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NFPA's statements about fire sprinkler performance statistics

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For those of you who are interested, and related to the postings from
earlier today (Re: Article from the Chicago Sun-Times), the National Fire
Sprinkler Association debunking the myths and lies stated in the Corley
opinion and AFSCC and AFS litter is now available as a download from the
AISC web site at

Look under Other resources at the bottom right for the listing "National
Fire Sprinkler Association Debunks Passive Protection Myths" This file is
also accessible at the following direct link:

In this article, John Hall, the NFPA's Assistant Vice President for Fire
Analysis and Research is quoted extensively. In dispelling the
AFSCC/AFS/Corley claim that sprinklers fail one-sixth of the time, he
states: "One-sixth is a statistical summary measure of how often sprinklers
do not activate, which involves a wide range of circumstances, many of which
cannot be fairly called 'failure'. For example, sprinklers may not activate
because the fire is not near the sprinklers in a partially sprinklered
property. Not all the fires too small to activate sprinklers are coded 'fire
too small'. And even most of the real 'failures' are due to human error,
including closing the valves in advance of the fire and changing the hazard
under the sprinklers without changing the sprinklers to match." 

The AFS has also stated that fire safety is declining due to a greater
emphasis on active fire protection. But the facts show this statement also
to be false. In reality, fires and civilian fire deaths have declined over
the past two decades. And a report published in the Journal of Fire
Protection Engineering by I.R. Thomas from the Victoria Institute of
Technology concludes that: "It is generally significantly better (and never
significantly worse) to have sprinklers alone that to have both detectors
and protected construction."

I hope this information from NFPA is of use to you.


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