On the night of August 18, a fire sprinkler system in a six-year-old home in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, contained and extinguished a kitchen fire before it was able to become destructive and possibly deadly. The fire was caused by a coffee maker that was too close to a gas stovetop, where a boiling pot of water was left unattended. The homeowners, who were in the backyard, noticed the fire and called the fire department just before a single fire sprinkler activated. According to Village fire officials, the fire was extinguished well before fire crews even arrived on the scene. The quick-response action of the fire sprinkler kept the flames from becoming a large fire that easily could have spread throughout the entire first floor of the home and caused thousands of dollars in extensive damage. See more from the Glen Ellyn Patch article. The event marks the first home fire sprinkler activation within Glen Ellyn, proving the success of the Village’s residential fire sprinkler ordinance, which was enacted over ten years ago in March 2002 to protect residents, their homes and the Village’s volunteer firefighters. At the time, Glen Ellyn was only the eleventh community in Illinois to adopt such an ordinance, providing a model for many other communities to follow. According to the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB), the Village currently stands as one of 79 jurisdictions in Illinois that require residential fire sprinklers. Tom Lia, executive director of NIFSAB, feels that the recent successful fire sprinkler activation in the newer home is tangible evidence of why residential fire sprinklers are now included in the national model fire and building codes developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council. In fact, according to the NFPA’s latest fire fatality statistics (from 2010), 85 percent of fire deaths occur in homes. “Those elected and fire officials, who have volunteered their time and efforts to serve for the ‘Village of Volunteers,’ have done so well by recognizing the dangers of home fires and providing fire-safe housing through the adoption of Glen Ellyn’s residential fire sprinkler ordinance. Without their foresight, the recent fire unfortunately could have ended with a tragic result,” says Lia. “Congratulations to former Village President Greg Matthew and his Board who enacted the ordinance and to current Village President Mark Pfefferman and trustees who continue to understand the ordinance’s life- and property-saving value to the community.”   Current Glen Ellyn Village Board:

  • President Mark Pfefferman
  • Trustee Peter Cooper
  • Trustee Robert Friedberg
  • Trustee Phil Hartweg
  • Trustee Carl Henninger
  • Trustee Peter Ladesic
  • Trustee Diane McGinley
  • Clerk Suzanne R. Connors