When advocating for positive change, a positive case study is invaluable. Late last week, Bowie, MD became such a case study when a fire broke out in a single-family home. Thanks to the home’s sprinkler system, the fire did not spread beyond the second-floor where it originated, and damage was minimal.
It comes as no surprise that Bowie, located in Prince George’s county, would be the setting for such a great sprinkler save. In 1992, the county became one of the first areas to enact an ordinance calling for the installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems in new one- and two-family structures. The results are detailed in this 15 year report, providing a fantastic resource for other local officials looking to bring home fire sprinklers into their community.
Over the period of study, the county experienced almost 14,000 (13,494) single-family or townhouse fires, where 245 of the homes had fire sprinklers installed. The 245 sprinklered homes resulted in no deaths and only six injuries, compared with the 101 resident deaths and 328 injuries reported in the non-sprinklered home fires. In addition to protecting your community, home fire sprinklers also have been shown to lower water pollution, contributing towards local climate goals.
Home fires frequently happen during times when people are asleep, and residential sprinklers begin controlling the fire without any action from occupants, increasing the time they have to get out. As the Benefits of Residential Fire Sprinklers report illustrates, home fire sprinklers should be installed in all single-family homes along with smoke alarms, to provide early detection and suppression to protect lives and property before firefighters arrive. This two-part video series further details the advantages of home fire sprinklers specifically for local officials, and more resources on home fire sprinklers and how to bring them into your community can be found at The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.
Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10, 2020. Visit Firepreventionweek.org for the resources you need to help keep your community safe. Let’s all Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!TM