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Medford Fire & Life Safety Division

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1 Medford Fire & Life Safety Division
Home Fire Sprinklers Introduction Medford Fire & Life Safety Division

2 The Fire Problem Statistics National Oregon
Each day 7 people die in United States home fires Each year on average over 2,500 people die in the United States and more than 13,000 people are injured in home fires Fires kill more people in the United States each year than all natural disasters combined Children and the elderly are most at risk Oregon From 2004 to 2013 there were: nearly 350 fire deaths more than 2,500 injuries Source: NFPA

3 The Fire Problem Statistics – Firefighter Casualties National
Approx. 100 firefighter fatalities per year Many of these are related to residential structure fires An estimated 81,070 firefighter injuries occur annually in the U.S. The majority of firefighter injuries (87%) occur in structure fires Source: UFSA

4 Medford Residential Fire Statistics
Local In the 25-year period between 1989 and 2013, Medford experienced 22 fire related deaths that occurred inside of structures located on residential properties. Most fire deaths are caused from smoke inhalation and occur between midnight and 8:00am Each fire tragedy effects family, friends, firefighters, and the community Source: NFPA

5 Medford Residential Fire Deaths 20-Year Study
13 in single family homes 3 in duplexes 2 in multi-family homes 4 in structures associated with residences (2 in a garage and 2 in a shed) 31.8% 59.1% Conclusion: 17 of our citizen tragic fire deaths could have been avoided if the homes were protected with fire sprinkler systems

6 Medford Fire Injuries In the last 13 years, 76 people were injured from fires, many of these close calls

7 Medford Residential Fire Statistics (5-year average)
Structure Fires Per Year 82 per year Homes vs. Multi-family 80% one and two family 20% multi-family Direct Property Losses Per Year: $1.1 million per year

8 Vulnerable Populations
Children Children under the age of 5 are 1 ½ times more likely to die in a home fire as the general public Young children often hide during fires or need assistance Children may sleep through a sounding smoke alarm Children have reduced reaction times Source: NFPA

9 Vulnerable Populations
Older Adults The elderly are nearly 3 times more likely to die in a home fire as the general public Older adults may suffer from reduced sensory abilities such as smell, touch, vision, and hearing Inability to smell smoke Inability to feel if something is hot Inability to see fires or notice fire causes Inability to hear smoke alarms or fire sounds Older adults may suffer from disabilities Older adults have reduced reaction times Source: NFPA

10 Why Do We Still Lose People in Home Fires?
Safe Window of Escape Time Studies have shown that the average safe window of escape time has been reduced from 17 minutes in the 1970’s to as little as three minutes currently. This change is attributed to the widespread use of hydrocarbons (petroleum products) in modern furniture, such as plastics and polyurethane foams. These newer fuels cause more rapid fire growth. Smoke and products of combustion from these fires become deadly in a matter of just a few minutes. People are dying because they simply do not wake up or cannot get out in time. https://www.iafc.org/files/1ASSOC/IAFCposition_UseOfResidentialSmokeAlarms.pdf Source: NIST

11 Why Do We Still Lose People in Home Fires?
Some Would Say Smoke Alarms are Enough… They may not provide an early enough warning for everybody to escape todays fast moving home fires Smoke alarms were present and operated in 40% of home fire deaths There are maintenance issues 37% of fire deaths were in homes with missing smoke alarms 23% of fire deaths were in homes where smoke alarms were inoperable Source: NFPA’s Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires, March 2014

12 Smoke Alarms and Children
Source:

13 Furnishings & Fuel Loads
Heat Release Rates (HRR) (Btu/sec) Small wastebasket TV set Cotton mattress Polyurethane mattress ( %) Cotton easy chair Polyurethane easy chair ( %) Polyurethane sofa Armchair (modern) Recliner (synthetic padding/covering) Christmas tree, dry Pool of gasoline (2 quarts on concrete) 949 Living room or bedroom fully involved Modern furniture contains high heat release rates in comparison to older furniture. The polyurethane foams and plastics in modern day furnishings are basically made out of hydrocarbons similar to gasoline. It has been said that polyurethane foam is just solidified gasoline. This is why we are experiencing such rapid and intense fires in homes. Source: NFPA 921; Kirk’s Fire Investigation

14 1970’s vs. Current Fuel Loads
Source: UL

15 Total Time to Firefighting Intervention (Minutes)
Fire Timeline Ignition 0 Alarm-Discovery 1 Evacuation 1 911 call 1 Dispatch Time 1 Turnout Time 1.5 Drive Time 5 Setup Time 1 Fighting Fire

16 The Facts - Flashover Residents Do Not Survive Flashover
Flashover is caused when a fire produces enough radiant heat in a room to ignite all of the combustible items within the room simultaneously Flashover can occur in as little as 3-4 minutes Conditions can become fatal in about ½ the time to flashover Most victims in post-flashover fires are found remote from the room of origin Flashover is the most dangerous phase of a room fire, where the fire is turbulent and is producing massive amounts of smoke and toxic gases. It is a phase of the fire where there is sufficient radiated heat to simultaneously ignite all of the combustibles in a room. It can occur in as little as 3-4 minutes. If someone is still in the structure when flashover occurs, even remotely from where the flashover takes place, they will most likely perish. Source: NIST

