In fact, how many fire chiefs even use firefighter safety as a primary reason to strengthen fire sprinkler codes? Once the ordinance is approved, is credit given to elected officials who had the courage to "stand up for fire safety"? Illinois is evolving into a very aggressive Midwest fire sprinkler state. There are 65 political entities with a zero square footage sprinkler or zero fire tolerance requirement and 44 entities with a residential sprinkler ordinance. This is a great start! The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board frequently recognizes elected officials who have had the courage to stand up to developers and opponents of sprinklers. Recognition ads are placed in municipal trade journals read by their peers. Does your fire department administration recognize elected officials for taking a tough stand for stricter sprinkler codes? Does your firefighters union support and advocate Sprinklers = Firefighter Safety?
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation recognized the need to do more to prevent line of duty deaths and launched a national initiative. The initiative focus is on prevention through 16 life safety initiatives. One of those initiatives is "Strengthen advocacy for the enforcement of codes and the installation of automatic sprinklers". As we mourn the loss of fellow firefighters in South Carolina, take a strong stand for firefighter safety and reduce the likelihood of this re-occurring by passing stricter fire sprinkler ordinances.
It is simple...Sprinklers = Firefighter Safety!