“Every year, the majority of fire deaths in North America happen at home,” says Fire Inspector Mark Nicolai of the Muskegon Township Fire Department. “Simply put, that’s unacceptable. There is a solution and it starts with local action.”
Muskegon County Area Fire Departments are taking part in a North America-wide campaign initiated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) to raise awareness of the growing dangers of home fires and the life-saving benefits of installing fire sprinklers in new homes. Many communities have committed to hosting events the week of May 20, 2019.
The Muskegon County event will be held the prior week on Thursday, May 16, 2019, from 11 to 1 p.m. at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center’s student-built home located at 2497 Chestnut Trail in Muskegon. The burn demonstration, which will be held in the parking lot next to the home, utilizes two burn cells from Muskegon Township Fire Department. The burn is scheduled to commence promptly at 12:00p.m. Members of the fire service, building contractors, fire suppression companies and students will be on hand to celebrate a shining example of this life-saving home feature.
“The purpose is to organize a unified day of action with a focus on the tough problem of home fires and the equally tough protection of home fire sprinkler technology,” says Lorraine Carli, Vice President at NFPA and President of HFSC. “By joining forces coast to coast, communities like Muskegon County are debunking persistent myths, helping consumers learn the facts before they build or buy a new home, and urging their local officials to support sprinkler codes.”
“Many people lose sight of the fact that home fires are dangerous not just to residents but also to firefighters,” says Fire Inspector Nicolai. “Today’s new houses are built with lightweight construction and big open designs and they’re filled with synthetic furnishings. When they burn, they fail fast, and that environment places firefighters at risk from fire as well as toxins that lead to disease.”
Home Fire Sprinkler Day is an opportunity for everyone in Muskegon and surrounding counties, to learn about new-home dangers, get the facts about lifesaving sprinkler technology and make progress against the home fire problem.
Facts about home fire sprinklers
- Since 2009, the installation of fire sprinklers has been required for new construction of homes by all U.S. model building codes. California, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and hundreds of U.S. communities have adopted this requirement. Challenges to adoption exist in many other states.
- Fire sprinkler installation in homes lags behind installation in other properties with lower fire death rates, such as schools, hospitals, and hotels. They lag in part due to myths, confusion, and opposition by some groups.
- Modern home fire sprinklers are inexpensive to install ($1.35 per sprinklered sq. ft., nationally – NFPA).
- Fire sprinklers reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by 80 percent, and reduce the risk of property damage by 70 percent (NFPA).
- Because the sprinkler responds to the fire automatically and while it is still small, it controls the fire until the fire department arrives, slowing the spread of heat and poisonous smoke.
- Home fire sprinklers give residents more time to escape a fire safely. That prevents injuries and saves lives.
- The sprinkler controls fire damage and confines it. That protects lives as well as surrounding rooms, limiting property damage.
- Responding firefighters work in far less dangerous conditions when a home fire is controlled by a fire sprinkler.
- Fire sprinklers are usually supplied by the household water main. A tank and pump can be used where needed. They can be used in any climate. As with other plumbing, the piping is hidden behind walls and ceilings. Sprinkler covers can be used to conceal sprinklers.
- Home fire sprinklers operate individually. In a fire, the sprinkler closest to it activates. In the vast majority of home fires just one sprinkler is needed to control the flames.
- Sprinklers are activated by the high temperature of a fire – typically between 135-165°F. Cooking fumes or signaling smoke alarms cannot activate sprinklers.
- Home fire sprinklers are designed to flow between 10-25 gallons of water per minute, 10-15 times less water flow than fire department hoses, with far less pressure.
See the events that are lined up to date and learn more about Home Fire Sprinkler Day at nfpa.org/FireSprinklerDay.
About the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC)
HFSC was formed in 1996 to inform the public about the life-saving value of sprinkler protection in one- and two-family homes. HFSC is a purely educational, nonprofit organization and the leading resource for independent, noncommercial information about home fire sprinklers. For more information about HFSC and home fire sprinklers, visit www.homefiresprinkler.org.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
About the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center
Construction Trades Program
The Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (MACTC) offers 15 different tuition free career training classes to high school juniors and seniors from public, charter, and non-public schools in Muskegon County. The Construction Trades program is designed to teach students the basics of residential construction while demonstrating how those skills can apply to a variety of high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand careers within the industry. Students work as a team to build a home from foundation to completion, while learning cutting-edge techniques used in both residential and commercial construction. Emphasis is placed on energy efficiency, sustainability, and environmentally friendly practices.