Residential Fire Sprinklers…A Step-By-Step Approach for Communities (Second Edition) – National Fire Sprinkler Association and International Association of Fire Chiefs – has developed and published a comprehensive  guide  for all stakeholders, from the citizen to the fire chief and from the homebuilder to the elected official, with an interest in improving fire protection in their community. There are a lot of great examples of communities who have been successful in adopting fire sprinkler requirements; this guide expresses some of their tactics to success.

The Guide has been developed by the National Fire Sprinkler Association in cooperation with the International Association of Fire Chiefs to assist you as a local Authority Having Jurisdiction and/or as a community advocate. You can meet the challenge and minimize the loss of life and property to fire in your community through the planning and implementation of a comprehensive residential fire sprinkler program.

The Guide essentially consists of six sections intended to systematically support the process of developing, adopting, and defending a residential fire sprinkler requirements.

  • Section 1 – Policy Decision: Are You Ready?
  • Section 2 – Building Partnerships: Mobilizing the Stakeholders
  • Section 3 – Planning and Research: Choosing the Path
  • Section 4 – Presentation and Adoption: Making it Happen
  • Section 5 – Customer Service and Support
  • Section 6 – Never Let Your Guard Down

While these sections focus on the residential dwelling segment of the current fire sprinkler market and technology, the concepts described in each of these sections may be found to be helpful in addressing similar issues with other types of occupancies for which fire sprinkler ordinances are appropriate. The most effective means of reducing community risk is achieved when current fire and building codes are adopted and enforced as well as all buildings, residential included, are protected with fire sprinklers.

 The Guide will also discuss the collection and use of statistical data and show how it can be used effectively to reflect issues specific to your community. The outline, which helps to focus on the use of a Blue-Ribbon Task Force (working group),may be useful in opening lines of communication between the agency and its “stakeholders” and “unexpected messengers” who will be impacted by the adoption of the residential fire sprinkler requirements. These types of working groups can often resolve problems before they become a political issue.

And finally, the Guide defines some materials that should be obtained, so that the information collected can be “user friendly” and effective throughout the process. Also incorporated in this Guide is a list of other resources, which may be helpful in the planning, research, analysis, or other phases of the process. The National Fire Sprinkler Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and their staff and membership stand united and committed to assisting you in this undertaking.

The resources referenced in the guide are as comprehensive as exists when it comes to fire sprinklers in all new construction, especially residential fire sprinklers. With a majority of the fire deaths in the United States occurring in residential buildings, and billions of dollars in fire loss attributed to the direct and indirect costs associated with residential fires, it is time for state and local fire and building officials to seek the solutions to this national tragedy.

The people who use this guide will play different roles in the process to improve quality of life in the community through fire protection improvements. The amount of time spent to ensure a safer future for the community will vary depending on the role in the community. The authors strongly recommend that regardless of the role, everyone involved should make the commitment to read this guide as a minimum. Each section of this guide contains information important to each stakeholder in the process. As you read through it, pay particular attention to the parts directly related to your role, also look for the other perspectives in relation to yours. Taking this action will help to ensure the outcome focuses on the citizen and the quality of life of the community.

You can find a wealth of reference and technical information at the National Fire Sprinkler Association web site HERE and download the Residential Fire Sprinklers…A Step-By-Step Approach for Communities (Second Edition) Guide HERE

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