17 The Facts - Flashover Firefighters Do Not Survive Flashover
Charring of modern PPE fabrics >572o F2 10% of firefighter deaths are a result of rapid fire development Pictures and Floorplan: Fatal Training Fire: Fire Analysis for the Fire Service, Daniel Madrzykowski-Two firefighters were killed in this training incident in Florida in 2002 when the room flashed over. Understanding the Causes of Firefighter Fatalities, James R. Lawson, 2008

18 The Facts – Lightweight Construction
Firefighter Safety Hazards Lightweight Construction Began to appear 25 years ago Vulnerable to fire conditions Times to reach structural failure percent shorter UL Tests Sources: UL Tests, NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative

19 Typical Fire Scenario w/o Fire Sprinklers
Ceiling temp reaches 1,400 degrees. Flashover occurs engulfing all contents of the fire room and extending fire throughout home A small fire starts in your home Smoke reaches the smoke detector Ceiling temp. reaches 165 degrees. Smoke begins to layer down Ceiling temp. reaches 1,000 degrees, visibility is reduced to zero Severe fire damage results. Extensive water is used for firefighting suppression efforts. Average time of displacement...6 months to a year. Time Line (minutes) You are awakened by the smoke detector You investigate and find a fire You awaken other family members and go to a neighbor to call 911 You give the 911 operator the information and she notifies the fire dept. The fire dept. responds A structure fire in an unprotected residence continues to grow. The atmosphere can become toxic within 3-5 minutes after ignition. The fire department rarely will be able to put water on the fire within 10 minutes after ignition. If flashover occurs, it is highly unlikely that anybody still in the structure will be able to survive. The fire dept. arrives, assesses the situation & applies 250 gpm per hose to fire areas. Windows are broken and holes are cut in the roof to vent fire gases and smoke. Typical Fire Scenario w/o Fire Sprinklers Source: Oregon Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

20 Marble Mountain Tests

21 What If Homes were Sprinklered?
NFPA 13D was first adopted in 1975. The purpose of this standard shall be to provide a sprinkler system that aids in the detection and control of residential fires and thus provides improved protection against injury and life loss. The standard is designed to prevent flashover (total involvement) in the room of fire origin, where sprinklered, improving the chance for occupants to escape or be evacuated. By percentage, most civilian fire deaths are attributed to fires that begin in the living room/family room/den (24%), a bedroom (24%), or the kitchen (14%). NFPA 13D By percentage, most civilian fire deaths are caused by smoking materials (23%), radiated heat from operating equipment (13%), or arcing (13%). NFPA 13D By percentage, the item first ignited for most civilian fire deaths are upholstered furniture (19%) or mattress or bedding (13%). NFPA 13D

22 Typical Fire Scenario with Sprinklers
A small fire starts in your home Smoke reaches the smoke detector Ceiling temp. reaches 165 degrees. The sprinkler head over the fire activates Fire is controlled or completely extinguished. Sprinkler head continues to spray water at 15 gpm. Average time of displacement from home days. Time Line (minutes) You are awakened by the smoke detector You investigate and find a fire You awaken other family members and go to a neighbor to call 911 You give the 911 operator the information and she notifies the fire dept. The fire dept. responds In a residence protected by fire sprinklers, the fire is controlled before it gets to it’s most destructive phase. A minimal amount of water controls the fire long before the fire department arrives. The fire dept. arrives, assesses the situation and limits water damage by shutting down the water supply to the sprinkler system. The fire department then assists with initial clean-up operations. Typical Fire Scenario with Sprinklers Source: Oregon Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

23 What If Homes were Sprinklered?
Model Building Codes: National Standard of Care National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Required fire sprinklers in all new homes in 2005 International Code Council (ICC) Required fire sprinklers in all new homes in 2009 State Adoptions of Model Codes CA required fire sprinklers in all new homes 2011 First ordinance in San Clemente 1970’s 153 ordinances when starting to talk about statewide requirement 4 years later passed a statewide requirement MD required fire sprinklers in all new homes in 2011 Where Are We at in Oregon? Statewide multi-family requirement (2010) for new construction (3+ units) No statewide requirement to protect one and two family homes

24 Towards a Safer Community
Occupant Safety Sprinklers reduce civilian fire deaths by 83% Sprinklers reduce civilian fire injury medical costs by 53% Sprinklers reduce civilian fire injury total costs by 41% Firefighter Safety Sprinklers are responsible for an estimated 65% reduction in firefighter fireground injuries Property Losses Sprinklers reduce direct property damage per fire by 69% Source: Fire Sprinkler Initiative Home Structure Fire Loss in the U.S. and Fire Sprinkler Impact

25 Proven Case Studies Residential Fire Sprinklers
Scottsdale, AZ (15 Year Study)1 Ordinance enacted in 1986 Over 50% of houses sprinklered No fire deaths in sprinklered homes 13 people died in non-fire sprinklered homes Over $20 million in property loss prevented Average fire loss was: $2,166 in fire sprinklered residences $45,019 in non-fire sprinklered residences The Scottsdale fire sprinkler ordinance has been credited with saving 13 lives. In the Scottsdale Report, the average fire loss in a residences protected with fire sprinklers was a fraction (< 5%) of the potential fire loss had the structures not been protected. Source: Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

