You are on page 1of 2

THE NFPA SPRINKLERS FRAUD KILLED MORE PEOPLE THAN THE SMOKE DETECTOR FRAUD Many thanks to Clay

Claiborne for sending me the report by Russell P. Fleming that appeared within the December 2010 issue of the NFPA Fire Journal. Mr. Fleming is the president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association. Mr. Fleming, whether he intended to or not, confirmed what I have been saying about the NFPA standards system for decades. That is that the regulations are not based on honest research and solid facts but rather; to quote Mr. Fleming quoting an early NFPA document, it was the consensus of opinion, that is all. Mr. Fleming was referencing the 1899 minutes of a meeting where the honesty of the NFPA early sprinkler standard was being challenged. The consensus of those discussing the early standard was that, The committee was obviously well-intentioned, but its (sprinkler) report was torn to shreds. Mr. Wilmerding of the Philadelphia Fire Underwriters Association stated, I think these (sprinkler code regulations) are all good suggestions to inspectors, but my objection to them is that we are putting them out as accepted facts and I think we ought to be very careful about doing that. The minutes of that 1899 meeting where the efficacy of the sprinkler code was questioned was referred to the NFPA Executive Committee where it died a quiet death Mr. Fleming, who has been a card carrying member, so to speak of the sprinkler industry and the NFPA for many years, finalized his report to the NFPA as follows, The NFPA standardsdevelopment process has been crafted over the years to allow well-informed consensus judgment to prevail, and we should all work diligently to preserve the process. Oh yes, Mr. Fleming, I am not one bit surprised that you have come to that conclusion. I also believe that if you had been a member of the NFPA Executive Committee during 1899, when the objections to the code writing policies of NFPA were made known by concerned people, you would also have been content to allow the report to die a quiet death. What Mr. Fleming failed to report is that nearly all the consensus opinion behind the codes emanates from those who either profit from fire or otherwise benefit from fire. I say, it is not the concern for human safety that dominates the NFPA code consensus, it is the almighty dollar. So, I throw the following question back at Mr. Fleming and the NFPA (not really expecting it to be answered): Did the phony ionization type smoke detectors that are now in about 80 to 90 million homes today, with probably near 40 thousand dead kids in its wake, emanate from wellinformed consensus judgment? Or did it emanate from that most corrupt, diabolical and deadly conspiracy of criminal minds that are behind and within the NFPA code making operation? I will give you three examples of the advancements I made in sprinkler technology. They are: 1. The Factory Insurance Association (now the Improved Risk Insurers) set the water requirement for sprinklers to protect bottled whiskey in cardboard cartons stored 20 feet high as 4,450 gpm for the sprinkler system alone (not counting hose stream water). When my design was tested at the Factory Mutual Test Facility in Norwood MA the system

controlled 21 foot high storage of bottled whiskey in cardboard cartons with four open sprinklers discharging 190 gpm. 2. When the Kansas State University Medical Center was under construction in Kansas City the low bid by a sprinkler contractor for an NFPA code system for the basement was $2.88 per square foot. I convinced the architect to allow me to design a Patton Life Safety System (properly engineered sprinkler system) for the entire building covering 1.2 million square feet. This system was bid and installed by a licensed sprinkler installer for 35 cents per square foot. 3. The State Fire Marshal of Ohio, Bob Lynch, wanted to get sprinklers installed in about 400 to 500 small nursing homes (housing only 6 patients maximum), mainly in old and beautiful Victorian type homes. The Life Safety Standard I developed (with a committee) had been officially adopted into the Ohio Building Code so it was standard. The already existing water supply lines to these homes did not provide (the ridiculously high) water demands of the NFPA code. Therefore the sprinkler firms were bidding 50,000 gallon elevated water tanks at about 50 thousand dollars per. In addition to the inflated costs for water, large, dead ended and ugly iron pipe installation had to be installed below the ceilings as there was insufficient room above. Because the water lines already available nearly always provided adequate water for the early fire I was able to bid a system in the 8 to 12 thousand dollar range. The contractors were bidding NFPA systems in the range of 75 to 100 thousand dollars including the water tanks. However, I was finally put out of business in Ohio because federal HEW inspectors warned the managers of the nursing homes that if they allowed my system was installed their medicare payments would stop (even though there were no requirements, federal or state, for sprinklers). It was a lie but it worked. Although I cannot prove it, I always believed that the hand of the NFPA was behind the HEW inspectors. I make this charge relative the NFPA. I say that the research under the name of the NFPA that was conducted relative to residential sprinkler systems prior to the 1980 NFPA annual meeting was blatantly rigged to provide false data. Then, based on the falsified data, the NFPA sprinkler code 13R was structured so that the cost of installing sprinklers in homes was at least double what would have been possible from an engineering viewpoint. This code, to a large degree became a barrier to residential sprinklers much as No. 13 had been a barrier to life oriented sprinkler systems from the time when it was originated during 1896. So, Mr. Russell P. Fleming is suggesting that there is well-informed consensus judgment behind the NFPA codes. Perhaps so, but I contend that it is well-informed from the perspective of creating profits over the dead and wounded bodies of the little children. I say that the smoke detector fraud caused probably 75 thousand wrongful fire deaths since 1970. I believe that by making the early 1896 sprinkler code a phony and fraudulent code, restricting the use of sprinklers to protect lives, I believe the resultant deaths and injuries are into the millions. R. M. Patton