Fire SAFE Ontario

Fire SAFE Ontario

April 23, 2009 22:16 ET

Fire SAFE: Tragic Toronto Fire Reinforces Need for Mandatory Residential Fire Sprinklers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 23, 2009) - "A fire that claimed the lives of two seniors today in Toronto may have had a different result if residential fire sprinklers were present," said Alan Speed, spokesperson for the Fire Sprinkler Alliance for Everyone (Fire SAFE) and former Fire Chief of the City of Toronto.

Fire SAFE advocates the installation of residential fire sprinklers in all new home construction in Ontario. Studies by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) show that a working smoke alarm combined with a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system will improve an occupant's chance of survival by 82%.

"Seniors, the disabled and the very young need extra time to escape a home that has caught on fire," said Speed. Residential fire sprinklers afford these groups the time they need and help contain a fire until firefighters are on scene."

"We call on the government of Ontario to extend the life safety benefits of residential sprinklers, that they have wisely done with high-rise buildings, to all residences," said Speed. "Now is the time for residential fire sprinklers."

Today's homes are better built and utilize the latest technology yet they do not account for what people are putting inside them. More home furnishings use petroleum based products and other synthetics that are highly flammable. The time it takes for a flashover to occur has been reduced significantly thereby placing occupants in greater danger.

Recently, the International Code Council adopted a resolution calling on all new homes in the United States to have residential sprinklers. This is part of a trend taking place in both Canada and the United States where municipalities have either adopted similar measures or asked higher levels for permission to do so. For example, the City of Ottawa passed a resolution several weeks ago supporting Bill 72 (the Municipal Residential Sprinkler Act) that would allow them to require residential fire sprinklers in new homes in Ottawa.

Fire SAFE Ontario

The Fire Sprinkler Alliance for Everyone (Fire SAFE Ontario) was created as a not-for-profit organization to educate, promote and advance residential fire sprinkler systems in Ontario. Fire SAFE Ontario is committed to seeing legislation enacted requiring fire sprinkler installation in all new residential construction in Ontario.

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