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The Smart Way to Find a Fire Sprinkler Contractor

Residential Fire Sprinklers Receive Unprecedented Support at ICC Hearing

Thursday

Press Release from the IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition website: "At the International Code Council's (ICC) final action hearing in Rochester, NY on May 23rd, we saw an unprecedented level of support for residential fire sprinklers. A proposal to modify the International Residential Code in favor of fire sprinklers in single-family homes received affirmative votes from well over half of the voting members present. Only because of a procedural requirement for a super-majority vote of two-thirds, as opposed to a simple majority, was the sprinkler proposal not adopted.

'Our level of support in Rochester was nothing short of astounding. I've been a proponent of residential sprinklers for many years, and to see what the IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition has accomplished in less than six months to rally this cause gives me great confidence in the future of residential sprinklers,' said Ronny J. Coleman, former California state fire marshal. 'It's now clear to me that the question is no longer if we'll have a national requirement for residential sprinklers, but when, and I think it will happen soon.'

With the nation's model building codes now requiring fire sprinkler systems to protect all multi-family residential occupancies, home fire sprinklers represent the final piece missing from the nation's residential fire safety package.

'Eight out of ten fire deaths in America occur at home, where people feel safest,' said Meri-K Appy, President of the Home Safety Council. 'Our path forward is clear. We must continue to educate code officials, home builders and others about the importance of residential fire sprinklers.'

Safety experts know that while smoke alarms are essential, only fire sprinklers have the ability to automatically put water on the fire, controlling or even extinguishing it completely. This is especially important in protecting children, older people and individuals who need extra time or assistance to escape from a burning home. The technology, already protecting families in hundreds of thousands of homes across the country, is proven to save lives and protect property.

Building on momentum leading up to the Rochester hearing, the IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition will continue to advance the cause of life-safety. In pursuit of its mission to convey facts and dispel myths about residential sprinklers, copies of an international Web cast on this topic aired by the Coalition on May 3rd and viewed by hundreds of download sites are now available for free on DVD."

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posted by ConstructionDeal.com, 9:20 AM | link | 0 comments |

"Blaze Leaves Doormaker with Minor Damage"

Here's a real world example of how a business can have a fire break out and, because of sprinklers, be back in business the same week.

From the Forest Grove News-Times: "By all accounts, employees of Woodfold, Inc. are lucky to be making doors this week - and not shoveling piles of smoldering ash.

A fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. Monday in a partially covered area that the Forest Grove manufacturer used to store a dump truck, which is believed to have been the source of the first spark. Had the blaze spread it could have reached a couple hundred thousand board-feet of wood. But fire walls and a sprinkler system contained the flames before they could destroy some of the company's more crucial operations, and fire agencies extinguished the flames within two hours. No one was injured. Damages are estimated at $150,000-plus.

If that building had not had a sprinkling system, it's likely we would all still be there," David Nemeyer, fire inspector for the Forest Grove Fire Department, said nearly four hours after the fire was put out at 5:30 a.m. 'The fire sprinklers did their job today. It really showed how important they are.'

The stakes were huge for Forest Grove and the surrounding area. Woodfold is one of the city’s largest employers, with 125 employees, who are also shareholders in the employee-owned company.

Woodfold builds accordion doors, among other things, and does upward of $17 million in sales annually."

Had the fire been worse, the timing couldn't have made a blacker mark on Woodfold's calendar: 2007 is the year of its 50th anniversary. Instead, 2007 will also be remembered as a year when Woodfold dodged a bullet.

Just hours after the fire, 75 percent of Woodfold's operations were running, said Vice President John Doran. He predicted that it could be operating fully by the end of the week, when electricians will have had time to reroute some major electrical work that was damaged in the blaze.

'I would guess that within a week, you’ll hardly be able to tell anything happened,' he said, commending the local fire agencies.

The company executive echoed firefighters' observation that the sprinklers and the firewalls did their job.

'The system worked,' he said."

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posted by ConstructionDeal.com, 9:37 AM | link | 0 comments |

NAHB Against Fire Sprinkler Safety

Wednesday

The National Association of Home Builders has inexplicably come out against residential fire sprinklers.

On their site, they have a NAHB Disaster Resources section. And in this section, there is a Residential Fire Sprinkler Action Kit - which sounds like something helpful for contractors, builders, and remodeling companies to help ensure the lives of the people they work for. But, instead, it says this:

The Residential Fire Sprinkler Action Kit provides you with the information you need to know in opposing mandatory fire sprinkler requirements for one- and two-family dwellings in the IRC.
However, this section is restricted to members only, as they may have something to hide. The NAHB claims that smoke alarms are enough in a residential setting and that mandatory sprinklers would add too much to the cost of a new house.

The International Code Council final action hearings are scheduled for May 21-26 of this year in Rochester, New York .

Despite the outcome, it is very sad that in all the statistics that the NAHB lists on why smoke alarms are enough - - they fail to point out that many, many people are still injured and die and lose most of their property because fire sprinklers were not installed to protect them.

Keep an eye on the debate and vote. And we'll make sure we report the outcome here. Let's hope that we can afford to make America safe (and protect all of our firefighters who are forced to go into these burning buildings that have no sprinklers...)

Despite the bloated NAHB costs per square foot: fire sprinklers save money and save lives - sprinklers cause less damage, use less water, reduce insurance costs, protect homeowners' lives, protect fire fighters' lives, work effectively, and are relatively inexpensive to install in a newly constructed home. The facts do not lie.

Greed, for lack of a better word, kills...

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posted by ConstructionDeal.com, 10:09 AM | link | 0 comments |