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Fire Prevention Week Educational Activities Highlighted Importance of Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers played a large role in this year’s National Fire Prevention Week messaging and information that reached thousands of Wisconsin residents from October 7–13.

At the beginning of Fire Prevention Week, NFSA Regional Manager Bob Kleinheinz appeared on the “Sunday Sip” program of WTMJ-AM 620 radio. During his interview, he talked about the important role fire sprinklers play in protecting life and property in schools, hotels, campus housing, public buildings and homes. The website podcast was on the WTMJ website for 30 days thereafter.

Also, a 60-second spot aired twice per day on WTMJ throughout National Fire Prevention Week, once during morning drive times and once during afternoon drive times. The radio segment is still available on the NFSA-WI website.

Wales Genesee Firefighters prepare to begin their side-by-side demonstration

Meanwhile, fire departments across Wisconsin presented side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstrations during the week. Two departments in particular kicked off Fire Prevention Week by hosting their first-ever side-by-sides to educate the public about the lifesaving benefits of fire sprinklers. More than 100 people witnessed the Wales-Genesee Fire Department’s demonstration, while the Town of Waukesha Fire Department’s demonstration also garnered over 100 attendees. The demonstrations are a vivid display of the tremendous speed of a typical home fire and its potential for deadly destruction. Also shown is the vital importance of home fire sprinkler technology that can save lives and reduce property damage. The departments used demonstration units that were part of a stipend from the national nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) to conduct the fire and sprinkler demonstration educational program. Carrie Rydzik who works for the Town of Waukesha Fire Department and was a coordinator of both of the demonstrations stated, “We can talk all day and explain how fire sprinklers work to save lives and property, but when it is seen live, that’s when it really sinks in for the audience.”

“The side-by-side demonstration is by far my favorite demonstration to do and I strongly recommend that all fire departments do one of these for their own communities,” she adds.

The partnership with the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety (WAFS) and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel entered its 15th year. A special 16-page newspaper fire safety insert provided easy-to-understand information about fire sprinklers. The life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers were delivered to over 2,200 public, private and parochial school fourth through seventh grade students. Thousands of the newspapers subscribers had a chance to preview the section, too. The NFSA-WI Chapter is a sponsor of this educational tool. The NFSA and Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition were listed as resources.

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