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NFSA-WI Assists Fire Departments with Fire Sprinkler Education

Units after the Fond Du Lac Fire Department's demonstration. A big success despite freezing January temperatures.

For a number of years, the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA-WI) has partnered with fire departments to conduct educational fire sprinkler demonstrations.

In fact, NFSA-WI has helped with more than 50 side-by-side demonstrations in front of thousands of people, including fire sprinkler trailer demonstrations with sprinkler fitter unions 183 and 669.

Realizing the impact of the demonstrations, fire departments continue to conduct demonstrations at their events annually to show community members how quickly fires spread in a typical family room.

Gregory Zoellick, public educator with the Sussex Fire Department, uses the trailer and side-by-side demonstrations at the community’s “National Night Out” event in front of crowds of more than 300 people annually. “Sussex is a growing area, so people planning to build new homes need to learn about fire sprinklers’ life-saving benefits. We want to let people know they exist and how they work, while dispelling the myths about residential fire sprinklers,” said Zoellick. “We also help the residents to understand how fire sprinklers impact firefighter safety, cutting back on injuries and fire deaths.”

Sprinklerman stands among the crowd viewing a side-by-side demonstration hosted by the Sussex Fire Department

The Village of Sussex demonstrations were also instrumental in educating local officials about the life- and property-saving benefits of residential fire sprinklers, to include saving the village money. “These demonstrations helped change the stance of newly elected board members, who previously were not fire sprinkler advocates, after they witnessed firsthand how fire sprinklers work. Two new developments, which were looking for narrower streets and the ability to build more closely spaced single- and two-family condominiums, were able to do so by protecting all of the homes with fire sprinkler systems. Sprinkler protection was not originally part of the code. Now, the fully sprinklered development will save the village money on plowing, maintenance and road replacement since the development was able to install narrower roads. Also, the higher concentration of homes allows for more property tax money per acre,” said Zoellick.

Fire service professionals interested in hosting educational training with a side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstration and/or including the fire sprinkler trailer as a part of their fire prevention education can call Kathy at 262-376-0270. The fire sprinkler trailer schedule can be viewed by going on WI Chapter of the National Fire Sprinkler Association’s website. To reserve the sprinkler trailer, please call the Sprinkler Fitters Local 183 at 262-252-0183.

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