Fire Sprinklers Where We Live, Work & Play: Building Safety Week is May 5-11, 2008

May 05, 2008, 01:00 ET from Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board

    ORLAND PARK, Ill., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Building
 Safety Week, the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB)
 reminds people of the vital life-safety role fire sprinklers play in
 keeping building occupants safe.
     National Building Safety Week is an annual tribute that reinforces the
 important public safety role that building inspectors play throughout
 Illinois and across the U.S. This year the event takes place May 5-11,
 2008. This year's theme is "Building Safety: Where You Live, Work and
     Sponsored by the International Code Council (ICC), Building Safety Week
 shines a national light on the importance of construction measures that
 protect the lives of residents, occupants and emergency responders.
     "At least 60% of the ICC's International Building Code pertains to fire
 safety," explained Tom Lia, NIFSAB's Executive Director. "These important
 provisions help protect people from fire in all types of occupancies. But
 unless sprinklers are required, the codes don't go far enough."
     Fire sprinklers should be required routinely, regardless of a
 building's size. "Pinning sprinkler installation to a certain square
 footage minimum is outdated, and frankly an unsafe practice," Lia said.
 "Forward-thinking community leaders have made our state the national leader
 in 'zero tolerance', or zero square foot thresholds for sprinkler
 installation requirements. Now that is a public safety concept that makes
 sense. We applaud the building, fire and elected officials in the 170
 communities and fire districts in Illinois who have made progressive
 upgrades to the model codes by moving forward zero fire tolerance."
     Lia said National Building Safety Week is also a great time to
 recognize all the building and fire inspectors who work together to make
 the daily plan review and inspection decisions for the safety of the
     According to Lia whether the building is a high-rise apartment or
 commercial, a school, hotel, strip mall or single family home, fire
 sprinklers save lives. The time-tested technology is recognized within the
 fire service and broader fire safety field as being the number-one means to
 suppress or control structural fire in its early stages.
     "Because each sprinkler is activated by heat, a fire sprinkler stops a
 fire from spreading and prevents deadly flashover," Lia said. "Because the
 fire is contained, fire sprinklers prevent widespread property loss, which
 is not only good for the building owner, it's good for employees and the
 community's economy."
     No other technology provides the level of life safety and property
 protection that a fire sprinkler system can and does. Building Safety Week
 reinforces the importance of fire safety provisions in building codes,
 including strong requirements for fire sprinkler system installation,
 testing and maintenance in every structure.

SOURCE Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board