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New Video Educates Real Estate Agents About Home Fire Sprinklers


The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) recently developed a new video to educate real estate agents about selling homes protected with fire sprinklers. The video features HFSC spokesperson Tom Clark and REALTOR® Litsa Lekatsos, who lives in a home protected with fire sprinklers in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and markets fire sprinkler-protected homes to consumers. The video teaches real estate agents about how home fire sprinklers work and points out selling points and benefits related...
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NFPA President James Shannon Retires

NFPA President James Shannon (top) will be succeeded by Jim Pauley (bottom).

This July, long-time National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) President James M. Shannon retired from his position after an incredibly successful career. Shannon served as the NFPA president since 2002, but had been with the organization for 23 years total. He joined NFPA as vice president and general counsel in 1991 after previously serving as a member of Congress representing Massachusetts and as Massachusetts Attorney General. Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire...
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Bob Buhs Retires from Illinois Fire Chiefs Association

Bob Buhs

After 11 years of serving as the executive director of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA), Bob Buhs stepped down from his position effective August 1. Buhs has served on the organization since 1988 having held various executive board positions including two years as president of the board. “Former IFCA Executive Director Jerry Burke brought the association up to a more professional level, but Bob took it from there and elevated it to a...
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Fire Sprinkler Ordinances: An Important Lesson in Grassroots Efforts

Courtesy of NFPA’s “Fire Sprinkler Initiative” blog: This may come as a surprise to fire sprinkler opponents, but the website Grassroots Change has named the home fire sprinkler movement “one of the most successful public safety efforts” in America within the past three decades. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Public Health, this grassroots movement has successfully promoted more than 360 local ordinances mandating fire sprinklers in all new residential construction,...
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New Study Shows Homeowners Prefer Homes Protected with Fire Sprinklers


In a new national Harris Poll survey conducted on behalf of the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), 74% of U.S. homeowners said they would be more likely to buy a home with fire sprinklers than one without. Seven in 10 said a sprinklered house has more value and nearly 8 in 10 (78%) said fire sprinklers provide the ultimate protection for residents. Updating the national benchmark study previously commissioned by HFSC, this 2014...
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Successful Activations (April-August 2014 Edition)

Successful Activations (April-August 2014 Edition)

Download a sprinkler save report to record your fire department’s latest successful fire sprinkler activations.   June 2014   Grimm Metal Fabricators Lombard Fire Department The fire sprinkler system in the building controlled an early morning fire in the rear portion of the warehouse. No one was in the building at the time. Damage to the building and its contents was only about $10,000. “Basically the sprinkler system kept it in check,” said Assistant...
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Illinois Burn Prevention Golf Outing Raises More Than $84,000 for Charities


More than $84,000 was raised for burn-injury survivors at the Illinois Burn Prevention Association’s (IBPA) 19th Annual Burn Prevention Golf Invitational on June 3rd at Willow Crest Golf Club at the Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oak Brook. One hundred and thirty-four golfers participated in the event. Money raised from the event was donated to the following organizations: $20,000 to Illinois Fire Safety Alliance’s “Camp I Am Me” camp for burn-injured children (accepted by...
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Call for Nominations: “Bringing Safety Home” Award


The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and the National Fire Protection Association‘s (NFPA) Fire Sprinkler Initiative are teaming up with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to present a national award that recognizes the outstanding local efforts of a fire chief who has worked to increase the installation of residential fire sprinkler systems in his or her service area. HFSC and NFPA will jointly present the “Bringing Safety Home” Award during the IAFC’s...
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Mokena Fire Deaths Highlight Recent Omission of Home Fire Sprinklers from Will County Building Code


In the early morning on June 11, a fire tore through a home in an unincorporated area of southwest suburban Mokena, killing an elderly couple before they were able to escape their home. In addition, a Mokena police officer was treated for smoke inhalation after trying to rescue the occupants. Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, says the elderly victims fell in the high-risk category for fire...
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Fire Sprinklers Prove Their Lifesaving Value in Chicago Area High-Rise Fires

A single fire sprinkler prevented major damage from a fire in a Hinsdale high-rise building.

On Wednesday, May 7, a single fire sprinkler extinguished a kitchen fire in the Spinning Wheel Apartments high-rise building in Hinsdale. The fire occurred on the sixth floor of the 17-story building when a frying pan was left on the stove while the stove was left in the “on” position. According to Tim McElroy, assistant chief of the Hinsdale Fire Department, the fire sprinkler system allowed the woman and young child to escape safely...
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Gregg Huennekens Receives 2014 Golden Sprinkler Award from NFSA


Gregg Huennekens, CEO of USA Fire Protection, Lake Forest, received the Golden Sprinkler Award, the highest honor awarded by the National Fire Sprinkler Association at its Annual Meeting in May. The Golden Sprinkler Award recognizes individuals for their dedication to NFSA and the entire fire sprinkler industry. Huennekens has been involved with the NFSA for more than 25 years, participating on the board of directors at every level including two terms as chair. For...
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Fire Sprinkler Prevents Significant Damage from Automobile Fire at Chicago High-Rise


Early in the morning on May 8, the Chicago Fire Department reported that a fire sprinkler system in the Esplanade Apartments high-rise at 900 N. Lake Shore Drive activated to contain an automobile fire in a basement parking garage. Smoke was able to reach its way into the high-rise building above due to a ventilation shaft, however, Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, says the conditions could...
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October 9: Illinois Fire Safety Alliance’s Fire Prevention Week Awards Luncheon


