Center for Public Safety Excellence Now Accredits Fire Sprinkler Installers

Recognizing the importance of fire sprinklers as a means to significantly reduce deaths and the costs of residential fires, the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) Board of Directors approved plans to offer a new accreditation program for installers of residential fire sprinkler systems on June 21, 2013. Modeled on the accreditation model of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), the new accreditation is entitled the “Residential Fire Sprinkler Contractor Accreditation” program. The program was in development for more than two years and results from a collaboration of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA), the International Code Council (ICC) and the CPSE. Both NFSA and AFSA are committed to promoting participation in the program to their respective members. The official, nationwide launch of the program occurred during the CPSE Awards Dinner on the evening of August 15, 2013, at the Swissotel Chicago in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Chiefs‘ (IAFC) Fire-Rescue International Conference in Chicago. CPSE’s Paul Brooks, Executive Director, hailed the decision of the board by stating, “This program represents CPSE’s commitment to promoting the installation of fire sprinklers in all new dwelling construction as a means to save lives and property. We are excited about this new venture for CPSE and the new partnerships we will build with the fire sprinkler industry.” The program accredits fire sprinkler contractors by evaluating, through the self-assessment process, the characteristics of viable, reputable and dependable companies. Participating companies will be evaluated in several categories:

  • Governance and Administration
  • Assessment, Planning, Goals
  • Services Provided
  • Physical Resources
  • Human Resources
  • Occupational Health and Safety/Risk Management
  • Employee Training
  • External Relationships
As with the CFAI accreditation model, companies will need to satisfy Core Competencies and Performance Indicators within each of the broad categories in order to achieve accreditation. The first company to successfully meet the criteria for the new accreditation was USA Fire Protection of Lake Forest, Illinois. The company was recognized at the program launch event on August 15. The Residential Fire Sprinkler Contractor Accreditation Program is designed to assure homeowners, state and local regulators and advocates for fire sprinklers in single-family dwelling structures that installations are completed by competent, professional companies that provide adequate training for installers and ensure the quality of their work. CPSE’s partner organizations, NFSA and AFSA will provide training for installation contractors and plumbers to support the training requirements of the program. Contact the CPSE for more information. Application fee for the Residential Fire Sprinkler Contractor Accreditation Program is $750, paid in two installments, with an annual maintenance fee of $250 per year.   About the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) The CPSE is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 1996 to award accreditation to fire and emergency service agencies and to pursue scientific research and education in the public interest. The CPSE primary concentration is on its accreditation and credentialing models. The accreditation model identifies and maintains optimal levels of fire and emergency services for agencies. The credentialing model elevates and sustains the professional standards for those persons responsible for managing and delivering essential fire and emergency services. The Center for Public Safety Excellence conducts workshops and publishes materials specifically designed to achieve and maintain a continuous path for quality improvement for both fire-related agencies and personnel. CPSE’s Technical Advisor Program (TAP) helps the fire and emergency service community meet the new public expectations to achieve and measure standards of effectiveness for the cost and methods of delivering essential fire and emergency services.  
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2013-08-22T17:29:33-06:00August 22nd, 2013|0 Comments

10th Anniversary of Station Nightclub Fire and Status of Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act

A Joint Statement from the following organizations:

American Fire Sprinkler Association Common Voices Congressional Fire Services Institute Fire Team USA International Association of Arson Investigators International Association of Fire Chiefs International Code Council International Fire Service Training Association International Society of Fire Service Instructors National Association of State Fire Marshals National Fallen Firefighters Foundation National Fire Protection Association National Fire Sprinkler Association National Volunteer Fire Council North American Fire Training Directors