26 Proven Case Studies Residential Fire Sprinklers
Prince George’s County, MD (15 Year Study) 1 Ordinance Enacted in 1992 Reported Home Fires: 13,494 Reported Home Fire Sprinkler Activations: 245 Homes Protected with Fire Sprinklers 446 people present in homes Fire Deaths: 0 Fire Injuries: 6 (all minor in nature) Total Fire Loss: $ 1,352,820.00 Potential Fire loss: $ 42,578,420.00 Unprotected Homes: Fire Deaths: 101 Fire Injuries: 328 The Prince George County fire sprinkler ordinance has been credited with saving 154 lives. In addition, the total fire loss in residences protected with fire sprinklers was just 1% of the potential fire loss had the residences not been protected. Source: Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

27 Case Study Conclusions
Fire Sprinkler Experience Studies in jurisdictions that had long-standing fire sprinkler ordinances have proven that residential fire sprinkler systems are effective in saving lives, reducing injuries, and reducing property damage The National Institute of Technology (NIST) compared sprinklered and non-sprinklered homes over a period of time and came to the following conclusions: Houses equipped with smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system experienced 100 % fewer civilian fatalities, 57 % fewer civilian injuries, and 32 % less direct property losses and indirect costs resulting from fire than houses equipped only with smoke alarms. Source: NIST Benefit-Cost Analysis of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems, 2007

28 The Solution + => Survival
Your Chances of Surviving a Fire Increase Significantly with: A fire sprinkler system and Smoke alarms Resident Benefits in Addition to Life Safety Value Much less property damage Valued possessions will most likely be spared Will not have to relocate for an extended period of time while residence is rebuilt Your chances of surviving a residential structure significantly increase when the structure is protected with both fire sprinklers and smoke alarms. The added benefit is the protection and preservation of your property. Source: NFPA; Firesafehome.org

29 Community Benefits Available Personnel & Economics
Serious Residential Fire without Fire Sprinklers Residential Fire with Fire Sprinklers Average Staffing for Extended Duration 15.5 personnel 60.1 staff-hours Mutual aid required for other normal responses + Overtime crews + Overtime investigation A structure fire in a residence takes a lot of water and manpower to extinguish and overhaul. When all is said and done, there is usually considerable damage to both the structure and the contents. Frequently, the occupants are barely able to escape and they lose everything they own. Average Staffing for Short Term 3 personnel 6 staff-hours No overtime crews Units immediately available for another response Possible short duration overtime Investigation

30 Community Benefits Environmental Considerations
Environmental Impact of Sprinklered vs. Non-Sprinklered Homes Greenhouse gas emissions were cut by 97.8% Water usage was reduced between 50% and 92% Fewer persistent pollutants, such as heavy metals, were found in sprinkler wastewater versus fire hose water The high PH level and pollutant load of non-sprinkler wastewater are an environmental concern Source: Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and FM Global

31 Public Perception 2014 National Harris Poll
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 Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) said fire sprinklers provide the ultimate protection for residents Source: Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

32 Costs of Home Sprinkler Systems
Nationally - $1.35 per sq. ft. of living area Lowest $0.74 in San Clemente CA Locally - $1.68 per sq. ft. of living area Solutions to Reducing Cost Partnership with Medford Water Commission ¾” water meters at standard 5/8” meter SDC’s Encourage Design to Eliminate Backflow Multipurpose or flow through systems Insurance Companies Typical 5-15% reduction in homeowner’s insurance Source: NFPA

33 Costs of Home Sprinkler Systems
Expected Increase in 30-year Mortgage $5-10 month after interest deduction and insurance savings Comparable Costs Many people pay similar costs for such amenities as: Upgrading carpet Upgrading cabinets Upgrading countertops Upgrading driveways Conclusion1: “Basically, for the price of a Happy Meal or a Starbuck’s coffee (a month), your family can be protected by a residential sprinkler system,” Fred Benn, President of Advanced Automatic Sprinkler Company in Hayward, CA Source: 1. Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition

34 Sprinkler Ordinances: Is There an Impact on Housing?
Impact on Housing Supply and Costs A 2009 study found no evidence that the “enactment of of sprinkler ordinances caused any detrimental effects on housing supply and costs”. Statistics on the website of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) show single-family home building permits increased on average by 28 percent in the United States between April 2012 and April 2013, but California experienced a 55 percent increase in permits in the same period. 1. 2. Sources: NFPA; NAHB

35 Conclusions Medford’s Strategic Plan Community Risk Reduction
1. Ensure a safe community by protecting people, property, and the environment Community Risk Reduction Home fire sprinklers benefit homeowners by protecting lives, preventing injuries, and reducing property damage Home fire sprinklers benefit the community by preventing tragedy, making conditions safer for firefighters, and protecting the environment Where Do We Go from Here? Continued education Strengthening partnerships Consider pursuing local ordinance

36 Questions?


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