The Missouri Fire Sprinkler Coalition held their first annual Fire Sprinkler Summit at the Holiday Inn East in Columbia, Missouri on Tuesday March 10, 2015. Missouri is one of 22 states to have a Fire Sprinkler Coalition.
Coalition Chairman, Cape Girardeau Fire Chief Rick Ennis, welcomed over 50 attendees to the inaugural summit and provided an overview of the Coalition. NFPA Specialist Matt Klaus spoke on the requirements of NFPA 13D and how it differed from other NFPA Fire Sprinkler standards.
Emily Wineland with the HBA talked about the economic impact residential fire sprinklers would have on the house builders.
Peg Paul with the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition spoke about education and advocacy to promote home fire sprinklers. HFSC provides educational resources at no cost. She also spoke about the Phoenix Society and how they provide assistance to burn survivors.
Tom Lia with the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board discussed building partnerships and coalitions to promote residential fire sprinklers. Tom has had great success in the Chicago area getting communities to adopt legislation requiring fire sprinklers. Many communities require fire sprinklers in all new construction.
After lunch, the Columbia, MO Fire Department provided a live side-by-side sprinkler burn demonstration. The demonstration clearly shows the effectiveness of fire sprinklers.
An overview of three fires in Missouri was given. Two had positive outcomes. Chief Ennis spoke of a Sprinkler Save in a Group Home in Cape Girardeau. Kansas City Fire Marshal Floyd People’s chronicled a civilian fire death in a single family residence. A Fire Captain was injured trying to rescue the victim. Eureka Fire Protection District Chief Greg Brown detailed a Fire Sprinkler Save that occurred on New Year’s Day 2015. Six lives were saved. The save did not generate news media coverage because no lives were lost.
Chief Ennis stressed the role of fire sprinklers in providing both civilian and firefighter safety. His presentation provided statistics and direction on where we need to go. The Summit concluded with a panel discussion on how to move forward with fire sprinkler promotion.