates of cancer resulting from the products of combustion.
All of these dangers are readily and
effectively addressed when fire sprinklers
are installed in new homes. But this
straightforward, affordable approach is
often overlooked or prohibited, and most
new homes are built without sprinkler
protection. The National Association of
Home Builders estimates that 1.8 million
new homes are built each year, but only 5
percent of those are estimated to include
sprinklers. This creates millions of homes
that will remain unprotected for decades.
I know from many conversations
with members of the fire service that
bringing up fire codes with homebuilders and developers too often results
in a hard "no." But when the topic of
requirements is left off the table in favor
of valuable incentives, the outcome is
often different. AHJs in communities
across the country are finding their local
developers much more amenable to

GETT Y IMAGES

p Including sprinklers in new residential construction can provide builders with a range
of incentives, including reduced street widths, longer dead-end streets, subdivision single-access points, higher building density, increased setbacks, and fewer fire hydrants.

86 | NFPA JOURNAL * M A Y / J U N E 2 0 2 0

Home Fire Sprinkler feature_05.20 V3 FINAL.indd 86

5/2/20 5:36 PM



NFPA Journal - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - May/June 2020

Contents
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover1
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NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover3
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20200506
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20190910
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20180506
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20170708
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_201610_sprinkler
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20160708
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20130708
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nfpa/journal_20120910
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