NIFSAB Executive Director Tom Lia (left) and former Carroll FPD Fire Chief David Lawrence (center) award Tom Harnsberger (right) a certificate in recognition of retrofitting his home with fire sprinklers.[/caption] Tom Harnsberger, a retired fire chief and current treasurer for the Carroll Fire Protection District, recently retrofitted his home with a fire sprinkler system thanks to a homeowner incentive program through the fire protection district. [caption id="attachment_3605" align="alignright" width="346"] Tom Harnsberger’s newly fire sprinkler-protected home[/caption] The Carroll Fire Protection District set up the incentive program through authorization by Illinois Public Act 095-0800, which allows the board of trustees of any fire protection district in Illinois to create an ordinance establishing a fire suppression grant award program. The grants are awarded to the “owners of single-family residential properties located within the fire protection district who install and maintain approved sprinkler or other fire suppression systems that meet national standards and are certified by the fire protection district.” The Carroll Fire Protection District’s ordinance allows for a rebate to be issued up to 25% of the tax money the fire protection district receives from that property. [caption id="attachment_3557" align="alignright" width="201"] View of a newly retrofitted concealed sidewall fire sprinkler in Tom Harnsberger’s home.[/caption] “As a board member for the fire district and an advocate for fire sprinklers and fire safety, I wanted to make local community members aware of this attractive incentive to install fire sprinklers in their own homes,” says Harnsberger, who is also the legislative chair for the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts. “It’s also important that other fire protection districts in Illinois understand that the grant award program is something they can establish to promote fire-safe homes in their own districts.” Also, by installing an NFPA 13D-compliant fire sprinkler system that is monitored by a central station, Harnsberger receives a discount of 13% on his annual homeowners insurance premium through The Hartford. That’s in addition to discounts he already receives for deadbolt locks and smoke alarms. To promote the fire sprinklers in his home and the Carroll Fire Protection District’s incentive program, Harnsberger welcomed the public into his home for an open house and public education event in October, so they could see how a fire sprinkler system looks when retrofitted into a home. The nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) also conducted fire sprinkler trailer demonstrations to give the public a firsthand view of the quick response of home fire sprinklers when a fire is present. [caption id="attachment_3613" align="alignright" width="346"] Left to right: NIFSAB Executive Director Tom Lia, former Carroll FPD Fire Chief David Lawrence, homeowners Tom & Penny Harnsberger, and Kevin Schott, senior policy advisor for the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.[/caption] “Tom Harnsberger’s home is a successful model of how fire protection districts statewide can reward homeowners for making their homes more fire-safe by installing fire sprinklers,” says NIFSAB Executive Director Tom Lia. “It’s a win-win-win situation for homeowner safety, homeowner savings and firefighter safety. The homeowner is credited for making his or her home safer to live in and the firefighters have better peace of mind if they must respond to a fire at that house, since the fire will not have spread throughout the entire house by the time they have arrived.” “Congratulations to Tom and the Carroll Fire Protection District for making Public Act 95-0800 a reality that will benefit the safety of current and future generations,” adds Lia.  ]]>