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Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition Uses Home Shows for Education & Advocacy

The Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition hosted booths at Wisconsin home shows in January. Coalition members pictured (left to right) are Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association Executive Secretary Treasurer Laurie Frey, NFSA-WI State Coordinator Marty King, Pleasant Prairie Fire Inspector Tom Clark, and Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation Executive Director Michael Wos.

The Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition (WSFC), which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the installation of fire sprinklers in future generations of homes, works to identify and overcome barriers to the acceptance of sprinklers as a critical component of home fire safety. Comprised of representatives of the Wisconsin fire service, the Coalition aims to advocates and educates all stakeholders, including homebuilders and consumers.

La Crosse Fire Chief/WFSC Coalition Chair Gregg Cleveland discusses home fire sprinklers with a consumer at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Builders Association’s Home Building and Remodeling Show.

Using a grant awarded by the NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative campaign, the WSFC developed educational materials and committed to educating homebuilders and consumers at local home shows in Wisconsin.

From January 13 to 15, the WFSC hosted a booth at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Builders Association’s Home Building and Remodeling Show at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. There was great interest from homebuilders and the coalition was even invited to come back in 2018 and showcase residential fire sprinklers in the show’s feature area, which showcases the latest in homebuilding systems. It has interactive exhibits with cutaways that show what’s behind walls and explain how things work. In addition to the home show in Milwaukee, the coalition also had an equally successful booth at the Dream Home Showcase in Madison from January 27 to 29.

WFSC members (left to right) NFSA-WI State Coordinator Marty King and Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation Executive Director Michael Wos at the Dream Home Showcase in Madison.

At both home shows, all the homebuilders that stopped by the booth expressed interest in learning more about residential fire sprinklers as an option to offer their new homebuyers.

The WFSC’s plans to continue advocacy and education to key stakeholders as part of its grant will continue at upcoming fire service conferences, a water purveyors conference, and at least one more home show. In addition, there will be a Residential Fire Sprinkler Summit in Green Bay on May 11, 2017.

The WFSC plans, in part, to sustain these efforts moving forward by partnering with the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.

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