SOURCE: Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

March 09, 2007 14:47 ET

Recent Multi-Fatality Home Fires Underscore the Need for a System of Safety

QUINCY, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 9, 2007 --A spate of deadly residential fires in recent weeks has left families, firefighters and entire communities reeling from the losses. The national, nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) says these tragedies underscore the benefit of having a total system of fire safety in place to prevent home fire deaths and injuries. That system includes detection (household smoke alarms), prompt evacuation (escape planning and fire drills), and suppression (home fire sprinkler system).

According to HFSC, a total system starts with working smoke alarms, because they warn people that there is deadly smoke and fire in the house. Holding fire drills helps practice how to quickly respond if the alarm sounds, increasing the chance of a safe escape. A fire sprinkler system controls a fire, preventing it from spreading and may even extinguish a fire before the fire department arrives on the scene, allowing occupants to escape. Each sprinkler is individually activated by heat, only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate spraying water directly on the fire.

More than eight out of 10 fire deaths happen at home, the last place most people expect to experience a deadly fire. Despite this high proportion of deaths, sprinkler installation in homes lags far behind other occupancies, such as hotels, hospitals and high-rise offices. As a result, HFSC works to educate the public about home fire sprinkler systems and to help separate the facts from fictitious anti-sprinkler claims.

Most home fires start as the result of human error or behavior. Home fire sprinklers offset the human factor in cause and response, providing powerful protection from fire whether or not the occupants were able to respond to smoke alarms. This is vital for vulnerable populations whose ability to get out may depend on assistance from caregivers or others. Young children and older adults share the highest fire death rate.

HFSC offers free information about home fires and fire sprinkler systems on its Web site: These include dramatic video and instructive animated spots.


The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition's (HFSC) mission is to provide accurate information to the public about the life-saving value of residential fire sprinkler protection, particularly in new construction of one- and two-family dwellings. Steering Committee Members include the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA), Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA), Home Safety Council, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), State Farm Insurance and U.S. Fire Administration, as well as 15 affiliate members.

The HFSC has developed educational material with details about home fire sprinkler systems, how they work, why they provide affordable protection and answers to common myths and misconceptions about their operation. These materials are available upon request by calling 1-888-635-7222 or at the HFSC web site:

Contact Information