To advocate for home fire sprinklers and provide awareness, Cape Girardeau Fire Department conducted a side-by-side burn in two identical living rooms. The video is posted on its website and is also listed as one of the most requested features.
On July 30,2010 the St. Louis Fire Sprinkler Alliance held an NFPA 13D seminar. I was a presenter at this seminar and met Brian Shaffer, Fire Marshall of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, and many other advocates.
Brian sought me out after my presentation to let me know what his department is doing to increase public awareness and promised to share the information with me. He sent me a link to his fire department web page that features a side-by-side burn demonstration video, important information about the results of the burns, and a link to the HFSC website.
The State of MO opted for a mandatory option, instead of adopting the mandatory requirement at the legislative level. Home builders must offer buyers the choice of having fire sprinklers installed in their new home. Mandatory option has numerous drawbacks; requiring fire sprinklers in new homes is the optimum way to achieve the goal of mitigating home fire deaths and injuries. However, a mandatory option is the best that the fire service was able to accomplish in the current political environment. What Cape Girardeau Fire Department is doing represents an excellent method for increasing community awareness and support for home fire sprinklers.
Does your fire department highlight home fire sprinklers on its website? You may not have the opportunity or resources to conduct a burn in a real home, like the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, but did you know that you have free access to the HFSC side-by-side video for download and post on your website?
The side-by-side visual remains the best tool for educating the community and increasing public awarerenss of the benefits of home fire sprinklers.
If your fire department isn't doing so already, and you are reading this post, I encourage you to advocate for the posting of this video on its website. Perhaps your fire department is already using this tool to advocate for home fire sprinklers. If so, let us know.