Attend the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance‘s (IFSA) Fire Prevention Week awards luncheon from 10am-1:30pm on October 9 at Bobak’s Signature Events in Woodridge. Members of the fire service from throughout the state and other fire safety advocates will be in attendance. Keynote speaker John Raymond, survivor of the Our Lady of the Angels school fire of 1958, will speak about the events that occurred on the day of the fire that went down in...
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NIFSAB’s Tom Lia Now Blogging for NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative


Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), is now a contributing blogger for the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative. Lia will regularly post about the challenges and successes he experiences in Illinois. Here’s an excerpt of Tom’s first blog post: When I left the Orland Fire Protection District to take on a new endeavor at NIFSAB, there was no job description for me. In its meager beginnings, NIFSAB served...
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A Tale of Two Motel Fires

On March 21, 2014, a fire at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Peru, Illinois, was caused by an air conditioning/heating unit shorting out in one of the rooms. Thanks to the successful activation of the motel’s fire sprinkler system, the fire was contained to the room of origin. The quick response of the fire sprinkler system helped avert a potential catastrophe and no one was injured. The fire sprinkler system at the...
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Building Safety Month Focuses on Fire Sprinkler Protection


This May, jurisdictions across the United States will celebrate advances in constructing safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient buildings and homes as part of the International Code Council‘s (ICC) national Building Safety Month. For the last 34 years, the Building Safety Month campaign has focused on improving public safety by increasing awareness about how building codes and code officials improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship and play. The campaign has...
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NFSA Names Bob Tinucci as New Illinois Regional Manager

Bob Tinucci

Bob Tinucci accepted the position of Illinois Regional Manager for the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) effective October 1, 2013. As of November, Tinucci fully completed the transition from fire chief at the Roselle Fire Department to his new NFSA position. Tinucci began his over 38-year fire protection career in 1974 as a firefighter with the Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District. Over the years, Tinucci worked his way up through the ranks to become Fire...
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Illinois Fire and Building Officials Meet to Strengthen Commitment to Home Fire Sprinkler Protection


Nearly 26 years since the Village of Long Grove enacted fire sprinkler requirements for new construction homes, Illinois now has 92 communities with such requirements. Many of those communities’ officials attended a special meeting at Lewis University’s Oak Brook campus this February. Local fire and building officials discussed their home fire sprinkler requirements and shared information about why those requirements play an important role in protecting their citizens and firefighters. They also heard from...
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Successful Activations (Jan/Feb/March 2014 Edition)

Successful Activations (Jan/Feb/March 2014 Edition)

Download a sprinkler save report to record your fire department’s latest successful fire sprinkler activations.   February 2014   Northside College Prep High School Chicago Fire Department Fire sprinklers extinguished a fiery explosion in a cooking class in the high school, according to Chicago Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford. The fire occurred when students ignited a gas burner to heat hot chocolate. Although five students were injured in the initial explosion, the fire...
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Fire Sprinklers Extinguish Fire in Chicago High School Cooking Class, Highlighting the Importance of School Fire Safety

On February 19, a fiery explosion occurred during a demonstration in a cooking class at Northside College Prep High School in Chicago. The fire occurred when students ignited a gas burner to heat hot chocolate. According to Chicago Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford, the fire shot up to the ceiling and the school’s fire sprinkler system quickly extinguished it. “The sprinkler did its job,” said Langford. Although five students were injured in the...
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Illinois Among First Three States to Issue Proclamation for Campus Fire Safety Month 2014


Courtesy of Campus Firewatch: Illinois, Georgia and Wisconsin are the first three states to issue proclamations for National Campus Fire Safety Month in 2014. In the 10 years of the program, there have been 267 proclamations issued, plus resolutions in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, helping raise awareness about the importance of fire safety on the nation’s campuses. Since 2000, there has been a definite downward trend to campus-related fire deaths...
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Site of Three Fires Since 2007, Chicago High-Rise Opts to Ban Smoking Instead of Installing Fire Sprinklers

Condo owners of the 42-story high-rise at 2626 North Lakeview Avenue in Chicago recently instituted the city’s first full smoking ban in a high-rise condominium building, effective since January 31. The motive for the ban comes from the unsprinklered high-rise’s recent fire history: a double-fatal fire in January 2007, a fire in October 2012, and a fire causing injury to a resident in March 2013. Smoking materials caused at least two of the fires....
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Automobile Fire at Franklin Center High-Rise Suppressed by Fire Sprinkler System

Early morning on January 30, the Chicago Fire Department reported that a fire sprinkler system in the Franklin Center commercial high-rise at 227 W. Monroe suppressed a fire that was caused by an automobile in a lower level parking garage. “Too often we hear about the unsprinklered fires that cause major damage and injuries or deaths, but it’s even more important to highlight when larger fires are prevented thanks to the quick response of...
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Record-Low Fire Deaths In Chicago in 2013, But There’s More To Be Done


At a recent Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications news conference, Chicago Fire Department officials cited Chicago’s record-low fire deaths in 2013. They noted that smoke detectors, fire sprinklers and other fire safety improvements, public education and advances in emergency medical service were key factors that minimized fire deaths. The Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) recognizes Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Langford for acknowledging fire sprinklers as one of the important...
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Home Fire Sprinklers: Ask for Them!


When a new home is built in an area where codes do not require fire sprinklers to be installed, and the homebuilder does not offer sprinklers as an option, many homebuyers are not aware that they can ask for fire sprinklers. Every time a new home is built without fire sprinklers, generations of families miss out on the ultimate protection from fire. The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) has launched new online content...
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