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Fire Sprinkler System Prevents Significant Damage in Northwest Rockford Apartment Fire

On the afternoon of July 23, 2015, an electrical fire that ignited a mattress in a single apartment unit at Riverside Apartments in northwest Rockford was quickly controlled by the building’s fire sprinkler system. Fire officials say the quick response of the fire sprinkler system prevented major damage and any injuries or fatalities. “The fire sprinkler system performed its task with precision and prevented the fire from spreading to other apartment units and causing...
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Smoke Detectors & Sprinkler Systems: Protecting Lives and Property

An article in the July 2015 issue of The Chicagoland Cooperator dicusses the city of Chicago’s 2005 Life Safety Ordinance that requires all high-rises over 80 feet tall built before 1975 to be retrofitted with fire sprinkler systems. The article details buildings’ current compliance with the ordinance and features comments about the importance of fire sprinklers from Phil Zaleski, executive director of the nonprofit Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, and Tom Lia, executive director of...
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Peoria Home Fire Death Occurs One Week Ahead of Construction Commission’s Meeting on Home Fire Sprinklers

On the morning of June 11, a 54-year-old man died from a house fire in Peoria. The fatal fire occurred one week prior to the city’s Construction Commission meeting, which will be open for public comment on home fire sprinklers in the next building code update. The meeting is being held at City Hall at 2:00pm on June 17. “Yesterday’s fire was an unfortunate reminder of how susceptible people are to fire in their...
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June 22: Illinois Fire and Building Officials Day at NFPA Conference & Expo

June 22: Illinois Fire and Building Officials Day at NFPA Conference & Expo

On Monday, June 22, at the NFPA Conference & Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition will host a special event for Illinois fire and building officials. Please click here or on the image to download the PDF flyer and registration form. Be sure to REGISTER SEPARATELY to attend the NFPA General Session and Expo following the Illinois-only event.  
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President Obama Issues Proclamation Declaring May as Building Safety Month

President Obama Issues Proclamation Declaring May as Building Safety Month

  Each year, the International Code Council designates May as Building Safety Month and promotes weekly themes that encourage building code development and enforcement across the United States. The first week’s theme, “Don’t Get Burned – Build to Code,” directly ties into residential fire sprinklers being in the International Residential Code since its 2009 edition. This year, a presidential proclamation issued by U.S. President Barack Obama advocated adopting up-to-date model building codes as a...
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Congratulations to New Illinois Fire Inspectors Association Board Members

Congratulations to the new board members of the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association! (Left to right: )

Congratulations to the new board members of the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association: Mike Toika, Joseph Welter, Ed Dunne, Dan Riordan, Robert Morris, and Mike Schmitt!  
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Home Fire Sprinklers: A Status Update

Four years have passed since the January 1, 2011, effective date established by the International Residential Code (IRC) for newly constructed homes to have fire sprinkler systems, and while adoption of this requirement at the state and local level has trailed initial expectations, measurable progress has been and continues to be made. Two states, California and Maryland, plus the District of Columbia and many other jurisdictions have adopted the IRC requirement, and the state...
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Make a Convincing Case for Home Fire Sprinklers

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Click here or on the image for larger PDF
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Berwyn Fire Department’s Fire Sprinkler Advocacy Pays Off in Apartment Building Fire

Berwyn Fire Department’s Fire Sprinkler Advocacy Pays Off in Apartment Building Fire

By Fire Chief Denis O’Halloran and Battalion Chief Mario Manfredini, Berwyn Fire Department A cooperative effort between departments in Berwyn recently kept our residents safe, avoiding a total loss for a property owner and keeping a property on our tax rolls. As a preface to this story, Berwyn does NOT have any locally adopted fire sprinkler code. On April 23, 2011, a fire broke out in an unoccupied second-floor apartment of a three-story, 14-unit...
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New Lenox Fire Inspector Builds One of First Sprinklered Homes in Manhattan Fire Protection District

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On May 8, firefighters and building and elected officials gathered at 24113 South Clover Court in unincorporated Manhattan to see one of the first fire sprinkler-protected homes in the Manhattan Fire Protection District. The nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) hosted an open house at the new home of New Lenox Fire Inspector Dennis Randolph and his wife, Melinda, to educate local officials about the lifesaving value of home fire sprinklers.  ...
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Shane Ray Named President of National Fire Sprinkler Association

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At the National Fire Sprinkler Association‘s (NFSA) Annual Seminar from April 29 to May 2, the organization officially announced Shane Ray as its new president. He succeeds former NFSA president Russ Fleming. Ray rejoined the organization as executive vice president in mid-July 2014. He had previously been employed by the NFSA from 2006-2010 before leaving to serve as the South Carolina Fire Academy superintendent and then State Fire Marshal. He began his fire service...
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Highland Fire Department Spotlights First Fire Sprinkler-Protected Home in Lake County, Indiana

The first fire sprinklered home in Lake County, Indiana, in Highland.

On May 7, firefighters and building and elected officials gathered in Highland, Indiana, to see the first fire sprinkler-protected home in Lake County. The Highland Fire Department and nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) hosted the open house event to educate local officials about the lifesaving value of home fire sprinklers. Attendees took tours of the new home under construction to see what a fire sprinkler system looks like behind the walls...
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Chicago Firefighter Doubles as Homebuilder Who Embraces Fire Sprinklers

Sprinkler contractor Greg Lay (left) points out the fire sprinklers in the basement of the Fitzpatricks' new home as it is under construction.

