West Haven fire marshal honored for fire safety with national award
West Haven Fire Department Fire Marshal Keith Flood has been honored by a national fire safety organization for his work to try to put fire sprinklers in more West Haven and Connecticut homes.
Flood, chairman of the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Association, was awarded the Bringing Safety Home Award by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, said Stephanie Kolisch, spokeswoman for the NFPA.
“This honor is awarded to individuals making meaningful progress to protect families in their homes by pushing for fire sprinklers as a simple, viable solution to reduce home fires,” Kolisch wrote in an e-mail.
Flood “is coordinating efforts for the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Association, which he founded in 2014, to spur state regulators to finally adopt the current model safety and building codes in Connecticut,” Kolisch wrote.
“Nationally developed model codes already require fire sprinklers in all new one- and two family homes,” she said.
West Haven Fire Department Fire Marshal Keith Flood, recently honored by a national fire safety organization for his work to try to put fire sprinklers in more West Haven and Connecticut homes, displays the award. Flood, chairman of the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Association, was awarded the Bringing Safety Home Award by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the National Fire Protection Association's Fire Sprinkler Initiative. Photo: Mark Zaretsky / Hearst Connecticut Media /
Flood, 51, who was nominated by Dave LaFond of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, said Tuesday that he’s pleased to get the award, which he said “acknowledged the work being done throughout the country.
“When they gave me the award” at a national conference in November, “I was kind of shocked because I didn’t know it was coming,” Flood said. “I accepted it on behalf of the coalition because we all work together to try to make things better in Connecticut.
“Everybody working together gets it done,” he said.
Last year, the effort to get the General Assembly to require sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes fell short in a vote of the legislative Code and Standards Committee.
But the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Association was able to get the legislature to require sprinklers in all townhouses of three or more attached units, said Flood — and he’s hoping to eventually convince legislators to require it in all new one- and two-family homes, as well.
“The goal is to get this on board and to just show people that it’s not that hard,” said Flood, who has been a firefighter for 23 years. He was promoted to acting fire marshal in 2010 and got the job on a permanent basis in early 2011.
The West Haven Fire Department is one of three fire departments that serve different sections of West Haven.
“We’re happy that he received this honor,” said WHFD Fire Chief Jim O’Brien. “It’s a pretty big deal in our profession to get the honor and it’s well-earned.”
Flood “has been very active in the sprinkler coalition, doing on-site demonstrations ... to prove the point that home sprinklers will and do save lives,” O’Brien said.
“Quite honestly, we didn’t expect him to get it ... but he got selected,” he said. “It’s a tribute to his work educating the public.”
Getting sprinklers into more homes would be a life-saver, O’Brien said.
“Smoke detectors are great and they save lives,” O’Brien said, “but sprinklers really are the wave of the future.”