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New HFSC Stipends Help Wisconsin Fire Departments with Home Fire Sprinkler Education

Through funding from a U.S. FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Grant, the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) offered two new stipend programs to U.S. fire departments looking to increase home fire sprinkler education within their communities this year.

One of the two stipend programs this year is a completely new concept in home fire sprinkler education. HFSC awarded 15 U.S. fire departments with $1,500 stipends to partner and complete an education program with their local technical/vocational schools. Working together, those students, who may be future members of the homebuilding industry, will learn about the benefits of home fire sprinkler systems. Students will work with the fire departments to construct side-by-side fire and sprinkler burn demonstration units, which will be used for demonstrations during public education events. The students will also review an HFSC educational video and complete a corresponding quiz. Students who participate in the program will be recognized with “Built For Life” certificates.

The partnerships will establish a short home fire sprinkler education program within each school, teaching students about the benefits of home fire sprinkler systems and how the systems can be incorporated as selling features in future home-builds. Each program culminates with students constructing the demonstration units for a live home fire sprinkler demonstration to be hosted by the fire department for a public education event.

“Through the fire department partnerships with local technical schools, HFSC’s educational materials will be able to reach future building trades people to establish facts about home fire sprinklers early on,” says Peg Paul, HFSC Communication Manager.

The second stipend program replicates the success of HFSC stipends of the past and offered $1,000 stipends to U.S. fire departments nationwide to conduct live home fire sprinkler demonstrations within their communities. This year, 25 U.S. fire departments received the stipends, which pay for materials to build the demonstration units. HFSC provides guidance for building the units and conducting a public education event through its free Fire and Sprinkler Burn Demonstration Kit.

The Allenton Volunteer Fire Department and Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department in Wisconsin took advantage of the $1,000 home fire sprinkler demonstration grants.

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