One might expect to find Chicago Firefighter Kevin Fitzpatrick fighting fires on the roofs of residences, but he’s also been seen installing fire-treated plywood on the roofs of new homes. As owner of Wilmot Builders, Fitzpatrick recently assisted with the build of a new, sprinkler-protected home for his parents, John and Lynn Fitzpatrick, in Alsip. The single-family home is an outcome of the village’s sprinkler ordinance, which is in accordance with NFPA 13D. The...
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Fatal High-Rise Fire Occurred in Building That Passed Chicago’s Life Safety Evaluation

Late Saturday night, a 70-year-old man was killed in a fire at the unsprinklered, 21-story residential high-rise located at 300 South Damen in Chicago. The fire occurred while the man, who was using an oxygen tank, was in bed in his unit on the 11th floor of West Point Plaza. Other residents on the floor were displaced due to the fire. According to the city of Chicago’s Data Portal website, the high-rise building was...
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Fire in John Hancock Center Condo Shows Stark Contrast in Fire Protection Between Residential and Commercial Occupancies

On the night of February 26, a fire occurred in an unsprinklered condo on the 87th floor of the John Hancock Center high-rise in Chicago. Chicago code does not require the condo units to have fire sprinklers even though the commercial occupancies within the same high-rise must be protected with fire sprinklers. “Fortunately, no one was injured. But why is more value placed on the lives of the individuals working in the high-rise than...
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Fire in Chicago’s Erie on the Park High-Rise Contained by Fire Sprinkler System

On the night of February 23, a fire was contained to a single condo unit by a fire sprinkler system on the 14th floor of the Erie on the Park high-rise in Chicago. The information was obtained through an email sent to the residents by the property manager of the 24-story, 125-unit condo building at 510 West Erie Street. The building was required by the city to install fire sprinklers when it was completed...
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It Takes Two: Smoke Alarms and Fire Sprinklers in Public Education Outreach

Fire Inspector Pat Collier displays a fire sprinkler and smoke detector at the scene of a fire in the Orland Fire Protection District.

“This smoke alarm could have prevented this fire death,” said past fire chiefs as they held up the fire safety device for reporters. When fire officials make such powerful statements immediately following a major fire, especially if an occupant suffered a burn injury or was killed, they get the full attention of the public. Of course, the important role smoke alarms play in notifying people of a growing fire is a well-used message in...
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Park Ridge Home and Homeowners Saved by Fire Sprinkler System

On the morning of February 21, two fire sprinklers quickly extinguished a flash fire at a single-family home in Park Ridge. According to Park Ridge Fire Marshal Kevin Plach, the home’s fire sprinkler system prevented an estimated $80,000 in property damage. “There were 105 residential fire deaths in Illinois in 2014, and there already have been 14 residential fire deaths this year. Fortunately, this fire will not add to that list thanks to the...
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Fire Sprinkler Controls Fire at Skilled Nursing Facility in Des Plaines, Proving Value of Federal Rule

On February 19, a single fire sprinkler controlled a mattress fire at Ballard Rehabilitation, a skilled nursing facility at 9300 Ballard Road in Des Plaines, until North Maine Fire Protection District crews provided final extinguishment. The fire sprinkler system contained the fire to a single room on the second floor and prevented major damage and possible deaths, thereby validating the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to require fire sprinklers in all...
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Illinois Residential Fire Deaths Increased in 2014; Fire Safety Advocates Say Fire Sprinklers Needed in New Homes

Illinois Residential Fire Deaths Increased in 2014; Fire Safety Advocates Say Fire Sprinklers Needed in New Homes

Last year, Illinois experienced 104 civilian residential fire deaths. According to the United States Fire Administration, this was an increase of over 9 percent from both 2012 and 2013. Also, 2015 is off to a poor start with eight deaths to date. Fire safety advocates say there’s already a solution to preventing residential fire deaths. “Our state continues to average 100 civilian fire deaths each year, but the reality is that fire sprinklers can...
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Successful Activations (Spring 2015 Edition)

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Download a sprinkler save report to record your fire department’s latest successful fire sprinkler activations.   May 2015   Rosati’s Pizza Naperville Fire Department Two fire sprinklers in the strip mall pizza business controlled a fire, which began in one of the commercial cooking appliances, until fire department companies arrived on scene. The adjacent businesses were not affected.  There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. Naperville Fire Department news release   April 2015...
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Illinois Sprinkler Advocate Featured in NFPA Journal

Illinois Sprinkler Advocate Featured in NFPA Journal

The November/December issue of NFPA Journal features an article titled, “Movers, Shakers, Advocates.” It describes the home fire sprinkler advocacy efforts of four advocates. One of those advocates is Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board Executive Director Tom Lia. “A tide of support for home fire sprinklers is spreading across the United States, initiated by a growing number of sprinkler advocates from a range of backgrounds. Fire service members, burn survivors, municipal water officials...
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New & Improved Advocacy Section on NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative Website

New & Improved Advocacy Section on NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative Website

The new “Advocacy Tools” section on the National Fire Protection Association‘s (NFPA) “Fire Sprinkler Initiative” website is now the go-to place for free materials and resources that help make an effective case for home fire sprinklers. This section is where you will find an array of shareable videos, case studies, and fact sheets that underscore fire at its worst and sprinklers at their best. Also worth noting in this section is the new “Advocacy...
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Research: Today’s Homes Burning Faster

Research: Today’s Homes Burning Faster

The latest fire tests and research from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) indicate that home fires are burning faster and hotter than fires of the past — a growing issue for responding firefighters. While new homes have many advantages, they also present many unique fire hazards. According to the research, lightweight materials that are present in newer homes, such as engineered floor systems, along with open construction...
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Jan. 23: Code Officials Guide to Medical Cannabis Facilities

Jan. 23: Code Officials Guide to Medical Cannabis Facilities


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