The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Sprinkler Initiative and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) awarded the Maryland State Firemen’s Association with the 2016 Bringing Safety Home Award, presented at the Fire Sprinkler Coalition Chair Summit and HFSC May Board Meeting at NFPA Headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts.
The award recognizes fire service members and other safety advocates who use HFSC’s home fire sprinkler educational materials and Fire Sprinkler Initiative resources to ensure that decision-makers have accurate information as new or updated home fire sprinkler codes are considered.
Accepting the award on behalf of the association was Stephan Cox, chair of the association’s legislative committee, and Vice Chair Richard Smith. Both were influential in helping defeat a legislative bill that would have weakened the state’s sprinkler requirement. Under Cox’s leadership, Smith brought the Maryland fire service and interested parties together to defeat this legislation. Additional efforts were made to convene numerous panels at the bill’s hearing. Their willingness to work both sides of the legislative aisle while educating legislators on the importance of home fire sprinklers is a lesson in effective sprinkler advocacy.
This is the second time in five years that Maryland fire officials have received the Bringing Safety Home Award. In 2012, the first annual Bringing Safety Home Award was given to then-Maryland State Fire Marshal Bill Barnard who advocated for the adoption of Maryland’s statewide fire sprinkler requirement for all new one- and two-family homes.
For a listing of previous award winners who were influential in their efforts to promote sprinklers, visit the Fire Sprinkler Initiative site at www.firesprinklerinitiative.org/advocacy-tools/safety-award.aspx.