Letter: Home fire sprinkler week is May 15-21

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 15, 2022

In every community, including ours, home fires are a severe threat to residents as well as responding firefighters. While homes have been the central fire challenge for decades, today this problem is intensified by the fact that unprotected home fires become deadly in just two minutes or less.

To confront this stubborn public safety burden, we are joining with other fire departments and safety advocates across North America May 15-21 to increase awareness about the life safety benefits of installing home fire sprinklers.

By participating in Home Fire Sprinkler Week, we will send a powerful message locally and nationally that every new home constructed is an opportunity to help end the home fire problem.

Fire safety advocates work hard to educate about home fire dangers, but every fire cannot be prevented. We also try to counter the common fallacy that new homes don’t burn, but it’s a stubborn myth. The truth is today new homes are most commonly built with unprotected lightweight wood construction, and designed with large, open spaces. Homes are filled with synthetic furnishings that burn hotter and faster than natural materials producing more toxic smoke. Regardless of age, home fires now burn faster than ever and become deadly more quickly.

When things go wrong and a fire starts, home fire sprinklers work automatically and very effectively, making a safe escape possible. Installed fire sprinklers are proven to prevent injuries, save lives and protect property.

Home fire sprinklers are part of our community risk reduction strategy. We urge our residents and local decision makers to educate themselves on how home fire sprinklers can protect our city’s future generations and our first responders. Every new home built in our community should be protected with home fire sprinklers.

Holly-Anne Blevins
Firefighter/NC Fire and Life Safety Educator with the New London Fire Department.