Another Successful Residential Fire Sprinkler Summit in the Books

[/caption] On June 3, the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association (IFIA) and the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) hosted their ninth residential fire sprinkler summit in the last 10 years. This year’s summit was made possible by joining efforts with a FEMA grant-funded class and program from the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) titled, “A Guide to Implementing a Residential Sprinkler Requirement,” and presented by Lane Wintermute, Field Director for the Residential Fire Safety Institute (RFSI). [caption id="attachment_986" align="alignright" width="305" caption="Maria Figueroa, NFPA Regional Fire Prevention Director, spoke about the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative during the event and also displayed the "Faces of Fire" campaign in the exhibits area."] [/caption] The summit also featured speakers from various local and national fire industry organizations including Cecil Bilbo, National Fire Academy; Maria Figueroa, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); Alden Spencer, Tyco; Paul Valentine, Nexus Engineering; and Tom Lia, NIFSAB. Speakers explained the specifications of true NFPA 13D fire sprinkler systems and detailed the 13D code itself. They also spoke of the importance of utilizing educational resources and information about residential fire sprinklers from existing organizations [caption id="attachment_988" align="alignright" width="305" caption=" Wilmette is recognized by the IFIA for passing a residential fire sprinkler ordinance in 2010. (Pictured left to right: IFIA co-Director Robert Morris; Addison Fire Chief Don Markowski; Wilmette Fire Chief James Dominik; Wilmette Deputy Chief Mike McGreal; and IFIA President Rick Marek.)"][/caption] such as the NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and others. Additionally, NIFSAB heralded the efforts of local municipalities and fire protection districts by recognizing those that recently passed residential fire sprinkler requirements in the last three years.

Among the 175 attendees and participants, approximately 62 fire departments/districts, 18 municipal building departments, nine fire-related associations, eight fire protection consultants, nine fire sprinkler contractor companies, and eight supplier-vendor companies were represented. [caption id="attachment_998" align="alignright" width="305" caption="Past IFIA presidents honor current IFIA President George Michehl."][/caption] According to Tom Lia, executive director of NIFSAB, notable individuals attending the event included Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) Executive Director Robert Buhs, and Fire Chief Don Markowski on the hosting Addison Fire Protection District. Members of the IFIA Executive Board also attended: Executive Director George Michehl, new co-Directors Robert Morris and Mike Schmitt, President Rick Marek, Secretary Joey Jeraminas, and Treasurer Greg Daily. [caption id="attachment_1082" align="alignright" width="305" caption="Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis presents at the summit."][/caption]

“For all those involved, we are honored and appreciative to NASFM President Jim Narva for designating Illinois as one of the 10 recipients of the FEMA grant,” states Lia. “The fire sprinkler summit would not have been possible without the grant-funded program. Additionally, the joint effort with NASFM allowed for more educational benefits than we have ever offered before at any of our summits.”

[caption id="attachment_991" align="aligncenter" width="576" caption="Fire service officials view one of the fire sprinkler demonstration trailers at the summit. (Pictured left to right: retired Long Grove Fire Chief Dave Grupp; Countryside Fire Marshal Mike McNally; Countryside Firemedic/Inspector George Tejcek; Countryside Lieutenant/Inspector Ron Cielek; Paul Valentine, senior engineer for Nexus Engineering; and Tom Lia, executive director for NIFSAB."][/caption]

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2011-06-21T16:22:03-06:00June 21st, 2011|0 Comments

New Guide Helps Jurisdictions Implement Residential Fire Sprinkler Requirements

Fire officials across the country are adopting residential fire sprinkler requirements, but what happens after a jurisdiction adopts a model code or ordinance? Addressing this challenge is the mission of a grant-funded guide and workshops developed by the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation (NASFM Foundation) and the Residential Fire Safety Institute (RFSI). The comprehensive guide, entitled “Bridging the Gap: A Guide to Implementing a Residential Sprinkler Requirement,” has been developed to help jurisdictions answer the question, “We have established a residential fire sprinkler requirement – now what?” The guide addresses the planning, management and administration of residential fire sprinkler requirements after they have been established in a community. The guide provides information regarding policy issues, stakeholder involvement and critical decision points. Also provided is detailed information on incentives that can be offered to builders, developers and home owners; extensive links to best practices from jurisdictions around the country that have successfully carried out residential sprinkler requirements; and sample checklists and other model documents that will be helpful in the implementation process. “Excellent guidance is available from other sources on how to actually get a residential fire sprinkler requirement passed,” said Lane Wintermute, RFSI Field Director. “The ‘Bridging the Gap’ guide is designed to complement and provide follow up to those efforts by taking jurisdictions the next few steps – showing them how to effectively manage the plans review, inspection, installation and approval process that is critical to assuring a properly operating systems when a fire occurs.” Chief Alan Shuman, NASFM Foundation President and Georgia State Fire Marshal, adds, “There is no reason for a community to ‘reinvent the wheel’ when it comes to implementing a residential fire sprinkler ordinance.  The ‘Bridging the Gap’ guide contains models and best practices from jurisdictions that have worked through these issues and are willing to share what they have learned with others.” The development of the guidebook and a series of 10 workshops to introduce it to the fire service in the first half of 2011 were funded with a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Prevention & Safety Grants Program. About the Residential Fire Safety Institute RFSI, formerly known as Operation Life Safety, was created in 1982 as a public interest group to promote fire-safe homes through built-in fire protection and fire safety education. RFSI’s activities include a newsletter, website, educational resources and technical assistance to fire departments, local and state governments on programs that involve residential fire sprinklers, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, and other early warning equipment. About the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation The National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation (NASFM Foundation), a 501(c)(3) organization, works with companies, government agencies, associations, academic institutions and others that strive to achieve higher levels of fire safety for consumers and for the emergency response community. The NASFM Foundation is managed by the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), whose members are the senior fire officials and their chief deputies in the 50 US States and the District of Columbia. NASFM’s primary mission is to protect life, property and the environment from fire and related hazards.]]>

2011-03-22T20:07:58-06:00March 22nd, 2011|0 Comments