AFSA Awards Amy Acton 'Advocate of the Year'

Promotes Burn Prevention for All

American Fire Sprinkler Association

For Immediate Release September 10, 2019

Amy Acton Named AFSA Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year

Burn Survivor Supports, Promotes Burn Prevention for All


Amy Acton, executive director of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, is AFSA's Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year.

DALLAS - Amy Acton, executive director of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors,has dedicated her career to supporting burn survivors, advocating for burn prevention, and promoting the expanded use of fire sprinklers. For all her contributions to the fire protection industry, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is proud to honor Acton with its 2019 Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award.


Acton's life was affected early on by an electrical burn injury. She later became a burn nurse in the same unit where she'd been treated. During Acton's time as a burn nurse, she treated many patients who were burned in buildings that were not up-to-code. Her experiences inspired her to dedicate her career to addressing the root cause of burn-related accidents and trying to prevent them from happening.


In her role as executive director of the Phoenix Society, Acton and dedicated staff and volunteers have developed and expanded several national programs that have significantly increased access to long-term recovery resources for those in the burn community. In addition to their burn survivor advocacy and related projects, Acton, Society staff, and volunteers work on other fire-prevention efforts such as fire-safe cigarette legislation and fire sprinkler advocacy, especially after The Station nightclub fire.


"I remember the raw emotion and frustration I felt when thinking about how something like the Station nightclub fire is still happening when we have the technology and ability to prevent it. All I could think was 'Why?' For me, personally, this was the day when I became a true champion for fire sprinklers being the go-to approach for putting out fires."


The Society worked with its industry partners and those in the fire sprinkler business to expand the Phoenix Society's involvement in advocacy. Staff and volunteers attended the International Code Council (ICC) meeting to speak about and vote in favor of adding fire sprinklers to the International Residential Code (IRC) in both Minneapolis and Baltimore.


The Phoenix Society has also run several social media campaigns during the annual Fire Prevention Week, with a strong focus on fire sprinklers, and has worked with NFPA to identify survivors and help them share their stories through the "Faces of Fire" video series and the Survivors Podcast.The Society has been close partners with NFPA for over 20 years, and Acton serves as first vice president of the NFPA board of directors. She also serves on the board of directors for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and has served on numerous American Burn Association (ABA) committees.


"In a world of quick fixes, I consider myself more of a long-game type of person," Acton continues. "While we have made strides, we must continue to work together to create a world where it is unacceptable to build a home or business without fire sprinklers, just as we now would not buy a car without seat belts and airbags."


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.


Acton will be presented with the 2019 award on Thursday, October 3, during the general session at AFSA38: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.To learn more about the schedule of events and register for AFSA38 visit

About AFSA
Established in 1981, the American Fire Sprinkler Association is an international association representing fire sprinkler contractors. AFSA is dedicated to the educational and professional advancement of the automatic fire sprinkler industry. Visit


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