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State Rep. Pritchard Recognized by Illinois Fire Service for Fire Sprinkler Advocacy

Representative Robert Pritchard was honored by the IFIA for his fire sprinkler advocacy and dedication to the Illinois fire service. Those pictured include (left to right) Don Huenecke, IFIA Public Fire & Life Safety Committee; IFIA President Rick Marek; Fire Inspector Al Geeser, Cherry Valley Fire Protection District; Representative Pritchard; Margaret Vaughn, Governmental Affairs for NFSA-IL; IFIA Executive Director Robert Morris; and Ed Dunne, IFIA Public Fire & Life Safety Committee.

Surrounded by fire safety officials from across the state, Representative Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley) of the 70th House District was recently presented an award for his dedication to the fire service and fire sprinkler advocacy at the Illinois Fire Inspector Association’s (IFIA) annual Fire Prevention Week Awards Luncheon.

“Representative Pritchard has been a strong advocate for fire safety issues in Springfield and has been an active member of the General Assembly’s Fire Caucus,” said IFIA Executive Director Robert Morris, who presented the award to Pritchard.

According to Fire Inspector Allen Geeser of the Cherry Valley Fire Protection District, which is located within the 70th District, Representative Pritchard recently sponsored legislation that could make it easier for local public entities to install and maintain automatic fire sprinkler systems.

“Local community and fire departments know from experience that fire suppression systems save lives and reduce property damage,” said Representative Pritchard. “The latest fire service bill I am sponsoring would give local units of government the ability to use tort liability funds to install suppression systems.”

Aiming to provide safer buildings throughout Illinois, Representative Pritchard’s bill introduction was preceded by months of examining fire sprinklers in various building types and remaining attentive to fire-related events across the state.

Representative Robert Pritchard (center) attends an open house for a newly sprinklered Frankfort home and is pictured with Peg Paul (left), Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and Tom Lia (right), NIFSAB.

Tom Lia, executive director for the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), noted that Representative Pritchard visited a home fire sprinkler system donation ceremony at a home in Frankfort, Illinois.

The event recognized the companies and organizations that donated materials and labor for a fire sprinkler system in the handicap-accessible home, while also offering a view of fire sprinklers behind the walls, as the drywall had not yet been installed. At the event, Representative Pritchard also used the opportunity to speak with NIFSAB, the national nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and State Farm Insurance, all of which provide important fire sprinkler education.

“We applaud Representative Pritchard for his proactive approach to fire safety in an effort to protect the business owners and residents in the State of Illinois,” said Lia.

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