New Online Guide Shows Importance of Home Fire Sprinklers

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COLUMBIA - After responding to nearly 30 structure fires in the first month of 2014, the Columbia Fire Department teamed up with the Home Fire Sprinklers Coalition (HFSC) to encourage homeowners and buyers to ask for home fire sprinklers.

HFSC, based out of Chicago, launched a new online interactive guide to provide information about home fire sprinklers and debunk some myths associated with them.

"It's a brand new educational piece we launched this past week," HFSC Communications Manager Peg Paul said. "A lot of people know they're in commercial buildings or high-rises, but a lot of people don't realize that you can put them in new single-family homes."

Paul said some rumors about home fire sprinklers are that they go off all at once.

"We like to blame TV and movies because often times you'll see the entire system go off, but really there are a lot of myths out there," Paul said. "Each sprinkler is individually activated by heat. You actually need a fire in your home, and then only the sprinkler closest to that fire will activate, so that's what motivated us to put this educational piece together."

Paul said, according to the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association, eight out of 10 people die from home fires, and she wants to change that through interactive learning.

"[The Columbia Fire Department is] one of our 'Built for Life' departments," Paul said. "There are 2500 around the country, and what's nice about your fire department is they believe in education, they like to tell the story. The other thing about home fire sprinklers is not only do they protect the citizens, the people living in the home, but they also protect our firefighters."

 To visit HFSC's interactive guide, click here.