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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fire Chief to Testify in Annapolis on Benefits of Sprinklers

Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

In the late 1980's, Prince George's County was the first county in the nation to pass legislation requiring residential sprinklers in all new construction. This was in conjunction with previously passed legislation requiring a working smoke alarm in all residences. The Residential Sprinkler Law was phased in over a 5-year period and was fully in effect in 1992. Since then, Prince George's County has experienced tremendous success with the law and results. Prince George's County has always been used as a model for other jurisdictions around the country, in establishing their own residential sprinkler ordinances. Prince George's County Fire Chiefs have been invited to speak at conventions, as well as before governing bodies, about the benefits we have seen since our legislation became effective. This is the reason State of Maryland Fire Marshal William Barnard invited Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor to testify this afternoon before the Education, Health & Environmental Affairs committee at the Maryland State House. Chief Bashoor will be testifying before the committee against Senate Bill #331, entitled, Manufactured Homes – Sprinkler System Requirement – Opt-Out for Local Jurisdictions.”

During his testimony, Bashoor will state, "In the past two weeks, three fires in Prince George's County were extinguished by sprinklers. The combined fire loss in these incidents totaled $12,500. Since the County Residential Sprinkler Law took effect 20 years ago, it is sad to report that numerous people have perished in home fires. However, I am pleased to report that not one death, none, occurred in a sprinklered residence."

For additional information on the success of residential sprinklers in Prince George's County, click here.

Later in the afternoon, Fire Chief Bashoor will have the opportunity to address the Prince George's County Delegation regarding the State of Affairs of the Fire/EMS Department.

This side by side sprinkler demonstration video is from 2009.  The results remain the same today in 2012.  State of Maryland Fire Marshal William Barnard narrates the demonstration.

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