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Geraci Cited For Sprinkler Support

October 4th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Maryland Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci has been awarded the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA), Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award for 2020. State Fire Marshal Geraci has long been a vocal advocate of residential fire sprinkler legislation in Maryland. Throughout his fire service career, Geraci has excelled in educating about the importance of fire sprinklers from the fire service's perspective as a life-saving tool that is beneficial but necessary.

State Fire Marshal Geraci has served in the fire service in Maryland since 1973, beginning his career with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. He worked his way through the ranks, included being promoted to captain/commander of the Code Enforcement Section, and eventually retired as a Battalion Commander for the Fire and Explosive Investigation Section/Bomb Squad. 

Maryland is currently one of only two states in the United States that require residential fire sprinklers in new homes. Geraci was instrumental in getting this initial legislation passed in 2012 and its defense in 2015. Geraci saw room for improvement in the legislation and advocated additional legislation with the initial mandate's enforcement side. "We needed an enforcement arm to the legislation," said Geraci. The result of this call for a more defined system of enforcement and who should be doing the enforcing of the existing laws is the recent passing of Maryland House Bill 823 and Senate Bill 746 that took effect on October 1, 2020.

These laws will allow the Office of the State Fire Marshal to enforce any requirements relating to the installation of automatic sprinkler systems in new one- and two-family dwellings." Residential sprinklers are in place here in Maryland; they aren't going anywhere. We're saving lives, and they're clearly making a difference," stated Geraci.

With the new legislation in place, the Office of the State Fire Marshal will be involved with fire sprinklers through enforcing and ensuring that each new home is outfitted with the life-saving technology of residential fire sprinklers. His list of contributions to the fire protection industry, while already lengthy, will only continue to grow as the new legislation takes effect.

AFSA created the Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award to honor individuals not directly involved in the fire sprinkler industry whose efforts have significantly advanced the fire protection industry and automatic fire sprinklers. Nominees are recommended by AFSA's Legislative Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.

The award is typically presented during the general session at the annual AFSA Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition; however, due to COVID-19, Geraci will be presented the award during the first-ever virtual AFSA General Session on October 7, 2020. For more details on AFSA, visit firesprinkler.org.



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