ORLAND PARK, Ill., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Whenever a fire fatality occurs, it is a sad event, however, it is even more tragic when a home fire fatality occurs during national Fire Prevention Week," says Tom Lia, executive director for the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB).
Lia is referring to an early morning fire that occurred on October 10 in the Illinois capital city of Springfield. A 63-year old woman was asleep and died as a fire ravaged through her unit of a duplex home. According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), most home fires, such as this one, occur overnight when people are sleeping and can go undetected for several minutes. That small period of time allows toxic gases and smoke to quickly build up, which can lead to death by smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning.
The tragic fatality comes in the midst of Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 7-13 this year. With this most recent fire fatality, State Fire Marshal's Office numbers indicate that Illinois remains on an unfortunate track to reach over 100 fire fatalities in 2012. NIFSAB's Lia believes it should be a wake-up call to Illinois leaders.
"Our legislators must recognize that home fire fatalities are occurring at an alarming rate just outside of the Capitol steps in Springfield, as seen with this incident, and in their hometowns that they represent," he states.
Currently, 79 individual municipalities and fire protection districts throughout Illinois have home fire sprinkler ordinances, however, Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis and other Illinois fire service leaders are aligning together to adopt statewide legislation. They are working to update the State's current edition of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code to the 2012 edition, which will require fire sprinkler in one- and two-family homes and townhomes, a move to ensure that occupants in homes will be better protected from fires and prevent future fire deaths.
"Now is the time to understand why State Fire Marshal Matkaitis wants to adopt the newest edition of the model code from NFPA, which has incorporated home fire sprinklers since 2006," notes Lia, who believes the code update will provide safer homes in the future and avoid such tragedies.
"We offer our condolences to the family and friends of the fire victim in Springfield," he adds.
About the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB)
NIFSAB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting progressive legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and governmental policy makers by demonstrating the proven performance of fire sprinklers in saving both lives and property. For more info, visit www.firesprinklerassoc.org.
SOURCE Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board