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Ring in the new year with a bang, not a ban

Ring in the new year with a bang, not a ban

As we approach the start of a new year, it’s worth taking stock of what we might do better. In many ways, the past year was marked by unprecedented division, including in local and regional sprinkler codes. As the map here shows, some states had great success (brown) and were able to pass lifesaving fire sprinkler codes. But others’ worthy efforts were hampered by anti-sprinkler-code forces (orange). Why are sprinkler advocates in half the...
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105 Fire Safety Communities in Illinois – Is Yours One of Them?

105 Fire Safety Communities in Illinois – Is Yours One of Them?

Congratulations to the following municipalities. They are among the 105 communities in northeastern Illinois that have already followed the recommendations made by FEMA and NFPA by adopting residential fire sprinkler ordinances for new single-family homes. Residential fire sprinklers save lives. Is Yours one of them? See complete list.  
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Successful Activations (December 2018 Edition)

Successful Activations (December 2018 Edition)

DECEMBER 2018 Sprinklers help control mattress factory fire Chicago, IL (December 9, 2018) – No one was injured in a fire that broke out at a mattress factory in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago. The fire quickly spread through the warehouse, but the fire was contained by water from both the activated sprinkler system from inside the building and from the firefighters trying to combat the flames. The cause of the fire...
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The Most Progressive Communities Fire Sprinkler Thresholds Rankings

The Most Progressive Communities Fire Sprinkler Thresholds Rankings

These Illinois municipalities are the most progressive communities with the following fire sprinkler threshold rankings: City Square Foot List 13D Ordinance List of Towns   104 towns with NFPA 13D (yellow shade in the “City Square Foot List” file) means that this town also protects all new single-family and single-family attached townhomes with residential fire sprinklers. They are among the 106 communities in Illinois that have already followed the recommendations made by FEMA and...
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Five Illinois Towns Adopted Codes that Require Fire Sprinklers in New Single-Family Homes

Waucaonda, Palatine, Elk Grove Village, the City of Rock Island and Lake Forest upgraded their codes or passed ordinances during 2018 requiring fire sprinklers in all new construciton homes. That brings the list of towns and districts with NFPA 13D requirement to 105. According to the NFPA, a house fire can become deadly in less than two minutes. With the growing concern for firefighter health, safety and exposure to contaminants that result from fires,...
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Protect Your Community From Fire and Floods

Adopt the latest model building and fire codes, which include fire sprinkler requirements for homes and businesses. Removing fire sprinkler sections from the model codes has unintended consequences: WEAKENED ISO RATING and REDUCED FLOOR DAMAGE REIMBURSEMENT. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will not reimburse your citizens at 100% if you adopt a model code with sections of the code deleted. Protect your community from fires and floods. Adopt the latest national code, including the fire sprinkler requirement,...
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Fifty Single-Family Homes Retrofitted with Home Fire Sprinklers When Converted to Student Housing

Fifty Single-Family Homes Retrofitted with Home Fire Sprinklers When Converted to Student Housing

Fifty single-family homes converted to student dwellings, located just off the Lindenwood University’s Belleville, Illinois campus, have been retrofitted with home fire sprinklers. Belleville Fire Department assistant chief, JP Penet, stated “the ‘change of use’ from private homes to university-owned student dwellings triggered the installation of fire sprinklers, in order to comply with Illinois’ adoption of the 2000 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code. Fire sprinkler system installation followed NFPA 13D, with guidelines specific to...
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Be In The Know: NIFSAB References

Be In The Know: NIFSAB References

Fire sprinklers are the single most effective way to protect occupants and first responders from fires. They are each individually activated by the heat from a fire, preventing flames and toxic smoke from spreading. NIFSAB’s FREE resources can be used as part of your education and outreach, to promote proper inspection, testing and maintenance and answer questions about sprinklers in single-family homes, apartments and high-rise builders.   Fire Sprinkler Testing Website: https://firesprinklertesting.org/ Regular Fire Sprinkler...
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Fire Sprinkler Prevents Flash From Grease Fire From Spreading in Long Grove Restaurant

