Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Awarded Federal Funding to Expand National Education Program for Home Builders

March, 17, 2005 - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office for Domestic Preparedness has awarded the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) a 2004 Fire Prevention and Safety Grant to expand the Coalition's "Built for Life" program. The national strategy aims to reduce home fire injuries and deaths by increasing the use of residential fire sprinklers.

Combined with HFSC's matching funds, the "Built for Life" program will invest nearly $575,000 in the coming year to educate home builders and designers about the importance of installing residential fire sprinkler systems in new construction. This phase of "Built for Life" pays particular attention to homeowners age 50 and over and homebuilders in the "active adult" market. The 50+ age group is a crucial audience because they are often the simultaneous caregivers of children and older adults, two very high fire-risk age groups.

"Built for Life" will also introduce a new educational component, known as "Living with Sprinklers." By distributing informative video and print materials, HFSC will educate prospective homeowners about the simplicity of maintaining a fire sprinkler system. The "Living with Sprinklers" tools will also be made available for use as "leave behind" materials to ensure proper maintenance and continuous operation of home systems.

Through wider distribution of its free "Built for Life" educational kit, HFSC will reach more of the tens of thousands of contractors and developers who build homes in the U.S. The kit helps counter stubborn and damaging myths, generates heightened interest in trade ups and other financial incentives, and informs about the greater marketability of sprinklered homes.

"We believe that with every addition of a sprinklered home, there is the very real expectation of saving lives of both residents and firefighters," says HFSC Chair Gary Keith. "Thanks to continued federal support, the 'Built for Life' program is providing sustained education to bolster the budding demand for new home sprinkler systems."

HFSC's Web site (www.homefiresprinkler.org) contains detailed information about the "Built for Life" program and kit and residential sprinkler systems in general. The site is organized into three easy-to-navigate user groups: the public, home builders and the fire service.

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition mission is to increase awareness of the life- and property-saving benefits of fire sprinkler systems in homes. Since 1996, HFSC has worked collaboratively with local, state and national groups, designing and distributing timely, useful and accurate educational materials which fill voids or harmonize with programs and materials already in use. For more information about residential sprinkler systems and home installations, or to receive a free "Built for Life" kit, call the HFSC toll-free (888) 635-7222 or visit the Coalition's Web site at www.homefiresprinkler.org.