Evesham Fire-Rescue conducting side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstration

Evesham Fire-Rescue conducting side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstration

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Evesham Fire-Rescue will be conducting a side-by-side burn demonstration to illustrate the efficiency and effectiveness of fire sprinklers. The burn demonstration will occur on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12:30p.m. in the rear of the Main Street firehouse, 26 East Main Street.

This event will mark the kickoff to the department’s fire prevention programs that are conducted throughout the month of October.

Through a $1,000 grant from the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware Chapter of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, and a generous donation of material from Belfor Property Restoration, Evesham Fire-Rescue will be able to illustrate the intensity in which fire grows and the damage that it causes while also demonstrating the effectiveness of fire sprinkler systems.

Misinformation about home fire sprinkler effectiveness and costs and the supposed fire safety of today’s new homes is currently circulating among homebuilders and their associations, realtors associations, and elected officials.

“Many people who seek to derail the process of requiring sprinklers in all new home construction make false claims about the costs of installing home fire sprinklers, claiming they cost tens of thousands of dollars more per home than actual completion costs and will price homebuyers out of owning new homes” said Evesham Fire-Rescue Fire Marshal Captain Carl Bittenbender. “However, we have received actual costs from contractors who have recently completed projects in New Jersey and the cost averages $2 per sprinkler per square foot.”

According to Evesham-Fire Rescue, a recent report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) counters the organization’s stance that fire sprinklers, which add approximately 2 percent to building costs, will price homebuyers out of new homes.

The report states that homebuyers can now afford to pay 23 percent more for a new home than a property built before 1960 and still maintain the same amount of first-year annual costs.

Evesham Fire-Rescue believes the arguments that today’s modern homes are safer due to smoke alarms and better construction practices are debatable.

According to Evesham Fire-Rescue, the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 84 percent of residential fire deaths occur in one- and two-family homes.

While smoke alarms are an important piece of the life-safety equation, they can only alert occupants to smoke. Fire sprinklers work to control or even extinguish a fire, allowing occupants to escape.

“It’s time for people to hear the facts and quit being plagued with misinformation. We need to do what’s right so that no more fire deaths occur in New Jersey. Contact your legislators and let them know you support fire sprinklers in new home construction,” Bittenbender said.

The burn demonstration will occur on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 12:30 p.m. in the rear of the Main Street firehouse, 26 East Main Street.