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Amid a string of fire deaths and injuries in Texas, fire marshal encourages home fire sprinklers

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By Fred Durso, Jr.

Home fire tragedies in Texas have made some unfortunate headlines this month. First, there was a story of a houseful of young boys who frantically escaped a burning home. One of the boys, a nine year old from Fort Worth, died in the fire despite valiant efforts by local firefighters. One neighbor told the Star-Telegram that “it’s one thing to watch a fire on television, but it’s another to watch your neighbors trying to save kids in a fire. That’s why I’m shaking so much.”

More recently, a mother and her five children were all burned in their home following what fire officials believe to be the ignition of a natural gas leak.

In most cases, a few minutes is all it takes for home fires to become life-threatening. Understanding how residential sprinklers can reduce the risk of injury and death in most house fires, a Texas fire marshal has made a point to praise these systems. In a recent news release from the City of Pearland, Roland Garcia, the city’s fire marshal and co-chair of the Texas Fire Sprinkler Coalition, commended a recent sprinkler save in his town. “Had a sprinkler system, or automatic fire suppression system, not been present in the building, the outcome may have been very different,” he said. Garcia’s department supports sprinkler installation in new homes and has devoted a page on the department’s website to sprinklers.

Learn how others in Texas are combatting home fire deaths and injuries by visiting the Texas Fire Sprinkler Coalition page.

Source:: NFPA – Fire Sprinkler Initiative

Michael S. Williams

Michael S. Williams

Williams founded the Fire Services Training Institute in 1995 to find solutions to the challenges confronting the volunteer fire service. He has been an active member of California State Firefighters Association (CSFA) since 1994, having served on the volunteer and public relations committees, and as a southern division deputy director. He sits on several local organizations including the Santa Barbara County Fire Safe Council, the Tri-Counties Training Officers Association, Santa Barbara Chapter of CAER and is a founding member of the Santa Barbara PIO group Emergency Public Information Communicators (EPIC). He has been the author of many articles and a columnist for a local newspaper on public safety matters. He is also the co-host of Community Alert on KZSB AM-1290 in Santa Barbara. Williams has been a member of the California State Board of Fire Services since 2008. Prior to becoming involved in the volunteer fire service, Williams was a California police officer for 12 ½ years and a POST certified Field Training Officer. He is a licensed private investigator and security consultant specializing in self-insured, government and insurance defense assignments.


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