A fire sprinkler stopped a fireball caused by a grease fryer in a Long Grove restaurant. The cook was moving the fryer to change the oil when the flash occurred. The cook was burned from the flash fire. Heat from fire actived the sprinkler allowing the cook to escape from the kitchen. The sprinkler prevented the fire from spreading throughout the restaurant. According to Michael Schmitt, fire marshal, Long Grove Fire Prevention Bureau, the...
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Ford City Furniture Store Fire – 20 Fire Sprinklers Saved Building

Chicago, IL (November 23, 2018) – Black Friday Fire at Furniture Store in Ford City Mike Willis a Local 281 Fire Sprinkler fitter said this fire was the “Biggest one I’ve been on. 20 heads fused. 2 separate fire areas. Changed out 20 fire sprinklers tonight to get them back in service. Clean up crew is working hard to move product around and we are coming back to get a better look at the...
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WGN Radio’s Lou Manfredini Interviews Bryan LaRoche from Sprinkler Fitters Local 281

WGN Radio’s Lou Manfredini Interviews Bryan LaRoche from Sprinkler Fitters Local 281

On Saturday, November 17 at 8:35 a.m., Bryan LaRoche, Director of Training with Sprinkler Fitters Union 281, was featured on the Lou Manfredini HouseSmarts Radio Show on WGN 720AM. Listen to the 8-minute interview below.    
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2018 – Thanksgiving Save at Orland Park Patio Restaurant Fire

Two Fire Sprinklers Saved the Patio from Major Damage November 22, 2018 Orland Park – According to the Orland Fire Protection District, early Thanksgiving morning a fire was subdued by two fire sprinklers and then the brave firefighters of the Fire Protection District finished the job.  According to Fire Chief Michael Schofield “The Sprinkler System saved the Patio Restaurant early this morning, 2 heads held the fire in check while Engine 2 extinguished the...
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Fire Departments Teach about Fire Prevention by Setting Fires

Fire Departments Teach about Fire Prevention by Setting Fires

Orland Park, IL (October 2, 2018) – The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) is assisting local fire departments in conducting live burn demonstrations to educate the public about how quickly fires can become deadly, as well as the important life- and property-saving benefits of fire sprinklers. The demonstrations provide a side-by-side comparison with two similarly furnished rooms — only one with a fire sprinkler installed in the room. Audiences will be able...
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Fire Prevention Week 2018

ARE YOU READY FOR FIRE PREVENTION WEEK? October 7 – 13, 2018 Include a live side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstration as the grand finale! The following public messages can be utilized: Call 9-1-1 for emergencies Use of an escape plan and meeting place The importance of smoke alarms The speed of flashover The quick response and cooling action of fire sprinklers Fire department response timeline The time to make a decision on reserving a side-by-side...
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Successful Activations (Fall 2018 Edition)

Successful Activations (Fall 2018 Edition)

NOVEMBER 2018 Sprinklers save billions of dollars in product from going up in flames CHICAGO, IL (November 23, 2018) —A fire broke out in a large furniture warehouse in the Ford City neighborhood of Chicago during the early hours of Black Friday. Fire crews responded to United Furniture and discovered several couches on fire. The sprinkler system, where 20 heads fused, extinguished the flames, according to officials. More than 50 employees were evacuated but...
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Girls learn life-saving role of fire sprinklers at Plainfield Firefighter Camp

Girls learn life-saving role of fire sprinklers at Plainfield Firefighter Camp

Plainfield, IL – Twenty girls, ages 11-15, had the experience of a lifetime when they participated in a firefighter/paramedic camp sponsored by the Plainfield Fire Protection District this summer. Offered for the first time, this three-day camp provided an opportunity to learn about the Plainfield fire service and possible future careers.  Plainfield Fire Marshal Mary Ludemann ran the camp.  Activities included putting on 20 pounds of regulation firefighter gear, learning procedures for a rescue...
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Deadly Apartment Fire That Killed Eight People Raises Questions About Chicago’s Fire Codes

Deadly Apartment Fire That Killed Eight People Raises Questions About Chicago’s Fire Codes

Orland Park, IL (August 26, 2018) – A deadly fire in a three-story apartment building killed six children and two adults in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood early this morning. It stands as a reminder of the importance of working smoke alarms and fire sprinklers and their important role in today’s building codes. Building codes require new apartments over 30 feet must be protected with fire sprinklers. Chicago’s current code requires sprinklers in new high...
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Long Grove First Village to Pass a Home Fire Sprinkler Ordinance in Illinois 30 Years Ago

