WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) recognizes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the change he demanded and the movement he led. A fire in Washington, D.C. on Sunday underscores the importance of fire protection with an example that yielded a positive outcome for the building owner, several businesses, and firefighters.
NFSA President Shane Ray shared, "I use Dr. King's quote, 'our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter' regularly. This quote is about leading a cause for worldwide change that was right, then and now."
The NFSA is not comparing fire protection to civil rights, merely recognizing causes that require leadership to make a difference and issues we should speak up about.
Fire deaths in the United States and around the world are unacceptable. Over 3,000 people die from fires each year in the U.S., and some experts predict that this number will begin to rise because of modern furnishings and materials inside our homes. While we have reduced fire deaths in commercial occupancies, the number of fires in structures continue to rise. These fires create significant risks to firefighters, which average over 100 deaths annually in the line of duty.
Only California and Maryland require fire sprinklers in new homes. We see many states not only removing fire sprinkler requirements in homes, but also adopting new codes and standards for how buildings are built, yet leaving vital fire protection features out. Some states and large metropolitan areas are ignoring the latest fire and building codes and standards, some remaining on the requirements as far back as 2000 editions.
Washington, D.C. is thankfully not one of those cities leaving fire protection requirements behind. The progressive nature of Washington, D.C. saved lives yesterday as a fire occurred in the building housing Fox & Friends and several other television studios. Vice President Pence was slated to appear in the building later in the morning, but was not there when the fire occurred. However, if he was, he would have been safe like everyone else because of the quick response of D.C. Fire and EMS, and the building's fire sprinkler system.
"This fire, that I had a chance to hear Chris Wallace mention briefly when he started his interview of Vice President Pence, was a great example of what we refer to as Partners in Progress," stated NFSA President Ray. "Partners in Progress is a feature in Firehouse Magazine from the National Fire Sprinkler Association." (http://bit.ly/nfsapip)
In this fire in D.C., fire sprinklers contained the fire to the area of origin. Firefighters came in to rescue those who can't self-evacuate and to finish extinguishing the fire.
The following is from a segment from Fox 5 DC:
"We found an electrical panel on fire in a studio facility on the eighth floor. We were able to extinguish that fire, the sprinklers had activated," said Vito Maggiolo with D.C. Fire and EMS. "Thank God for sprinklers, they are very effective devices. They contained the fire. Our firefighters finished it off with final attack," he said.
The National Fire Sprinkler Association salutes D.C. Fire and EMS for their efforts to minimize the damage at this fire. We would also like to encourage all jurisdictions across the country to adopt the latest national building/fire codes and standards. As our nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, may we all speak up for our causes and may we pray that our voices are heard.
About the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA): NFSA was founded in 1905 and wants to create a more fire safe world, and works to heighten the awareness of the importance of fire sprinkler systems from homes to high-rise and all occupancies in between. The Association is an inclusive organization made up of dedicated and committed members of a progressive life-saving industry. This industry manufactures, designs, supplies, installs, inspects, and services the world's most effective system in saving lives and property from uncontrolled structural fires. For more information about fire sprinklers, how they work and access to additional resources and information, visit www.nfsa.org for the latest material, statistics and a dedicated team of fire safety advocates ready to serve all stakeholders in order to fulfill the vision of a safer world.
Contact: Vickie Pritchett
SOURCE National Fire Sprinkler Association