NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - 87

the fire sprinkler discussion when they
understand they can save money and
often increase their profits by installing
sprinklers in new homes and taking
advantage of corresponding trade-ups.
By installing home sprinklers, developers can consider incentives that include
higher building density with additional
units permitted. They may be able to
install fewer fire hydrants, and may
not need to expand the existing water
system. They may consider reduced
street widths, longer dead-end streets,
subdivision single-access points, permitted tee turnarounds, increased street
grade, and increased building setbacks.
Most of these trade-ups aren't new,
but more AHJs and fire departments
are recognizing their value in protecting
local infrastructure as well as achieving
their community risk reduction (CRR)
goals. CRR helps communities identify
local risks and prioritize their response
with strategic, data-driven investment
of resources; NFPA 1300, Standard
on Community Risk Assessment and
Community Risk Reduction Plan
Development, helps guide communities
through this process as they assess risk
and develop, implement, and evaluate
CRR plans. This has a range of implications for fire departments. Communities
with sprinklered housing are able to
focus firefighting resources on highrisk structures and other critical public
safety response activity. When fires
occur in sprinklered homes, sprinklers

are able to extinguish or control them
before the fire department arrives.
Fewer responders are necessary to fight

MOST OF THESE
AREN'T NEW, BUT
MORE AHJS AND
FIRE DEPARTMENTS
ARE RECOGNIZING
THEIR VALUE IN
PROTECTING LOCAL
INFRASTRUCTURE AS
WELL AS ACHIEVING
THEIR COMMUNITY
RISK REDUCTION
(CRR) GOALS.
those fires, and the hazards they face
when they arrive at the fire scene are
reduced. Home fires constitute a priority
risk in every community, making home
fire sprinkler education a vital element
of CRR, and NFPA is working with 50
fire departments to develop and test
a user-friendly digital tool to aid the
process.
Other efforts are underway to
support the use of incentives. Three
years ago, the Home Fire Sprinkler
Coalition (HFSC) was awarded a Fire
Prevention and Safety grant from
the Federal Emergency Management
Agency to develop online resources to
educate AHJs and other stakeholders

about developer incentives. HFSC's
work started with national surveys to
determine awareness about incentives.
The results confirmed there was a gap:
more than 90 percent of developers
didn't know about incentives, and just
8 percent of fire service respondents
offered them. More than half the developers surveyed said they would be
interested in installing home fire sprinklers if incentives were offered.
Working with AHJs experienced in
negotiating incentives, HFSC developed a comprehensive program that
was pilot-tested and reviewed by the
fire service. The program has identified successful tactics to identify and
reach stakeholders, as well as effective
methods to present a convincing argument to install sprinklers in exchange
for incentives. Reaching out to the
right groups early in the process better
positions AJHs to educate, address
questions and concerns, and achieve a
mutually beneficial agreement. HFSC's
free resources, available at homefiresprinkler.org, help AHJs overcome
local challenges, identify incentives for
each community, and confidently make
offers to developers.
Even as progress is made, home
fire safety is a work in progress, especially at the grassroots level. Randy
Miller, the deputy fire marshal in
Camas-Washougal, Washington, has
been negotiating home fire sprinkler
incentives for nearly 20 years and says
it's unlikely developers will come to
you. But that doesn't mean you have
to wait for sprinkler codes to change,
either. You'll likely need some help with
the incentives process, which is why we
want to get the word out on this effective tactic for achieving public safety.
We know sprinklers dramatically
reduce home fire deaths, injuries, and
property loss, and that they can do
that for generations to come if they're
installed. And no other technology can
also protect our firefighters from the
growing threat of job-related cancers.
Incentives work, and the resources exist
to help you get the ball rolling in your
jurisdiction.
LORRAINE CARLI is vice president of Outreach
and Advocacy for NFPA and president of the Home
Fire Sprinkler Coalition.

N F PA . O R G / J O U R N A L * NFPA JOURNAL

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NFPA Journal - May/June 2020

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

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NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover1
NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover2
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NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - Cover3
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