For many, building a new home is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are a lot of details to consider, and many options to choose. Safety is at the forefront of those choices for most consumers, and fire safety should be among them. In every community, consumers need to know the facts about home fires as well as the benefits of home fire sprinklers. But if a homebuilder doesn’t offer fire sprinklers as an option, how will homebuyers know to ask for them?
The nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) has launched new online content designed to help consumers learn about the life-saving benefits of fire sprinklers. And whether they’re simply interested, or are thinking of building or buying a home, they’ll quickly see why it’s so important to ask for fire sprinklers when moving to a new home.
Available at no cost on HFSC’s website, the new Ask for Them! interactive guide provides consumers with easy to understand information in a fast-paced and entertaining format. In the menu, watch any or all of the 11 brief video segments that answer common questions about home fire sprinklers. Consumers can click through to direct links for more details about the technology and to watch additional videos online. All of the content is free, noncommercial, and has no advertising.
“If there’s one thing we hear over and over from consumers, it’s that they wish they’d known they could have asked their homebuilder for home fire sprinklers,” says HFSC President Lorraine Carli. “It’s sad when people realize their dream home is missing such an important safety element.” A Harris Interactive© Survey commissioned by HFSC showed that 69 percent of U.S. homeowners say having fire sprinklers increases a home’s value; 45 percent say a sprinklered home is more desirable.
Nothing else provides the level of safety that fire sprinklers do. Sprinklers automatically respond to fire while it is still small, flowing water on the flames where they started to minimize the spread of deadly heat and smoke. That fast action keeps flashover from happening and gives residents extra time to escape safely, preventing fire injuries and deaths. And because they control the fire, heat and smoke, they also reduce damage to the home and contents.
“It is clear, our national fire problem is a home problem, with 92% of all structure fire deaths occurring in one- and two-family homes (NFPA),” Carli explains. “When a house is built with sprinklers, that means that many generations of families will be protected by the ultimate fire safety technology. If we are ever going to see an appreciable decrease in home fire injuries and deaths we must increase fire sprinkler installations in our communities.”
Improved public awareness is the key to that increase, says HFSC. Consumers who are thinking of building a home will find useful answers to important questions about home fire safety in HFSC’s new Ask for Them! online guide. The information is easy to understand and covers water supply, installation, how fire sprinklers work, simple maintenance, and much more. The interactive guide also addresses the most common myths about home fire sprinklers.
“Misinformation is our biggest communications challenge at HFSC, but more importantly, when it goes unchecked it undermines progressive homebuilding practice and the inclusion of fire sprinklers,” Carli says. “Consumers in every community need access to the facts about home fire dangers as well as the many benefits of sprinkler protection. We are hopeful this new guide will help more consumers end up living in a fire-safe dream home.”
Ask for Them! was funded in part by a U.S. FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Grant.
To use this new free educational tool, please visit the HFSC website.