Long Grove First Village to Pass a Home Fire Sprinkler  Ordinance in Illinois 30 Years Ago

When Dave Grupp was fire chief of the Long Grove Fire Protection District 30 years ago, he had a vision; to protect all new homes with automatic home fire sprinklers. Working closely with stakeholders and elected officials, Long Grove was the first village in Illinois to pass a home fire sprinkler ordinance on April 11, 1988. Last May, the now retired Chief Grupp was recognized at the first ever Home Fire Sprinkler Day event...
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NFSA Offers Complimentary Subscriber Membership for Remainder of 2018

NFSA Offers Complimentary Subscriber Membership for Remainder of 2018

The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) is offering all code officials a complimentary subscriber membership for the remainder of 2018. NFSA is the premier resource for fire sprinkler training and education. The subscriber membership includes full access to NFSA benefits including a digital copy of “National Fire Sprinkler Magazine;” the ability to search the archives for previous articles, white papers, and TechNotes; product advisory and recalls for sprinkler-related manufacturers; voting guidance on current NFPA...
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New Series of ITM Inspection Testing & Maintenance Videos Now Available Online

New Series of ITM Inspection Testing & Maintenance Videos Now Available Online

A series of Inspection Testing & Maintenance (ITM) videos is available for AHJs, members of the fire service and building owners and managers.   The videos cover topics including a description of NFPA 25, a Guide for Building Owners and Managers with basic information about why ITM is vital to building safety. The series also includes short videos for various systems tests. For more information, visit: FireSprinklerTesting.org and click on “View Videos.” The series touches...
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Warrenville Apartment Fire Displaces Residents

Warrenville Apartment Fire Displaces Residents

Warrenville, IL (July 29) —A fire displaced residents and left an apartment building uninhabitable on Sunday, July 29. The Warrenville Fire Protection District were called to the scene after reports of heavy flames and smoke were coming from the first floor of building located at 29 W 542 Country Ridge Drive, Warrenville. The residents of the six-unit building were evacuated, and the fire was under control within 30 minutes. One of the units had...
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It’s Time to Retire Grandfather Clauses

It’s Time to Retire Grandfather Clauses

Orland Park, (July 20, 2018) – The massive, fast-moving fire in Prospect Heights on July 18th that spread to three buildings and left more than 100 families displaced stands as a convincing reminder of the value of fire sprinklers and their important role in today’s codes. The buildings were not protected with fire sprinklers because they were built before codes required them and were therefore “grandfathered”. If fire sprinklers had been installed in the...
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Successful Activations (Summer 2018 Edition)

Successful Activations (Summer 2018 Edition)

August 2018 Sprinklers Extinguish Fire at Chicago Public School CHICAGO, IL (August 18, 2018) – A fire broke out on the third floor of Burley Elementary School located in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Upon arrival, the Chicago Fire Department reported the fire alarms were activated, and the school’s sprinkler system extinguished the fire. An initial investigation appeared to be spontaneous combustion, which originated from rags that had been used for staining, according to the CFD....
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Woman’s death after jumping from a burning building a tragic reminder that all apartment buildings should be protected with fire sprinklers

Woman’s death after jumping from a burning building a tragic reminder that all apartment buildings should be protected with fire sprinklers

CHICAGO, IL (June 5, 2018) – A 51-year-old woman died after jumping from a front window of a four-story apartment building in Rogers Park earlier this week. Forty people, including a dozen children, lost their homes and all of their belongings. In Chicago, fire sprinklers are required in all high-rise buildings built after 1975. Since this building was four stories, it is not considered a high-rise. According to Chicago code, if it were built...
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Illinois Communities and Retired Fire Chief Recognized during First Ever Home Fire Sprinkler Day

Illinois Communities and Retired Fire Chief Recognized during First Ever Home Fire Sprinkler Day

BARRINGTON, IL (May 19, 2018) – More than 100 Illinois communities that adopted ordinances requiring home fire sprinklers in all new homes were recognized at the first ever Home Fire Sprinkler Day held at the Barrington Countryside Fire station. Dave Grupp, former Long Grove fire chief, also was recognized for passing the first home fire sprinkler ordinance in Illinois in 1988. The Illinois event was one of 50 held across the U.S. and Canada. The...
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