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Fire Sprinkler Demonstrations Provide Firsthand Education about the Power of Fire and the Benefits of Home Fire Sprinklers

It is the time of the year when many fire departments are hosting or planning fire safety events within their communities. While printed educational materials are excellent resources and can be taken home by participants for reference, providing a live demonstration at events emphasizes fire safety and protection and adds an even more dramatic and effective element to public education events.

Annually, the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA-WI), partners with fire departments throughout the state to present side-by-side fire and fire sprinkler demonstrations in their communities.

Greenfield Fire Department presented a side-by-side fire and fire sprinkler demonstration during Fire Prevention Week 2011.

Side-by-side demonstrations provide realistic fire scenarios by using two identical rooms: one protected with fire sprinklers and one not protected. In these side-by-side demonstrations, trashcan fires are started in each room. In the unsprinklered room, the demonstration illustrates how quickly a typical fire starts and grows, ultimately reaching flashover, which is the temperature at which all the contents in the room combust. It also shows the time needed for the fire department to arrive versus how a fire sprinkler activates to extinguish a fire in the protected unit, controlling it and keeping it from spreading. It illustrates the importance of the entire fire-safety formula of prevention, early warning, practicing an escape plan, calling 9-1-1 and ultimately having the best form of fire protection by installing a residential fire sprinkler system, especially when building a new home. Fire sprinkler protection allows people time to get out of the home safely.

Another way to demonstrate the lifesaving benefits of fire sprinklers is to show how a fire sprinkler works by using the fire sprinkler demonstration trailer multiple times throughout the day. The trailer consists of a small room with one sprinkler. A trashcan fire quickly climbs nearby curtains and ultimately activates the fire sprinkler when the temperature reaches between 140-155 degrees Fahrenheit. The audience can view the demonstration through windows from the outside of the trailer or from inside the trailer thanks to a window between the viewing area and the demonstration room.

If you are a fire service professional interested in hosting either type of fire sprinkler demonstration or both, please call Kathy Meulemans, Communications and Public Education Coordinator at 262-376-0270 or Regional Manager, Bob Kleinheinz @ 914-671-1975.

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