On January 26, the world watched a great tragedy unfold as 235 people were killed in a nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil. The United States fire service extends its deepest sympathies to the victims’ families as they cope with this tragic loss. The deaths of these individuals is made all the more tragic due to the preventable nature of their deaths, and further highlights the long overdue need for Congress to take substantive steps to encourage safer buildings and prevent future tragedies like this from occurring in the United States. [caption id="attachment_2805" align="alignright" width="346"] Memorials on the site of the Station nightclub fire, which killed 100 people on February 20, 2003.[/caption] The threat of fire spans all nations. The recent tragedy in Brazil immediately invokes memories of mass-fatality fires in the United States, such as the 2003 Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, which killed 100 occupants. As in Brazil, a simple fire sprinkler system could have drastically improved survivability rates for victims of the Station nightclub fire. As the nation mourned their loss in 2003, it watched as members of Congress introduced the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act to assist property owners in retrofitting their properties with fire sprinklers. Ten years later, Congress has failed to pass the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act. Since the Station nightclub fire and the original introduction of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, fires in the United States have killed nearly 30,000 people, injured almost 100,000, and caused countless billions of dollars in damage. The proven technology of fire sprinklers has continued to demonstrate increased survivability rates in fires of 86% and reduced damage rates by 69%. Every day, far too many people are dying preventable deaths in buildings that are not sprinklered. With the 10th anniversary of the Station nightclub fire on February 20, 2013, Congress can honor the memory of the Station nightclub fire victims by reintroducing and passing the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act and helping property owners make their buildings safer. There will be another dangerous fire in a crowded building, the only question is whether the people inside will have a chance to escape. Congress must lead the way for safer buildings in the United States by passing the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act.
The Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act would allow owners of small- and medium-sized properties to fully deduct the cost of a fire sprinkler system up to $125,000. Assuming a per square foot retrofit cost of $2.50 per square foot, this could cover a structure up to 50,000 square feet. This will allow coverage of a large majority of high-fire-risk properties such as off-campus housing, nightclubs, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The Act would also provide a financial incentive to high-rise building owners to install fire sprinkler systems by reducing the depreciation schedule from 39 and 27.5 years to 15 years. The reduction would put fire sprinkler improvements more in line with the current tax code that allows 15-year depreciation for leasehold improvements. In the United States, there are nearly 10,000 high-rise fires annually; they are some of the most deadly fires for civilians and firefighters. More information on the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act.

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2013-02-19T14:37:54-06:00February 19th, 2013|0 Comments

AFSA, NFSA, ICC & CPSE Sign Historical Agreement

[/caption] More than 3,000 people in the U.S. lose their lives each year to fires and 84% of those who die do so in their homes. While smoke alarms provide an early warning signal of smoke or fire, fire sprinklers respond to fires while they are still small, controlling the spread of deadly heat, flames and toxic smoke, as well as saving valuable property. The 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) provides a provision that requires newly constructed one- and two-family houses to include the installation of life-saving fire sprinkler systems, designed to dramatically reduce the number of injuries and deaths in the home caused by fires. To address the huge upswing in demand for professionals who are accredited to install residential fire sprinkler systems driven by these new regulations, the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE), International Code Council (ICC), National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), and American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding during Fire-Rescue International in Chicago on August 27, 2010, to jointly advance and promote the mutual interest of fire protection safety and accreditation. Supported by its partners, the CPSE will soon begin forming a technical committee with broad-based representation to develop the criteria and structure for an accreditation for professional dwelling fire sprinkler installers.  The successful work of this technical committee will lead to the creation of a new Commission for the Accreditation for Dwelling Fire Sprinkler Contractors. Using the CPSE accreditation model, many stakeholders will be brought together to form this new commission to jointly develop programs for accreditation, leveraging their collective knowledge, provisions and expertise. The timing of this agreement couldn’t be better: approved fire sprinkler systems will be required in all one- and two-family dwellings constructed after the 2009 IRC is adopted or on January 1, 2011, whichever is later. While there are professionals who are well trained to install commercial fire sprinklers, the demand for qualified residential fire sprinkler contractors is growing at a tremendous rate.  Given the dependence on the life-saving benefits of fire sprinklers in residential properties, it is imperative that there is a system to ensure quality installation. Once this program is launched, and the Commission has been formalized and becomes active, the Accredited Dwelling Fire Sprinkler Contractor program will not only provide the public a greater peace of mind but also local AHJs with the confidence that all dwelling fire sprinkler installations are performed by qualified companies.]]>

2010-09-27T08:59:13-06:00September 27th, 2010|0 Comments