The National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative awarded grants June 12 to 16 organizations to fund sprinkler advocacy efforts across North America. The Bringing Safety Home Grant Program will assist the grant recipients, including U.S. state sprinkler coalitions and other North American safety advocates, by supporting activities that showcase the importance of requiring home fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes.

“Sprinklers are gaining momentum as more residents and policy-makers understand the value of them in new homes,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of outreach and advocacy. “Home fire sprinklers can reduce home fire deaths by about 80% and direct property damage by about 70%, according to NFPA research.”

The grant program recognized a range of ideas for home fire sprinkler advocacy activities, including the following:

• Local sprinkler summits that aim to bring together key stakeholders to work on the acceptance of home fire sprinklers;

• Local advocacy programs to showcase the impact of home fire sprinklers at community events;

• Outreach programs for local officials and policy-makers; and

• Efforts to assess a state’s true cost of fire and how sprinklers can mitigate future risks.

According to the NFPA, the vast majority of U.S. fire deaths occur in homes. In 2013, home fires caused nearly 2,800 deaths out of more than 3,000 total fire deaths and injured more than 12,000 others in the United States. The life-saving capability of home fire sprinklers is the reason why all model building codes require sprinklers in all new one- and two-family dwellings.

“The Fire Sprinkler Initiative’s Grant Program set out to help sprinkler coalitions and other safety advocates implement strong ideas for sprinkler advocacy,” said Carli. “The overall response to the program shows a great level of interest from organizations across North America working toward home fire sprinkler requirements to help save the lives of citizens and first responders.”