Common Voices Coalition to Address Congress on America's Fire Problem

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The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), the longest-tenured fire sprinkler advocacy organization in the U.S., has announced that its Common Voices Coalition, a fire sprinkler advocacy group made up of people that have lost loved ones in fires, will meet with U.S. legislators on Tuesday, January 29, 2008, to raise awareness of the proposed Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act.

The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), the longest-tenured fire sprinkler advocacy organization in the U.S., has announced that its Common Voices Coalition, a fire sprinkler advocacy group made up of people that have lost loved ones in fires, will meet with U.S. legislators on Tuesday, January 29, 2008, to raise awareness of the proposed Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act.

In early 2007, Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and John Rockefeller (D-WV) in the Senate and Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) in the House of Representatives, introduced the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act of 2007. The proposed legislation is S. 582 in the Senate and H. R. 1742 in the House.

Through the efforts of NFSA and many allied support groups, the bill will allow property owners who retrofit their buildings with fire sprinklers to accelerate depreciation of the systems and recoup their investment in a much shorter period of time versus the 39 years currently in place. This bill will give property owners a significant incentive to install fire sprinkler systems on a retrofit basis.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, when sprinklers are present, the chances of dying in a fire are reduced by one-half to three-fourths and the average property loss per fire is cut by one-half to two-thirds, compared to fires where sprinklers are not present.

The Common Voices Coalition includes

  • Amy Acton of Michigan - burn survivor and Executive Director of The Phoenix Society
  • Vina Drennan of New Jersey - lost her husband, Captain John Drennan of FDNY, in a fire
  • Donna Henson of Missouri - lost her son, Dominic in a fire
  • Bonnie Woodruff of North Carolina - lost her son, Ben in a fire
  • Gail Minger of Florida - lost her son, Michael in a fire
  • Justina Page of Texas - lost her son, Amos in a fire

Together these advocates will highlight America's fire problem in hopes of making a difference by sharing their tragedies. The advocates will meet with members of the two committees in which the proposed legislations lies: the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.

"America's fire problem has a solution," said Vickie Pritchett, Associate Director of Public Fire Protection for NFSA and Common Voices Director. "Fire sprinklers are the solution for saving lives and property from the devastation and tragedies that fire causes. We are grateful for this opportunity and remain optimistic as we continue our campaign to save lives all across the United States."

The Common Voices Coalition comes to Washington with the support of the following allied organizations: NFSA, Congressional Fire Services Institute, International Association of Fire Chiefs, United States Fire Administration, National Fire Protection Association, Home Safety Council, Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, International Association of Fire Fighters, Fire Sprinkler Fitter Local Leadership, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, The Phoenix Society, International Code Council, Fire Team USA, and the National Volunteer Fire Council.

To learn more about the Common Voices Coalition please visit, http://www.FireAdvocates.org or contact Vickie Pritchett at 615-533-0305.

About the National Fire Sprinkler Association
Established in 1905, the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) is the voice of the fire sprinkler industry. NFSA leads the drive to get life-saving fire sprinklers into all buildings; provides support and resources for its members -- fire sprinkler contractors, manufacturers and suppliers; and educates authorities having jurisdiction of fire control matters. Headquartered in Patterson, N.Y., NFSA has regional operations offices throughout the country. Visit http://www.nfsa.org.

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Tiffany Miller

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