U. S. Fire Administrator Develops National Residential Sprinkler Strategy to Save Lives

Emmitsburg, MD – The United States Fire Administration (USFA) and national fire protection professionals, who met recently to develop a national residential sprinkler strategy, have agreed to advocate localized fire suppression in high-risk areas of the home- such as the kitchen – and develop an aggressive plan for advocating residential sprinklers in buildings supported by the federal government.

These strategies were developed during a meeting held at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Md. The meeting was intended to bring professionals together with a goal of developing and implementing policies that identify and remove barriers to the acceptance and use of residential sprinkler systems.

“We know how important residential sprinkler systems are,” said R. David Paulison, USFA Administrator. “Every year, more than 3,000 people lose their lives in home fires, and most of those deaths are among the elderly, the disabled, the low income and the very young. Sprinkler systems are one way to reduce that number and to save the lives of community residents served by the Nation’s fire service.”

The U.S. Fire Administration advocates the installation and use of automatic fire sprinklers to save lives, reduce injuries and protect property and believes that, based on a history of proven success, should be used in all residential occupancies.

The specific proposed national strategies are:

  • Develop an aggressive strategy for advocating residential sprinklers in occupancies influenced or supported by the federal government;
  • Advocate localized fire suppression in high risk areas (e.g., kitchens) for retrofit applications;
  • Provide advocacy and informational support among stake holders including state and local decision makers; and
  • Ensure that the USFA continues to support research and development in residential fire sprinkler technology.

In addition, several tasks related to these strategies were identified by the group and will be considered for future programs.

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