Fire departments and public safety advocates across North America united on May 16 to participate in a digital campaign and conduct community outreach activities to increase awareness about how dangerous home fires can be and the benefits of home fire sprinklers. Home Fire Sprinkler Week, May 16 through May 22, 2021, is co-hosted by the Fire Sprinkler Initiative project of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC).
Whether urban or rural, large or small, fire departments in every community share one problem in common: the tragedy of home fire injuries, deaths and property destruction. According to NFPA, more than three-quarters of all civilian fire deaths are caused by home fires.
The NFPA and HFSC agree that this universal challenge is due to the fact that today’s home fires become deadly in as little as two minutes. Our homes are filled with synthetic furnishings that burn hotter and faster than natural materials and they produce toxic smoke. Unprotected home fires are fast and deadly – to residents as well as responding firefighters.
When installed, home fire sprinklers overcome this vulnerability and protect residents and responders. They work automatically, controlling or extinguishing a fire in seconds. Their fast action makes it possible for residents to escape to safety and reduces the chance for structural collapse. Home fire sprinklers uniquely prevent injuries and deaths, and they protect the structure making it safer for responding firefighters.Yet this lifesaving technology remains underutilized. While a million homes will be built in 2021, the prevalent myths, legislative barriers, and lack of public awareness in most states will result in only a tiny fraction being protected with installed fire sprinklers.
Home Fire Sprinkler Week coincides with HFSC’s 25th anniversary. In 1996 HFSC was founded to provide a singular focus on home fire sprinkler education. What began as a small group working with local and state fire service has grown into a national, independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit continuing its original mission.