Kevin Quinn

Home Fire Sprinklers Reduce Risks for Volunteer Firefighters

There are 1.1 million firefighters nationwide, 67 percent of which are volunteers. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) represents the interests of volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services.

Kevin Quinn, the first vice chairman at the NVFC, sat down with Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) president, Lorraine Carli, to talk more about why home fire sprinklers are important to the volunteer firefighters as a part of a video series created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of HFSC.

In the video interview, Quinn emphasizes the importance of home fire sprinklers as they save numerous lives, “by knocking those fires down before they become that deadly, whether it be for residents, or for firefighters, volunteers and career alike,” he said.

Quinn mentions while every home should be equipped with home fire sprinklers, they are especially important in rural areas. Of all the country’s volunteer firefighters, many are in rural areas. “Water supply is an issue for rural areas and there’s a little bit more of a response time,” Quinn said. “So, the home fire sprinklers are going to be impactful on those residential homes that have protection.”

Home fire sprinklers stopping a fire before it can spread puts firefighters at much less risk and reduces injuries from fighting structure fires. However, it also prevents firefighters from inhaling carcinogens from fires, reducing their risk of cancer.

Cancer in firefighters is a serious issue. According to Two studies from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, they find that:

  • Firefighters face a nine percent increase in cancer diagnosis.
  • Firefighters also face a 14 percent increase in cancer related deaths compared to the general US population.

In the video, Quinn states that the NVFC helped put together the Lavender Ribbon Report, which is 11 of the best practices to reduce exposure and minimize any kind of additional risk put on firefighters.

“Volunteers are your neighbors helping others,” Quinn said. “They give up so much and dedicate so much and we appreciate each and every one of them for what they do. But we also have to let them realize that there are other means such as home fire sprinklers that will help protect them, their communities, and their families.”

Listen to the full interview with Quinn and Carli to learn more about how home fire sprinklers reduce risks for volunteer firefighters:


If you missed any of the previous interviews, including Carli’s most recent discussion with Mike O’Brian, a fire chief from the Brighton Area Fire Authority and a board member on the International Association of Fire Chiefs, find the full video series on HFSC’s website.  

Help NFPA and HFSC celebrate its 25th anniversary this year; share the facts about the affordability, reliability, and effective protection of home fire sprinklers. For additional information, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.

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Matt Levin
Matthew Levin
NFPA Public Affairs Intern

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